Lola was adopted in early September of 2020. She was the timidest hen that Laura and family had ever met. She quite frankly wouldn’t say boo to a goose, let alone one of the seven new sister hens that she was also adopted with. Laura tells us “As soon as we met Lola we could see we had done the right thing in adopting her. She was such a scared thing. She would run away from every hen, and they would often chase her, making a terrible bleating noise which we could only assume was due to her distress”
Her way of coping with this was to sit on the highest spot within the coop that she could find and would only come down for food and water when the other hens went outside during the day. Laura tells us “we tended to put any fresh food next to her otherwise she would not benefit from it” making sure that Lola got the care she needed to become comfortable.
As the other five hens integrated with the existing eight, Lola wouldn’t even leave the inside of the coop. She would jump on the back of Laura’s husbands’ shoulder to seek comfort. Laura tells us it was heart-breaking to watch and they considered whether Lola was capable of being around the other hens, or if she would need to live separately. Not only was Lola distressed, but her physical condition was also awful. Her feathers were patchy, she had lots of bald areas, including her neck and her comb was barely red and shrivelled.
Overtime Lola became braver and started to come down on to the floor of the coop but it took her over six weeks to feel brave enough to step outside, and this was only when the other hens were out of the run and in the garden. Slowly she started to spend more time outside, even stepping out into the garden eventually! The other hens became more accepting of her and did not chase her
Now Lola is fully settled within the flock, and stands her ground if any of the others try and assert their authority! Her feathers have grown back beautifully and her comb stands tall and red.
We asked Laura what Lola does to make her smile every day. She tells us, “witnessing her journey from very scared caged hen to her loud proud self makes us smile every day. She is such a friendly girl and will pop inside the coop to say hello when we are clearing up any mess”.
Lola loves sweetcorn, sardines and mealworms. She enjoys roaming free around the garden, when she is allowed, and digging for worms. Laura tells us that she has learnt to be patient and give her hen time to adjust to her new life – it won’t happen overnight. She advises to “do your research, make sure you have time and space and take advice from the experts like the British Hen Welfare Trust who have been brilliant!” – Thanks for the support, Laura!
Lola now lives a happy life with her 13 sisters, Miss O, Olive, Octavia, Maudie, Debra-Jo, Lindsay-Ann, Melody, Jackie, Margo, Hettie, Brenda, Dorothy and Betty. That’s a lot of sisters! We love to read these stories every week and encourage anyone who wants to share their own hen hero story to submit using the form below! And don’t forget to add some great photos to go alongside!