In the past I have kept hens and found them to be bright, active creatures that love to stretch their wings, scratch around for bugs, dust bath etc., in fact all the things wild birds do.
My hens would follow me round as I dug the garden so they could grab the odd worm; if I was sitting in the sun they would sit next to me with their wings stretched out also enjoying the warmth; they would love to go onto their tip toes flapping their wings to have a good stretch and sometimes they would just run round the garden chasing a fly. They were happy hens and showed it by producing lots of lovely eggs.
I was therefore horrified to read on the RSPCA website that Defra is currently considering new EU legislation which would reduce the current space that a chicken raised for meat in this country is allowed. When you consider the current area allowed in this country is only about the size of an A4 sheet of paper you can see why I am upset by this.
We wouldn't allow wild birds like Blackbirds, Bluetits or Robins (or any wild animal) to be confined in an equivalent small space but hens are really no different to wild birds. Their natural instinct along with every other living thing is to move. Sometimes I am ashamed to be human.
If you feel like I do please take a minute to go to the RSPCA's website http://www.rspca.org.uk/ and join their campaign 'Quash the Squash'.
Ludwig Loewe visits Nymans Gardens
12 hours ago