Before I’ve even had time to get some decent photos, and do a blog post about our new Ex Battery Hens, poor Delilah is gone.
She was a funny little bird. Very tufty. Very loud, and very stressed. All the other chooks picked on her. Mostly they would peck at her if she came near them or near food they wanted. But two of the other battie’s would follow her and peck at her.
Mind you, if they left her alone, she would start plucking at herself.
We kept her in a separate run for a few days, and in a transport box overnight to stop them ganging up on her.
She had a few days lately out in the chook forest with everyone else. She ached to be with them, but they would chase her. Or if they even pecked near her she would run making squawky sounds and flapping her stubby wings. She always seemed to be on the move.
She looked so little with only stubby bits of her big feathers, and none of the fluffy soft stuff underneath.
She went to bed in the big chicken coop after her first day out in the forest. She double bunked into one of the next boxes with another chook. So we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.
Next morning up early to let them out. She was getting some pecking but not too badly, so another day out with the other chooks. The next day, not so early to let them out and poor Delilah was up on the third rung of the ladder with some blood on her tail feathers.
She was fine out in the forest, as she had plenty of room to get away from the others if needed.
The next night I took her out of the pen and put her in the other side to sleep along. Trouble was, she looked so upset and miserable the next day.
So last night, when we checked the chooks just as night fell, we thought there were two birds in the end nest box. It’s hard to see them even with the torch, when they scrunch up together. So we locked up.
This morning I went down extra early to let them out so Delilah wouldn’t have problems. Only 3 battie’s came out. I counted them twice.
I checked the nest boxes from the back. No Delilah. I walked thru the chook forest. Along the gully, then checked out the back of the chookhouse towards the dam. And there were some feathers. Short stubby ones.
I can’t believe that we didn’t hear her outside. She was never a quiet little bird. Always a stressy squawk wherever she went!
I feel so sorry for her. She and Feryl Beral obviously suffered quite badly from being in the cages. Both stressy and tufty. We were hoping that as she spent more time with the others, and got more feathers, that she might settle down a bit more and enjoy herself.
I feel sad that her uncaged life was so short. It doesn’t seem fair. But at least she got to walk (run) around the chook forest. To spread her short stubby wings, and wave them in the air, which she did frequently. I’m glad she got to try different foods. She didn’t do much scratching in the ground, altho she was learning how.
She did, however, get to do that funny thing where they spread their wings slightly and then fall over to the side. Laying there with one wing slightly raised and the eyes shut, in the sun.
I’m glad for Delilah, that we had so many sunny days since she got here. She didn’t get much out of life – but at least she got to feel the sun on her poor scrawny little bod. Rest in Peace Delilah. Hope there’s lots of sun for you from now on.