Sunday, March 11, 2007

The horrible-ness of hens.

This is the hen hospital. Gross isn't it? In common with the majority of other hospitals the length and breadth of the land it is not a thing of beauty; it is not at one with its surroundings; it is of shoddy construction.* And - as if a humble and utilitarian timber frame is not sufficient - someone has had a bad and unnecessary attack of 'cuteness' - the exterior panels are illustrated with pictures of bunnies tucked up in bed. In bilious yellow. And green. Urgh. I also have grave doubts about Cleanliness.

Anyway it has served its purpose - an injured hen has spent a couple of weeks 'cooped up' in there, recuperating. We'll gloss over the 'why' but all's well that ends well and she's back on home ground now in The Henhouse on Wheels. (Only suffering moderate bullying - or hen pecking as it's known in poultry circles - as she re-establishes herself in the natural order of things.) I parked the hen hospital out of sight behind the greenhouse.

The next time I carry out a check another bird is definitely on the receiving end of some nasty treatment. The convalescent is cowering on a perch, another is traumatised in a corner and the other two have suspiciously bloody beaks. They are systematically pecking bits out of the bird on the ground. This is truly gross. She has a flayed patch two or three centimetres in diameter on her rump which I suspect started out as a bit of feather that looked like a grub but is now is a nasty wound.

I catch her and remove her from her cannibalistic sisters. The horrid hen hospital re emerges and the next patient is installed.

*A noteworthy exception to this rule of incongruity is the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick but it has been there since the 14th century and doesn't have to accommodate either the general public or horrible hens.

1 comment:

The Eyechild said...

I wonder if anyone's written a James Herbert style horror novel about Hens..

Somehow I doubt it