First day of freedom – welcome Sunshine and Hannah

I was contacted yesterday afternoon, by a man who had been given our number by FREEME. He had bought 2 chickens in Yeoville Johannesburg. I think he bought them because he felt sorry for them, not altogether sure – that part was unclear. However, he was unable to keep them, and was looking for a home for them immedietly.

Welcome Hannah (ex battery layer) and Sunshine (leghorn rooster). Hannah because it is a good Jewish name, and the man who brought the two chickens to us, was a religious Jew, and Sunshine, because I had a leghorn rooster when I was 6 years old called Sunshine. I was crazy for Sunshine as a child.

While this particular man has plucked these two chickens from the jaws of death, and from a partiicuarly awful life before that (see a previous post on battery hens) https://chickenrescueandrehabilitation.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/weekend-rescues-if-we-are-to-kill-animals-let-them-not-long-for-death-before-we-do-kill-them/ – there is a catch to just buying chickens to re home.

These chickens were being sold for informal backyard slaughter, and this goes on every weekend in every township and informal settlement in South Africa. So Sunshine and Hannah are going to have a good life, and that makes a difference to them, and we are pleased to have them – the bigger problem is this – if you are not able to provide a good home for these hens and roosters, or find one, please don’t just buy in an emotional momemt. It loads the already overloaded animal welfare system – and there are so many abused chickens out there, there is simply not enough resources to take care of them all. Or be prepared to work with the welfare organisations to make the life of that particular animal/s sustainable.

Hannah and Sunshine spent last night in my shower with some straw, food and water. I gave them both a dose of traumeel, a homeopathic remedy which supports these birds through bruising, shock and anxiety. Today Hannah will need a well needed pedicure

 Using dog clippers we will clip some of the nail off, being careful not to clip the blood supply and nerves in the nail. Over a period of days, we will wait for the nerve to retract a bit, and clip a little each time we feel we can do that safely without hurting her.

Hannah is also very pale, and lacking vitamins. See the pale colour of her face below.

She will go onto a diet of good quality laying pellets, dolomite (calcium amd magnesium), powdered spirulina, pro biotics and grated veg, such as carrot, cabbage, spinach and beetroot.

This morning I have put Sunshine and Hannah into an enclosed garden area, where they can start their first day of freedom. They will walk on grass for the first time, peck at leaves and bushes, forage in the ground around them, feel sun on their bodies, and be able to dustbath. These first few days are alwasy such a joy for me as I watch them grow in confidence and the anxiety and trauma of their past lives begin to leave them.  They have been out an hour, and although tired (they are understandably unfit), they are having the equivalent of a chicken blast!

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