We’ve now had our lovely ex-bat hens for three whole months and it’s so amazing to see the changes in them. The pecking order – which was established very early on – has remained the same with Dotty at the top although Minnie has been spied pecking at Dotty’s feathers on occasion! Alice, who is regularly pecked by Dotty and Minnie passes it on with gusto to poor Dolly Clare who is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order.
But, for the most part, they all get along well, exploring the garden together in hen harmony. Here they are investigating the chives:
And here’s Minnie enjoying the sun with Molly:
And the gorgeous Dolly Clare with a muddy beak after the rain.
She had really bloomed into a beautiful bird. When we first brought her home, she was thin and her comb, wattles and earlobes were really pale but they’re now a vibrant red and her feathers look positvely golden! Alice is also blossoming although she’s still a little scruff! But the feathers are growing back on her head so she no longer resembles a snooker ball! And Dotty’s enormous comb has shrunk to half its size which is a sign of a happy hen in a healthy environment. And Minnie? Minnie was always a bit of a stunner. What’s really cute about her is that she can hear me rattling the bag of corn from the bottom of the garden and she comes tearing along like Roadrunner to be first in line!
As there’s a surge of growth in late spring, it’s fascinating to watch the hens exploring. There are parts of the garden they favour over others. The potato patch is a favourite place although hubby has to chase them off sometimes before they squash our produce! They also love browsing around the lawn under the apple tree and Dotty and Alice have a special fascination for the lemon balm. Here’s a view I regularly see – Dotty disappearing, beak first!