Tigger was one of Natalie’s hens with a Winnie the Pooh themed name. She was adopted in October 2019 by Natalie and has been part of the family ever since. Natalie tells us “I asked to have those who were most in need” Natalie and her family are what we call experienced rehomers, they have been adopting hens for over ten years. This meant Tigger was a perfect match. To begin with, she was very timid with hardly any feathers to call her own. But she was a gentle hen who kept herself to herself initially.
Tigger grew a beautiful set of feathers and began to fly like no other hen we’ve had before. Natalie tells us “she could easily fly into our kitchen, over the height of the half stable door, she flew up onto the picnic table, garden table, top of the hen house and onto the retro swing chair with ease.” She believes her goal was always to find something nice to eat! She befriended Natalie’s very elderly hen, Poppy, who had been pushed out of the rest of the flock before Tigger came along. They spent their time together around the garden and were the best of friends!
Natalie tells us that Tigger was a very special hen to her. Her cheekiness made her special. She had no boundaries and anyone’s lap or food was hers. She tells us “She was often in the house, no sooner was she put out, she was back in via another method!” There was no telling her that she wasn’t allowed to stay indoors. Her favourite thing she loved to eat was pancakes. Not her own of course, but whoever was eating them, they were bound to become hers.
Natalie tells us that Tigger had two transformations. Her initial transformation was when she grew feathers and found her wings. “She was a beautiful, big, bright ginger hen with a huge floppy comb that never shrunk; she looked very pretty with it.”
But also, after a fox attached in April 2020, Tigger had to adapt again. “I heard it and was able to save six of our hens, one of whom was Tigger. She was in a bad way with facial injuries and a damaged wing. I sat holding her through the night to try and bring her through the shock and then nursed her back to health.” Natalie tells us that even though Tigger was the bravest hen she’s known, she never regained her ability to fly as high as she could before the attack.
She became more attached to the family during this time and thankfully lockdown meant they could be at home all of the time. Tigger also suffered from fly strike during the summer and again needed nursing back to health. She was such a strong hen with such a big personality, but sadly she died in the night in December 2020.
Natalie has been a long-time supporter of BHWT, and the family have had many hens in the past, but, she tells says “Tigger was my hen of a lifetime and is still my screen saver on my phone. Adopting hens has been one of the most rewarding things we have done as a family”.
Natalie and her family are in their eleventh year of adopting now and still get so much pleasure from them. Asking her what advice, she would give people who are wondering whether to adopt hens, she tells us “If you are planning on adopting some hens, be prepared for plenty of laughter, plenty of tears and plenty of poop!” Some excellent advice!