Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Doing a very good thing

A rainy afternoon hello to you dear friends & readers,
Well where did May disappear to I ask you??!!

Over the long weekend I went out to visit with my eldest son Aaron & his lovely partner Sarah.
(they live out in the country on a block of land about 35 minutes away from me)

Last year Aaron & Sarah (after much homework),  began a "chook project" 
This involved them purchasing chooks from Battery Hen Farms & undertaking to "rehabilitate" them & then sell them on as free-range laying hens.
At approx 12 -13 months old the battery hens are considered to be past their best "point of lay" & so they are "moved on"

It is at this age that Sarah & Aaron are able to purchase them for $4.00 each - they arrive in varying states of health - mostly they have no feathers left & all need their nails clipping as they have grown around the wires of their cages
 The chooks do not know how to walk normally as they have spent their entire lives in cages up to this point
Once their nails are clipped, they then have to learn to walk properly (& out on grass), eat & drink, & generally act like a normal free-range chook does.
When they undertook this project Sarah & Aaron had commissioned a lovely large purpose-built chook house for them plus they fenced off an area of their land for the chooks to live in.

Aaron feeding them pellets

Once it became apparent that some of the chooks needed to be separated from the others as some came with very "special needs", then they fenced off another area & built a smaller chook house for these "special needs chooks"

slowly their feathers begin to grow back as their health improves & their combs turn from pale pink to red

Here is a picture of some of them - we have Hoppy (came with a broken leg), Dot (wouldn't mix with/ timid around any other chooks) & Karate Kid (very aggressive with other chooks) 
(yes I must confess to becoming slightly alarmed when they named them all!!!)

Then we have the lovely Beaky . . . 

You can see how she got her name - she was born with a deformed beak & has struggled to eat properly all her life - so Sarah discovered she likes her pellets made into a sloppy mash & she has her own special chair so she can eat up away from the others . . . 

Beaky has absolutely thrived & gone from being such a scared timid chook - to being so friendly & always right there looking what you are doing . . .  quite the nosey parker.
(since starting this post Beaky has found a lovely new owner & is very settled in)

I must confess that I simply imagined that the chooks would all arrive, settle into their new homes & think "wow - this is what heaven must feel like - green grass, food on tap etc etc"
However ... this has not been the case ...
They are quite traumatised when they arrive & often very aggressive & pick on each other & I guess, are so used to just fighting to survive
Often they come with lots of illnesses that have gone undetected til now - or if detected, then left untreated
This involves often a course of medication & so they have to be kept that much longer before being able to be rehomed
The treated ones eggs cannot be sold either - at least until they have finished their medication

(this pic was taken last year when Mum was visiting)

Aaron & Sarah both have careers that involve long working hours - so I asked Sarah why she undertook such a time-consuming project?
her answer was simple . . .
"everyone should do their little bit to make the world a better place"
She is sooo right :-)

Why - hello there !!!!!

There are some other "folks" that I very much enjoy visiting with when I go out there too

Little Feebie in her basket (an abandoned dog Sarah rescued a few years ago)

Aaron & Sarah have 4 female dogs & 1 male cat (Sonic)
Let me put it this way ....  if I had to be someones pet ...  please Lord let me get to live at their house...

I know you are not supposed to have favourites but this girl in particular,  melts my heart
Mina is a Neopolitan Mastiff

this is Mina (ming, she is sometimes called) - I just adore her & have known her since she was a tiny new puppy

such a sad face but such a happy life

she frequently has slobber over her

there are other stars too ...

They have 2 Black Russian Terriers - Mischa & Nika - I can hardly tell them apart but they would not pose for a photo together for me (I have known them since tiny new puppies also)
& Sonic the cat was asleep in the hot water cupboard & not posing for the camera that day :-)
Nika was always the "runt" of the litter but she has grown up to be an incredibly intelligent dog & so protective
This photo greeting was in my inbox the other morning & quite made my day

Look at those beautiful brown eyes :-)

Its always a pleasure visiting with them all - adults + pets alike :-)
I always drive home with a smile on my face & a warm feeling in my heart
I am so proud of the "difference" they are making in their little part of the world.

