Watching our hen, Dotty, sunbathing this weekend, it suddenly occurred to me that she has now been with us longer than the time she spent as a battery hen in a factory. Dotty was about 18 months old when we rehomed her in February 2011 and she’s now enjoyed 22 months of retirement with us. I’m so thrilled for her!
And she’s still ‘top hen’ too despite Primrose’s attempts to snatch her crown. Just yesterday, Dotty gave Primrose a good pecking for stepping out of line.
Dear Dotty has been wheezy for the past year and she’s not as plump as she used to be but she lives life to the full and still lays the occasional egg, bless her.
I did worry about her when we lost Minnie and Alice – the last of our original flock – but Dotty has settled down well with the new girls and is especially close to Mariette. They can often be seen strolling around the garden together and enjoying a dust bath in each other’s company.
And Dotty has something else to celebrate this month because – along with all our other hens – she features in a fabulous new book. Tales from the Coop – The Joy of Ex-Battery Hens by Sophie McCoy is a delightful book full of warm-hearted stories about the joys of rehoming ex-battery hens. It’s full of wonderful photographs too and will make an excellent gift this Christmas for any animal lovers out there and the money raised goes to help the wonderful British Hen Welfare Trust and Little Hen Rescue.