Today is my birthday and I've been a very lucky girl. Two gorgeous bunches of flowers, a basket full of fruit, CD's chocolates, candles .....
... and two books that I wanted the minute I saw they'd been released.
And yesterday a mooch round the charity shop while I was in the village posting off some parcels, which yielded three more books, two for me and The Wild Gourmets for Lovely Hubby.
You can't beat a nice stack of books on your birthday. Or can you ......
... my best birthday present .
On Wednesday Mother Hens Poultry, where we bought our new Skylines last Sunday, put an appeal on their Facebook page for a new home for a little ex-battery hen that had been dumped over their fence in the night and left to fend for herself. How could I resist, I was straight in with an offer of a new home for the poor girl.
What a thing to have to go through, to be 'rescued' once and then for the rescuer to decide that no, you're just not good enough and to then unceremoniously dump you. At least she somehow survived the night, amazing as where they are is a known fox run and all their hens are securely locked up at night to protect them, during the day it is alive with people as they live on the entrance to a popular tourist destination in these parts and so the birds are safe.
She is in a sorry state with all her under-carriage completely bare and lots of missing feathers from her back. They had briefly put her in with their birds but she was mercilessly picked on, chickens instinctively peck at 'red things', so they removed her and let her free range in their garden for the day. Yesterday morning I went and picked her up and now she is to spend the rest of her days with us.
Growing feathers back is a natural thing for chickens and they simply get on with it with no fuss, you do have to watch how you handle them as to push the emerging feathers the wrong way can hurt the bird (imagine a splinter sticking out of your skin and you pushing it the wrong way), but they do need good nourishment while they go through this process and some supplements help.
My first job was to spray her all over her 'red bits' with antiseptic spray, it has a purple dye in so you can see that you have got it in the right place, so now instead of red bits, she has purple bits, but this also serves to stop other birds pecking at the sore spots. You can't see from the following photos but the whole of her rear end is now bright purple, poor girl.
She made herself at home immediately and made friends with Archie the cat.
After a drink from his bowl ...
... and a handful or two of sunflower seeds,
she was ready to join our other new girls out in the Eglu.
Meeting our only other surviving rescue bird (an ex commercial free-ranger) Gorgeous Girl who is also a Hyline hen through the bars, once she's fully feathered they should be almost identical.
This is how she should look when she is fit and well and all her feathers have grown back. Another good thing is that having this lovely new future companion has given Gorgeous Girl a whole new lease of life, she has spent the last week looking as though she was losing the will to live, she is after all our eldest and most hard working of hens.
Lets just hope they get on without the mesh to separate them, here they are playing the 'I'm a bigger stronger chicken than you' game.
Oh, and by the way I've called her Angel, after all she's survived death twice and she is also absolutely angelic, with a lovely friendly temperament.
So two very lucky girls in this house today.
We've an exciting weekend ahead and I'll let you know all about it on Monday.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend yourselves, fingers crossed for some sunshine :-)