it will be two weeks tomorrow since we got our ex-battery chickens. Until now they have been confined to the small run underneath their hen house. Today I let them into a large area that I fenced off inside the main chicken run. I had to spend quite a while sat in with them in case they managed to get in with the other chickens.
When I opened their cage they took a while to pluck (no pun intended!) up courage to venture out. They were quite twitchy and panicked slightly when aeroplanes and large birds flew over. They seemed to get quite tired and spent quite a lot of time back in the run under their house. It was weird to think that they had never really walked more than a few steps at a time before.
Their new feathers are just starting to grow, and when you compare these with the photos I took on the day we got them their combs look a lot redder. When we got them their claws had to be cut because they were nearly an inch long because they had never used them. Since we got them they have learned to scratch the ground and are just beginning to move over from battery hen food to regular food.
The next stage will be to remove the fence between them and the other hens.