Introducing "Vera's View"
Tales of daily life from Vera the rescue chicken
Who am I?
Hi, my name is Vera and I spent the first 18 months of my life working flat out 24/7 laying eggs in a battery farm. I’m really a very intelligent and inquisitive girl so that lifestyle did not suit me at all and I got very stressed. One of the things us chickens do when we are bored or unhappy is pull our feathers out.
This is what I looked like when I was rescued from slaughter by the British Hen Welfare Trust in September 2020 and adopted by the kind people here at Wray Valley at the same time as a fellow hen from the same place. I was featherbare and my comb was very pale, small and floppy.
And here I am a few weeks later as my feathers started to grow back but my comb is still a bit floppy as it takes a lot of energy to grow back feathers.
What happened next?
The two of us were introduced into a small existing flock of rescued hens and on the day of arrival were named by a young B&B guest. That’s when I became known Vera and the other new arrival was called “Cupcake” because she was smaller than the rest of the flock. We stuck together alot but the others picked on me as I looked so odd. I was hen-pecked and had to be isolated for my own protection while they got used to me and my feathers started to grow back. I just hid under a board to get away from everyone.
Gradually my feathers grew back and I gained in confidence and got to explore the grounds here at Wray Valley. My favourite spots are the compost heaps and the newly dug flower beds! Then, in the depths of Winter, Avian Flu was detected and we all had to go into Flockdown 1 – confined to the coop and a small run outside. Very boring and very muddy! This lasted for nearly 3 months but once the migrating birds went home we were allowed out again to wander free range across the grounds.
Meeting the guests
Last year I really settled in, first I got a bit broody but soon snapped out of that with the help of Keving and Michelle and since then I’ve been laying eggs very regularly to feed ourB&B guests and to sell to campers. I enjoy meeting young children particularly when they have a handful of corn and many are really excited but a little scared to meet me. Strangely they don’t seem so keen to help clean out the coop in the morning. If you are camping here I may take a stroll down to your campsite to take a look around (I really like apples and red berries).
I’m not so keen on dogs – mainly because they seem to want to chase me round the garden and can normally run faster than I can. I can fly a bit but its more like assisted running, so please make sure you keep your dog under control when I’m out of the coop.
All was going really well, I was the biggest chicken and top of the pecking order when Avian Flu came back much earlier than last year. I see you’ve all been released from your lockdown and restrictions and I can’t wait for those migratory birds to go home again so we can be let out. Should be soon now….
Meanwhile I’ll keep you informed of the happenings here.