Bubbles is a hen that has gone from many transformations in her little life, but don’t worry this story has a happy ending! Her keeper, Caroline, tells us that they adopted Bubbles from Monmouth on September 9th in 2018. When they first brought Bubbles and two other girls home, Bubbles was the baldest, although she did have some “pretty impressive eyebrows”.
When she was finally settled Bubbles began to grow back her feathers pretty quickly and they were the most beautiful orange colour, she was stunning! Caroline tells us her cheeky personality was the next thing to emerge and she soon won the hearty of Caroline’s 20-year-old son. “She loves cuddles, and Owen can often be seen carrying her around the garden for her to look at the different leaves. Her favourites are some dark green shiny ones. Perhaps because she can see her reflection in them?”
During the Summer of 2019, Caroline noticed that Bubbles seemed to be slowing down and her feathers became very dull and rough to the touch. Her abdomen kept filling with fluid, and over the course of a few months, she had to have three abdominal drains at the vet.
After each visit to the vet, she would bounce back, but she was by now the slowest hen of the flock. We lost her best pals, Violet and Heather during the summer and Bubbles is now the only remaining girl of her ‘batch’. Since then, Caroline has rehomed from the BHWT twice, and Bubbles is currently the oldest in their little flock of seven.
In early Autumn Bubbles decided to begin moulting. Caroline and the family were not sure if she would survive, given the extra energy and strain of moulting and re-growing feathers, on top of an already fairly weakened little body.
But no-one could have guessed that Bubbles was ready for another transformation! Caroline tells us “Her new feathers are velvety, rich brown and so thick! She has the most beautiful mottled pattern on her back. Her abdomen has stopped filling with fluid and she hasn’t needed any treatment since July. She really did show me that where there is life there is hope. She is a real little fighter who has done so well”.
Caroline’s advice for any hen keeper or future hen keeper would be, “find yourself a really good avian vet, get to know each girl well so that you can quickly spot signs of them being off colour, and trust your instincts. These little hens are worn out and have a short retirement. But they have a real fighting spirit and deserve us to fight with them”.
This past Christmas Bubbles celebrated her third Christmas with her adopted family with the usual Christmas dinner that Caroline and the family always cook for their girls!
Fast forward to 2021 and Bubbles is now quietly enjoying being lockdown as she has a large indoor area to potter about and snoozes in the warm and dry. She loves her scrambled eggs each day which Caroline gives to all of them to help with feather regrowth, and is especially fond of rice and pasta!