Tom & Cherry with new friend Chalk
Although it was the duckling's day, I couldn't resist taking this picture of Cheese. He is starting to get the trademark Muscovy caruncling around his eyes now & I think he looks gorgeous!
My handsome boy Cheese
The new goose house flew up a treat. We bought it from Steve Fisher Woodworking, the same place we got our large hen house from. I'd definately recommend him for well thought out, well made, good value for money poultry / waterfowl housing.
So the weekend continued in the same successful vein.
Until it came to the ex-battery hens. I knew they had been squabbling a bit, but they hadn't seemed to be hurting one another so I had let them be to establish their pecking order as hens must. I had tried letting them out into the garden each evening to give them more space, but they hadn't been brave enough to venture out. However, when I checked on them this afternoon, one poor girl had a nasty wound on the back of her neck where one of the others had obviously had a go at her. Because the wound was bleeding the hen had to be separated to prevent further bullying. I was so upset! I have only witnessed the odd squabble with hens - nothing like this! It does warn on the BHWT care sheet that they can be quite savage to one another, perhaps due to the savage conditions they have spent their lives in, but I still felt responsible for this hen's suffering. Fortunately, with the Cherry Valley ducklings up in the field the old rabbit hutch was free again so the injured hen is in there while we treat the wound. She seems quite OK in herself, considering the nastiness of the wound, so I'm hoping she will recover well.
On a more positive note, the rest of the ex-battery hens finally ventured out of the shed today. I can't be angry with them for what has happened. It's just a darker side to hens.
They didn't venture very far, they stayed within about a five foot square area just in front of the shed, but it was enough for them to wreak havoc! The totally stripped the leaves off some raspberry canes I had growing in a large pot & then set about shredding the leaves of my rose bushes! Oh, those naughty hens! If only they would venture a bit further onto the grass they would have all the grazing they could possibly ask for without destroying my garden. But I have to say it a joyous thing to watch them. They had very wide open, blinking eyes as they enjoyed all the new sights, sounds & sensations of being out in the fresh air. They looked so contented as they trashed my rose bed that there was no way I could get cross. They really are coming along very well & their feathers are even starting to re-grow. I'm hoping with the whole garden to explore they will now have enough to distract them from any further nasty bickering.
So, if it hadn't been for poor injured hen it would have been a perfect Saturday really. Let's hope she makes a full recovery soon.