one week ago, i rescued two old hens.. i can't even say i rescued them from the soup pot, but rather from the manure pile.. these chickens weren't laying anymore and their owner needed to make room for new chicks.. before you get your hackles up about cruelty to animals, i am the first to advocate for animals & deplore any animal cruelty.. i make stronger connections to animals than i do most people.. and it's hard for me living in a small corner of the world that is still very old fashioned.. people here are poor and live off the land.. in every way imaginable.. and we are situated right beside a large Amish community too.. i am literally surrounded by folks that live a meager existence and are happy doing so.. i fit in because i grew up dirt poor on an indian reservation and i know what it's like to clean and gut your food if you wanted to eat dinner..
so back to the chickens.. old hens don't contribute, cost too much in feed and they get ousted.. so.. i have 2 chickens of my own.. [had more but devastatingly lost some to foxes] and my chickens are really spoiled little kids dressed up in feathers..
this is how my chickens hang out..
so when i heard about these 2 old girls, i of course agreed to adopt them.. i was shocked by the condition they were in.. too thin, they had never free ranged or been in a coop, simply penned, then discarded & passed around to people that didn't want them.. their feathers were plucked and broken and their bodies full of wounds from dogs nipping and chasing them..
so i called this one Annie.. she was so bad off, i didn't think she'd make it.. she limped and smelled bad from her wounds.. i treated her wounds, gave her electrolytes, smeared vasoline on her scaly legs to kill the mites, put apple cider vinegar in her water, cayenne pepper & medicines.. gave her fresh fruit & veggies & protein..
this is Edie.. she comes when called now and will eat tomatoes from my hand.. and this old girl still has some life in her, she's given us 3 eggs.. they have put on weight and their feathers are softer & shiny.. AMAZING WHAT ONE WEEK OF LOVE CAN DO..
my 2 chickens are bossy & were so upset that i brought in a couple strays, but they are figuring out their own pecking order.. they are teaching them to forage and where to find the good bugs and where to take dust baths.. and when mama calls, you run fast, cuz she's always got something good to nibble on..
my two original hens.. Guardy & Pepper - getting a mid afternoon dust bath and basking in the sun..