And as for craft related pursuits . . .
I managed to top up the old leather suitcase that I display all my wool blanket cats & rabbits in this past week
(I have sold a few lately & it was looking depleted)

I very much enjoy making these wee critters

Sometimes I have runs on selling mostly cats ...
then other times of selling only rabbits !!!???
I also made 2 cushions while I had the wool blankets out...

the larger size one was only intended to have a ruffle across the top
but I decided - when finished - it looked too plain so I added the red  wool heart which I blanket stitched on by hand

the stripey blue one was the result of a picture I had seen awhile ago on pinterest
& really loved the tiny buttons stitched in a heart design & framed as a picture
So I put my own version together, stitched them onto Osnaberg & made up into a cushion

Both cushions were meant for the Cottage but I am finding myself rather partial to the blue one & rather like it sitting on my couch with my other 2 blanket cushions . . . 

Incidently the blue striped blanket was bought from the Op Shop in the "pet blankets bin" for $3.00!!!  In a filthy state but its amazing how a good soak in Napisan & some sunshine can do wonders :-)

I hope you have found some creativity or some me-time in your week folks as winter sets in here in our little corner of the world.
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by & "see me"
I do so appreciate your visits.
Wishing you all a great week ahead
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie x0x0x


  1. What a beautiful post! reminds me of years ago when I rescued some battery hens, they do have hard time adjusting, poor things. seeing them in the state they live, their deformities etc is why I eat only free range eggs & meat. I'm with you, I would be happy to live with your son & his partner, look how they treat the animals.......just how every animal should be, with love.
    Glad you got some sewing done on some more lovely creations.
    P.S I like the new header!

  2. Interesting post Julie - I would have been like you in thinking about how the rescued chooks settled into their new home. Good on Aaron and Sarah for doing this. Me thinks they love animals - they have a real menagerie there.
    Good to see you finding some crafting time; your little critters have so much personality!

  3. A very good thing indeed!! What a heart-warming story..I love it! I can see why you so enjoy your visits down the road. It really is that simple, isn't it..we all just need to do a little to make a difference. Kindness, compassion & caring right where we are is such a great way to live life. There will never be any regrets that way, even though sometimes we could do more..there'll always be more poor chookies to rescue..sadly.
    Your critters are adorable..funny the random selling thing. Mind you I don't know which I prefer myself!
    I quite understand your reluctance to part with the new cushions..buttons & heart shapes & old blanket will do it for me every time!
    After a sparkling long weekend it is pretty miserable here too..but fair enough I guess, it is winter by now.
    Much love & friendship.
    Catherine x0x0x

  4. WOW what beautiful work and from the heart your son and his partner do.
    You should be very proud. My goodness it is just making me want to go adopt a bunch of furry or feathered babies.
    And those pics what lovely sprawling green lush land. Sooooo beautiful!
    Okay now for your stitching. I dream of being able to stitch so neat and clean. You are inspiring me to try harder and take my time while stitching. I just adore your suitcase full of plushies.
    Thank you friend for all your kind words today and I can feel your hugs from so many miles away.

  5. Love the story about the chooks. It's very heart warming, especially about Beaky. What a sweetie! Lovely display of wee critters.

  6. Hello Julie,

    Congrats to Aaron and Sarah for rescuing the chooks. Loved hearing about how they look after them.Have fun making your lovely projects, they are rather cute, I especially love the cushion with the bunch of flowers.

    happy days.

  7. What a lovely post Julie, it's so nice to hear of people taking care of animals, and in this case rescuing them and restoring them to health! It is so nice to have chickens and enjoy their different personalities and their eggs! Your cushions and bunnies are lovely, they look very cuddly and warm. Hugs Wendy


  8. Hi Julie,

    Thank you so much for your kind words on my bloggy, I have loved the pics of doggys all looking very happy in their homes...


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