The hens are settling although the winds have been wild, with warnings of gusts of up to of 110 kph; on Saturday there was heavy rain for a short time and the birds were happy to shelter.
Ginger and Babs are eating more, they are enjoying pecking at carrot, apples and spinach, they enjoy basking in the sunshine.
Babs was lying down and Ginger tried to tuck herself under Babs’ wing, it reminded me of a chick trying to find comfort and warmth from it’s mother and made me wonder how young the hens are.
As the the afternoon progressed yesterday, I went outside and could hear something amiss and Owen was missing. I called him and eventually he came to me with his tail between the legs, I couldn’t see the black hen, Babs anywhere. Looking in the grass I found a black feather, I was quite anxious, then I saw a black shape, I went over and picked the hen up; thankfully alive, as I carried her to the hen house, I realised there was no obvious injury, but wet tail feathers.
I placed Babs in the area I had allocated for sleeping for them, as I came into the house Owen looked sorry and repentant, about 10 minutes later I found a very wet tail feather on the floor and Owen was having a very long drink, I showed my disapproval of chicken chewing and hope he has learnt his lesson.
Research on the internet shows that the hen’s greatest risk of death and injury comes from foxes and uncontrolled dogs!
This morning I opened the door to where the hens were sleeping, I haven’t really got that sorted yet, but they were alive and Ginger keen to eat, Babs had a drink of water. Babs has spent time, this morning, tucked behind the aviary which is only a small gap, but I threw some crumbs on the ground and talked softly, she came over for a stroke, Ginger wanted fuss too. I think Babs has lost some confidence, but maybe being cautious is wise.
Babs has been dozing for most of the day, but did have a peck around at some food and I managed to get a nice photo of her.
Ginger has found a very inaccessible place to spend the day, until the cat went to investigate and she decided to make an appearance and have some food.
We went to agroHens near the Urgencias in Albox, I asked the assistant in the animal and bird feedstore if he had any gallinas and he showed me pens with black, red and white hens in. I chose one red at 7 Euros and 1 black at 6.50 Euros I bought a bag of food too. It seemed quite awkward to put them in a cardboard box, I wondered how easy it would be to handle them.
We took them out in the garage at home so that we could see what we had got, they had had their beaks shortened and seemed happy and calm. We also trimmed the flight feathers as I feared they would disappear like a Chinese lantern out of the garden.
We then carried them into the garden and let them go, establishing a feeding area, will establish a safe sleeping area later. They plodded round the grass, pecked some seed and kept together.
The cat goes like a lion on the Serengeti after wildebeest, so I have warned him and Owen is inquisitive and wants to chase them. When chased a little by Owen and Rio the hens hopped into the overgrown area behind the balustrade and appeared fairly safe.
As the afternoon continues they are sheltering (it’s blustery) and pecking in the flowerbed near the washing line. I check on them periodically and as I talked to Babs, she replied in chicken, bbbbur bub bub bub!