As you know, in December 2020 we adopted 10 rescue hens. These girls were ex-commercial hens that had been raised on a battery farm, in a barn. After coming to our farm, the UK was declared an Avian Flu Prevention Zone which meant that until 1st April 2021, like us, the hens were in lockdown!
Since the lockdown ended, and restrictions were lifted, the chickens and ducks at The Island have experienced some freedom measures (we still have to cover over outdoor bodies of water e.g., the outdoor pond, and deter wild birds from coming on to the farm, whilst maintaining good biosecurity measures such as disinfecting coops and boots!), but overall all of the birds are now allowed to roam!
Legally, the movement of birds too is now permitted and we were presented with an opportunity to adopt! Our coop holds up to 18 birds, which to be honest, we don’t ever like to allow any more than 15 living in there, with the exception of when and/or if we house bantams (a really small type of chicken). At the moment, we have 1 bantam chicken and 12 larger birds, and therefore are at capacity at 13 (with the arrival of the new hens).
Of the hens that we rescued in December, sadly only 5 survived, leaving us with Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, Holly and McChicken Legend. We were approached by an Island Warrior who wished to downsize her flock, and we agreed to the rehoming of 7 hens. Some of these hens are huge and are of many different colours, shapes and sizes. They’re stunning. We have taken on 2 Brahma hens, named Thor and Cloud by our young people, 2 Orpington girls named Thunder and Midnight, 2 Vorwerk twins Toffee and Crisp and a tiny little fluffy-headed bantam called Shadow.
Click the video link below to meet our new ladies and to also witness our rescue hens experience grass and the wide outdoors for the very first time. It’s heartwarming to see those little ladies that were once bald-bags-of-bones thrive and peck away at the grass, and step foot outside for the first time in their lives. They’ve taken to bathing in the bark footpaths and relax in the sunshine in the courtyard, close to where the children are 80% of the time. They love fuss and cuddles and lots of interaction from our young people. Despite the poor conditions that they came from, these hens truly have experienced love and affection, and are now living their best lives.
Thanks again for being here and enjoy the video!
Zoey & the Island Community Haven Team