I have been adopting rescue hens for the past 9 years or so. The way it works is that when the hens reach a point when they are no longer laying daily, they are “disposed of” – turned into pet food. The charity I adopt my hens from buys the hens, paying the farmer more than he or she would get if they were sold to be processed and then people like me adopt them in return for a small donation. The charity carries out mass rescues, usually 250 or more hens at a time.
The hens have been kept in caged conditions. They have never seen daylight. They have very long claws because they haven’t been able to scratch around and they are very featherbare – some look almost as if they have been plucked ready for roasting. They don’t know how to be hens.
They continue to lay eggs – just not necessarily every day.
This weekend I adopted three new ladies to join my existing two. They are settling in well and disagreements between the newbies and the older girls haven’t been too fierce. They will battle for a few days until a new pecking order is established. Then peace will reign again.
My lady is called Margot. She looks a bit dishevelled. She has been through a tough time but things are going to get better for her. She knows what it feels like to sit in the sun. She’s experienced rain for the first time as well as night and day. She is also quite feisty. She can hold her own.
Margot is my protege. I am going to nurture her back to fine fettle. As I do so I am going to try and focus on self care. I was good at this when I first stopped drinking although at the time I felt it was more a case of selfishness than self care. More recently it’s fallen by the wayside. Both Margot and I deserve some TLC.