chicken-and-egg - page 22

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Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
Our three Girls were gorgeous. Ethel was
nervous of change, affectionate towards
us, but a bit of a bully to the others. Gertie
was noisy, exuberant, independent, and
loved to hunt for worms and slugs. And
Ma was gentle, intelligent, inquisitive, and
always the first to try anything new. Ethel
establishing herself as Queen of All She
Surveyed, became a bit over-exuberant in
exerting her authority, so our vet suggested
getting a couple more hens to spread out
Ethel’s unwanted attentions. So we obtained
two more beautiful Warrens.
One quickly became known as Food Bird,
as she never met anything to eat that she
didn’t like. She was larger than life and had
amazing problem-solving abilities, happy
to go through a series of complex stages
to get to treats we thought we had put
out of her reach. The other, Audrey,
communicated incredibly well and knew
how to make it clear when she wanted the
tarpaulin taken off her dust bath or to visit
our part of the garden.
Tragically, we lost Ma in 2014 and Gertie
and Food Bird in 2015. With them gone and
Audrey already broody (yes, Warrens do go
broody), Ethel was lonely and bereft.
We got more so she would have a new flock,
including Henrietta and Florrie, two Black
Rocks. But because we love Warrens, we
got little Dusty, too – a real charmer who
is wholly dedicated to begging treats from
easily manipulated humans.
Our Girls continue to give us masses of
pleasure. Letting them out in the morning,
and watching as they hurry to catch the
early worms and see which bugs might be
around is lovely. So is having Ethel perch on
our knees while she preens, and watching
their excitement in the early afternoon, when
it is time for their daily treat. Somehow, their
delight in simple pleasures puts other things
in perspective.
We are so thankful for the wonderful work
done by the British Hen Welfare Trust – not
just rescuing gorgeous hens and placing
them in loving homes, where they can see
the sky and feel the grass beneath their
claws, but also raising awareness of chicken
welfare.
This is a cause close to our hearts – so keep
up the good work BHWT!
Susanna Gregory and Simon Beaufort
The current five girls in their dust bath. (top
box) Audrey, (lower box, clockwise from
bottom left) Florrie, Ethel, Dusty, Henrietta
From front Ma, Gertie, and Ethel
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