Jo Barlow celebrates a special day with her chickens

February 1, 2013, was a very special day in our hen and human household. Miss Bella Chicken and Miss Bunty Goodchicken celebrated their two year Henniversary. Two years as free range girls, means they have now spent longer out of the battery cage than in it and those evil cages will be a long forgotten memory. All they will now hold in their heads are memories of freedom, Cornish sunshine and love.

Bella is my top hen; she arrived as a frightened and aggressive featherless fighter. She attacked me, her sisters and anything that came near her. But since her dramatic first night, Bella has become a fair and gentle top girl, although firm if needs be, and is always first across the garden to tell me about her day. Never a sick day in her free range life, Bella has breezed through her moult and is now resplendent in her new feathers, complete with showgirl tail.

Miss Bunty Goodchicken’s journey to her Henniversary has been more up and down. She has battled illness – a prolapse, subsequent operation and implant and more recently the dreaded egg peritonitis. Her recent moult was a blessing in disguise as she stopped laying internally and was able to come off her medication. However, her ‘ups’ have more than made up for her health troubles. She has been a covergirl and the recipient of a Braveheart Award (complete with medal and certificate, both so proudly displayed!) from her vet as well as attending a photoshoot and is more than worthy of the much coveted Goodchicken name.

So our Hen Party began with a warm porridgey breakfast, a game of fatball football and later a corn-on-the-cob-fest complete with special Henniversary cakes and candles. Two special candles were lit for Brigit Chicken and Bertha Chicken who sadly did not live to see this day; both girls passing away last March, just a month after celebrating their one year Henniversary.

After the obligatory Henniversary photographs, the day was rounded off with a rousing chorus of ‘Happy Henniversary to you…’

Did I really sing to them? Of course!!

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