I've been meaning to show you all photographs taken at The Village Show for ages now, finally got round to posting them over at Renaissance Life divided into several seperate posts so hopefully they won't take to long loading. Pop over and take a look at sheepdogs, vintage cars and lots of heavy horses.
"There are more of them on this planet than any other bird. 24 billion in fact. They are the closest living relative to Tyrannosaurus Rex. Yet we know little about the lives of chickens. Is there really a pecking order in the farmyard? Are they truly bird brained or are they quite clever? What does all that clucking mean? Why do some birds change sex? Farmer Jimmy Doherty wants to know and he spends a week on a Devon farm to discover just what goes on behind the hen house door."
John from Going Gently was recently given some battery chickens to, I believe, fatten up as meat birds, he is calling them "Ghost Hens". Go over and take a look, then come back here and see what commercially reared free range hens look like at a year old when they are due to be culled.
These hens were purchased, by a friend of ours, from a free range farm for £2.00 each. The ones he didn't buy were packed in crates and sent for slaughter.
Not sure if these photographs show clearly enough but these hens are frightened of the open space and are huddling round their house. You can see they are in a dreadful state.
A few years ago we "rescued" some ex battery hens and even they weren't in such a bad state as these poor things.
If an individual kept chickens in their gardens and allowed them to get in this state I would imagine the RSPCA would take them away and probably even prosecute and yet this is acceptable for commercially kept chickens.
Most of us are willing to pay a premium for free range eggs believing that the birds have a better quality of life than caged birds, unfortunately it still isn't good enough and the public are being led up the garden path with images of beautiful hens happily clucking around a field.
If anything hi-lights the need to produce our own eggs (and meat if you are so inclined) by keeping a few chickens in the garden I think these hens do.
If anyone would like to use these photographs to hi-light the plight of free range hens then please feel free to do so.
I'm incredibly lucky because my family and I live in town but also work in an orchard growing apples, pears and plums. We're only a few miles from the sea so we get the very best of British Town, Country & Coastal Living.
We have dogs and cats, horses, ferrets, chickens and quail, a tortoise, a parrot and a jackdaw called Sparrow who was rescued from the orchard with a broken wing.
We have a lot of fun.
We're passionate about the British countryside, wildlife, gardening, antiques, animals, books, art, design,vintage, home, food, living (and trading) in an ethical and environmentally sustainable way.