My first rescued chicken (Mrs Chicken!) is actually a "hot chicken" in that I had to appropriate her by cunning means. Before I formed the sanctuary I kept the horses at various livery yards, one of which kept chickens.
I found her dying (well, lying on her side hardly breathing) in the field one day & picking her up took her to the farmer. He said & I quote "Oh well, one for the pot". I said I would put her back with the others & let nature take it's course - & actually took her to the vet.
She was suffering for severe exhaustion & a calcium deficiency (caused by overlaying) and was given several injections - (£40 worth!!). Happily she made a full recovery & needless to say I did not take her back to the farmer.
Sadly Mrs C passed away 27th August 2006 - she will be sorely missed - she was such a sweetie. She lived her for 10 years
My other chickens were re-homed with me by a family who were no longer able to keep them. There are around 60 altogether.
Cosmo the Cockerel who arrived in January '03. He is pictured here in a "holding" cage inside the main Chicken building. He will stay here for a few days until he gets used to the other Chickens
Here he is 7 weeks on (March 03) with his new mates !
He has been "accepted" as one of the lads & in fact bosses the larger birds around !
Here are the latest rescued hens (12th Dec '05) There are 20 of them & Fluffy the Cockerel has moved in with them !
They will stay inside until the Spring when they will be integrated with the main Chicken gang outside
Here is a picture of Aubrey Cockerel who lived at the Sanctuary for about 5 years.
He passed away due to old age in his sleep on August 13th 2006
He will be very much missed as he was such a character
Here are some pictures of the main chicken gang in their Summer quarters. (Aug 2006)
Although there is a ring fence around the large enclosure, many of the hens do jump out to go exploring further afield. Three have found the stable block & decided to live there, but the rest always migrate back to their sheds (in the background) each evening.
On of the last jobs each night is to count that they are all there.
99 times out of a 100 they are, but occasionally one will decide to "nest" somewhere else.
It is critical they are found & returned to HQ as roosting outside is very dangerous and there is a good chance they will be caught by a Fox.
The sheds are lined internally with 3/4 inch ply & there are metal sheets on the floor to prevent "burrowing in." They are also 8 inches off the ground to allow Cats access underneath to deter rats.
Chicken Rescue - April 2007
As you may have read on the latest news page (see 10th April entry) we were able to give a home to 50 of the 4500 rescued birds from the farm - they were all facing slaughter as being just over a year old, they are thrown out of the "free range" unit and replaced with younger birds - as is the fashion with the free range egg business
Here are a few pictures of the girls (some of the hens were already here, but they are now one bigger "gang")
Some of the girls help cultivate a problem area of lawn watched by Granville the Cat
Assistance is required & more help is called in
Meanwhile a lone sentry hen patrols the perimeter fencing
With so many more hens now, the night time accommodation in the stable block is quite a spectacle ! - about 20 of the girls sit on Majors stable wall to keep him company during the night ! The others roost in a stable that has a number of gates set up inside it to make perches. Some roost in cat houses too !