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O, ga cold October Sunday morning we loaded three boxes lined with straw into the car boot and headed to the Industrial park to collect our three rescue hens . Little hill animal Sanctuary were doing a round the country drop off to people who had volunteered to re-home battery hens destined for the slaughter house as they were not laying every day.

There were at least twenty people waiting to take hens,some just one,some 12! We paid 6euro for each hen as the Sanctuary said free hens often ended up in unscrupulous hands as dog bait or in cock fights

Our four ladies (all Those Island Reds) were terrified. They had varying plumage,some half feathered and one poor cratur was half bald.

We introduced them to our polytunnel where they would spend the winter

We had straw filled boxes , water and food pellets. I have two small electric heaters so I could keep them warm. I did not rate my chances of catching one to put on a jumper. They are almost feral, huddling in a corner when I approach so it’s going to take time to allow them calm down.

Once our new house is finished I can plan a fox proof run outside and a nice hen house.