We have had a busy few days, and I am too tired too fillin all the details right now.
I have witnessed a backyard botched chicken slaughter, which has sent me off to buy the chicken killers a sharp axe and block – something I never thought I would be doing. A blunt rusty blade is just too cruel an end.
We have a new chick from Zandspruit called Lesego (means Lucky). She is fabulous but has an issue with her toe. Will post pics and more info tomorrow.
I have 26 of the NSPCA chickens brought home tonight. They are in very poor condition. The response to our mails has been good, however, this is your last chance to contact NSPCA Vereeniging and get chickens – they are being sent to abbatoir at 11am tomorrow. Speak to Danie.
NSPCA rescued 450 hens today from a cull depot. No food or water. These girls have had a hard time, and are urgently needing loving homes to spend the rest of their natural lives. If you have capacity for more chickens, please let me know.
Taken off the NSPCA newsletter sent out yesterday. Well done NSPCA.
It has been a week for cruelty to chickens. Our Farm Animal Unit handled 3 complaints of cruelty involving poultry: – large numbers of chickens not being fed and just being left. In one instance, criminal charges will be laid in terms of the Animal Protection Act after more than 300 birds had been left to starve. Appreciation is expressed to the concerned person who called the SPCA. Nearly all of the birds were emaciated and were frantic when food was produced. Sadly the condition of the birds was such that humane destruction was the decision taken to end their suffering. Thanks are expressed to Tanya Kaalson of Lochvaal chicks for kindly assisting with the procedure. Our Farm Animal Unit handled a case of an “emerging farming” project. The owner was waiting for the Department of Agriculture to produce food and the Department claimed this role was not its responsibility. The end result was that the birds suffered. 100 were removed from the farm.
Henny Penny was stolen from battery farm last year with 30 other chickens. The police caught the robbers, however in the process 25 of the 30 chickens died, and 4 over the following night. Henny Penny was the only survivor. Luckily the farmer had no desire to take her back for fear of disease, and so we ended up with her. Henny Penny was the most amazing hen. She was so easy to rehabilitate, and just did what was required to settle in and get on with living. Sadly last week, she was stolen again. I got the police involved and we searched the area and local dwellings, but no luck. Many thanks for Magaliesburg Police for their assistance and compassion, specifically Warrant Officer Leta.
That night I bought a large lock and chain for the coup where we lock the chickens up at night in their house. They free range during the day.
The next morning we found beautiful Henriette gone, and our fabulous rooster Petrus dead. An animal had got into the coup during the night and taken Henriette and killed Petrus.
Henriette was the 4th hen we rehabilitated. She is really a chicken with 9 lives, and I guess they were finally used up. When I got Henriette from Zandspruit informal settlement, she was hours away from death. 4 weeks of hot water bottles, crop feeding her, sleeping and large doses of anti biotics finally saw her recover. So many mornings I thought I would find her dead, and she just seemed to soldier on.
Petrus was given to us recently in return for a rescue hen. He was our first rooster and truly magnificent. He loved and protected our hens. He died trying to protect Henriette. I buried him on the top of a mountain last Friday. What a brave boy.
The remaining traumatized chickens have been moved back to our family home, until we can re build our hen-house with deeper foundations and bigger locks.
RIP to some of our fabulous brood. We will miss you.
Sad week for some of our chickens (and us of course). Will fill in details tomorrow.
The good news is, we have our first jersey for ‘plucked alive’ Galhinia. With winter here, she is a little cold in the morning- not enough feathers yet. I posted a post asking knitters to assist, and we had one prompt response. Thanks Jackie! Glahinia wears her jersey up until 10 am, then she seems to be warm enough without it.