Galhinia was being sold in an informal settlement last year (2009), when I bought her. I had to pay some extra money for her, as the additonal benefit of this chicken was that she had been partially plucked alive for re sale. An immensly cruel and painful process for the hen. Galhinia had large sores on the sides of her body, probably where she had hurt herself on the wire cage, and other chickens had pecked at the wounds until they became 1 to 3 cm in diameter. Galhinia was in a sorry state.
Using humour is one of the means we use in our family to protect ourselves from the pain of what we often deal with and see in our chickens. My husband called Galhinia our ‘sports model’, as she was aerodynamic!
Sun burn was an issue for Galhinia. Sun block is NOT an option for chickens, as it is absorbed through their thin skin, and is toxic. We tried as best as we could to keep her out of the burning African mid day sun through the hottest part of summer, but this was not always possible or easy, and her skin became bright red, and sensitive.
Galhinia has recovered well over the last 5 months, and has stayed at our family home. Despite her cruel experience at the hands of her captors, Galhinia loves being with people (as well as other chickens), and spends our meal times under the table chatting to us, and waiting for attention. Galhinia also loves being in the kitchen when we are preparing food. Company aside, she knows that she may get a few little extra bits of food thrown her way. Galhinia LOVES cooked rice, and while we do not give this to her as standard fare, we do give her a little bowl, when we eat rice. She has this amazing repeated cluck which she uses to comminicate appreciation. Rice brings on the famous appreciative cluck.
While Galhinia loves being with people, she hates being held or picked up. However, at the end of each afternoon, given the opportunity, she will come and find me in the house and settle on my lap or shoulder for some quality time. I, however, may not in anyway influence this affection. It is all on her terms. So I gratefully sit and wait for my measure of love to be metered out for the day.
I look forward to our 10 to 30 minutes together each day.
See pic below. Note substantially more feathers than previous pics.
8th March 2010 – sleepy Galhinia below – afternoon siesta