“I look forward to seeing her and the others, Audrey, Mildred and Gladys, every day. They are wonderful to have around, so entertaining and surprisingly relaxing”
This is Patricia. Named by her nine-year-old son, Katherine tells us about this special little hen. Patricia or Pat, as Katherine calls her, was one of four hens that they adopted. She was the worst of the bunch in terms of appearance. She had what we call a “bare bottom”, with no feathers to be seen as well as a little bit of an odd-shaped beak.
She was worse for wear at the beginning of her free-range retirement and Katherine soon realised that she was also having problems laying, She would often lay misshapen eggs or soft shell eggs which can be common in some ex-commercial hens. Katherine tells us, “She became egg bound on a couple of occasions but thanks to all the advice from the British Hen Welfare Trust we recognised it quickly and she responded very well to warm baths and lots of TLC”.
Because of all the extra attention she has needed, the family have a special bond with Pat. They are new to hen keeping, only getting their new pet hens six months ago, right before hen lockdown. Katherine tells us that despite the hen lockdown “she [Pat] will confidently wander into the house, showing the other girls there’s nothing to worry about. She likes to be close to us. If she doesn’t want a cuddle she will often just sit at our feet. And she always responds when you talk to her!”
Pat has changed the family’s routine when it comes to day to day life and has made a positive influence on the family.“She’s been through so much in her short life but she just gets on with it. She has such a distinctive voice, you can always tell when she’s nearby” Katherine tells us.
Since coming home with Katherine her feathers around her bottom half have finally grown back, which is a wonderful improvement. Katherine tells us that Pat is slowly stopping laying,which is great news for her as some hens just need to wind down slowly after coming out of commercial farms.
Katherine tells us “I look forward to seeing her and the others, Audrey, Mildred and Gladys, every day. They are wonderful to have around, so entertaining and surprisingly relaxing” Her hens have flourished now that they are living their free-range retirement and that’s all we as a charity hope for for all the hens we save from slaughter!
In just six months Pat has become a wonderful hen and a great addition to Katherine’s family. We wish her even more months of free-range happiness!
Being able to give these hens a new home is one thing, but hearing from their adopters that their hens have become part of the family warms our hearts here at the BHWT. It was a vision first started in 2005, and it is now a reality for so many thousands of hens a year. We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who shares their stories and allows us to share them!