Three years ago today we brought home our first group of hens, and little did we know the effect it would have on our lives. That day in 2014 I didn’t project forward and think what things would be like today, but if I had, I would have naively thought that we’d still have Amber, Brown, Grey and White, and not that a few weeks ago we’d have welcomed the 37th hen to the flock!
The good times in those 3 years have by far outweighed the sad moments when we’ve lost hens, particularly those that we’ve been close to. We’ve brought home 7 groups, integrated the newcomers, watched them grow and develop, and learnt a lot along the way. There’s a lot more to learn, and a lot more hens to give a caring home to, and this is what this venture is about, and if I were to project forward now, I’d hope that our vision of a field of several hundred rescue hens happily enjoying their freedom, would be a reality.
Today is about White though, the smallest and most flighty of that first group of hybrid hens. We were told she wouldn’t live as long as some hens because of the number of eggs she would lay, and the pressure that would put on her body, but she’s outlived those that she arrived with. I wonder what goes through her head as she sees hens go, and others arrive, yet she still carries on and gets on with what she needs to do and is always at the top of the pecking order, never really getting into fights, but acts with a quiet authority over the others.
Being a special day, a cake is made. Wheat and corn are bound with the finest eggs, topped with a yellow sweetcorn icing with a ring of apple pieces around the circumference to acknowledge her love of the fruit, and a ‘3’ created from grapes to show her achievement. After the obligatory pictures, White is allowed the first mouthfuls whilst the others are restrained, then they all join in and demolish the topping and make short work of the rest of the cake!