Debbie, Christiaano and their flock – a month of glorification of the chicken – post 18 of 30!

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Hi my name is Debbie. I am an animal lover. I do volunteer work at a animal shelters, study part-time and work in the day for a building company. I have four rescued dogs, now own a few chickens and would love to adopt the goat that’s video was placed on you tube last week.

Where in the world are you?

Cape Town , South Africa but my girls live in Robertson

Chickens & Names

I have ten hens:

How do you spend quality time with your chickens?

I adopted my ex-bats from various places. My First two ladies came from Mandela Park in Hout Bay. At the time I was supervising on site , and one of the workers went and bought me two white girls. My next girls came from Chicken rescue Cape Town. And my last few from Guguletu informal Traders. I only wanted to buy Three ex-bats that day and ended up with seven.

What has surprised you most about your chickens?

Introducing my new seven ex-bats two weeks ago, has challenged the pecking order. For the first time I truly saw where the saying originated from

What do you want to tell people out there (who don’t know chickens as a species) about chickens?

These are the first chickens I have ever owned, as well as Christiaano my angolian employee. We have had to learn as we go along. It has been great fun in watching our girls get more confident and fatter and healthier. Introducing my new seven ex-bats two weeks ago, has challenged the pecking order. For the first time I truly saw where the saying originated from.

I was always heartsore at the condition of my ex-battery hens on arrival. But never had a chicken that could not walk at all. Until my last rescue. I bought home Petri ( now fondly referred to as cluck,cluck) I thought she was just dehydrated and starved when I first got her and she fell over. The next day her head was lifted and she still did not walk. I began to worry that Petri was ill , but a few days later the discovery was made that she had never been given the opportunity to learn to walk. I have now had ‘cluck-cluck’ for a week and a half, she is slowly standing and walks a few steps at a time. But she tires quickly. She comes to work with me, to college and sleeps inside with a blanket over her at night.

My other girls are on the farm free ranging. The dogs have all been taught to leave them alone. A long slow process 🙂 I hope that some of them will live a long ripe old age.

I have realised that every single time you save a life, there will be a different emotion with it. And every single little soul a different personality.

How do you know that your chickens recognise you over and above

other people in their lives?

My chickens live with my Angolian who manages my little farm for me in Robertson. They don’t really recognise me much,(though I like to believe they know I rescued them originally),,,,,, but run to the car when I arrive.

When Christiano shouts ‘cuuc,cuuc cuuc’ they all run to him . They will happily follow him off to the Chicken coup and go to bed for the evening. It is beautiful to watch. They follow him everywhere. If he crosses our stream , they will cross it with him.

In your experience of keeping chickens as pets, what 10 non-negotiable factors do you believe need to be in place to give chickens a life that is physically, emotionally and mentally healthy?

The companionship of others. The need to feel the sun on their bodies, the ability to wander and eat all our home grown vegetables. Being able to run around the farm and explore on their own. Fighting amongst themselves as to who is the Alpha female. A good diet and having the freedom to lay an egg when desired. Sleeping at night without forced daylight, and hearing them purr.

If you could say one thing, on behalf of chickens in the world, to the decision makers in your country, what would that one thing be?

If I were a chicken I would say, “I am an earthling , please take care of me. ”

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