Battery hens recharged with change of lifestyle…

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October 18, 2014 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette on October 9th. 2014

WITH the ready help of a fellow allotmenteer, the lady on the allotment plot adjacent to mine has built a chicken run and brought in four rescued battery hens. They were a sorry, moth eaten and forlorn sight when they first arrived. Their best egg laying days over, decrepit, hardly able to walk, unused to the daylight or the open space, crooked, misshapen toes and bereft of much of their plumage especially around the nether regions and, no doubt, destined for pet food. Happy to say these four are now brighter, more feathery, scratching away at the ground, strutting their stuff, laying a few eggs, clucking and, I do believe, smiling. Be sure when you buy free range eggs you are buying guaranteed free rangers as that, after seeing the state of those poor birds, will be my intention. There are several genuine outlets dotted around Littlehampton where you can actually see the hens doing their free range thing. It is best to see them in situ rather than put too much faith in the label on an egg box. There really is no need for creatures of any kind to be treated in the cruel way of battery hens. I tip my Stetson to that gentle lady and her new birds.

GREY, wet start to autumn. We have been spoiled rotten weatherwise here on the coast and the cool darkness comes as a bit of a shock – even the Prom crows seemed more miserable than usual. Weather did not spoil my out of town visit to the Sompting Morris Dancers conkers gig at the Henty Arms in Ferring on Saturday, however. It was a fun family event and a good turnout in spite of the rain. I have a secret admiration for those bell and ribbon clad folk laughing and doing their thing with stave clanking gusto, it is so part of Sussex rural life and nearly always at a pub which adds somewhat to the fun even though I came away with a conker bruised wrist.

WEDNESDAY is polling day for the referendum on the Littlehampton Neighbourhood Plan. Your support is needed if you are to retain control of the future of your town and not leave it all in the slippery hands of the politicians. A big turnout is very important.


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