Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Monday 11 June 2012

Leaving hentensive care

Tiny Hen tonight chose to go in with her fellow hens to sleep in the Mega Hen pen. Am pleased she feels well enough to do this, but am a bit sad she is no longer my "House hen"

She spent a lot of her day, today, outside in the barn, sheltering from the torrential rain but with free access to the garden  and was mixing with the other hens without any problem.

She looks SO MUCH better for the four days in hentensive care :-)
At shutting in time she ran back and forth between me and the other hens in the run  not sure where to go I suspect - but eventually settled on being with them, as is right and proper. Hens are social creatures and she needs to be with her feathery sisters :-) 

Fingers crossed she is healed ...I gave her a few herbs as  remedies to eat and some aromatherapy oils gently massaged in while she was in my care inside, also a lot of simply holding and stroking and cuddling and loving.

Not sure which helped the most but frankly do not care as what ever it was I did, it seems to have saved her for now. I really thought she was going to die on my lap in the first few hours after I got her out of the Mega Hen pen on Thurs :-(

She laid a HUGE soft shelled egg on Thurs - and has laid nothing since. She was looking like she would die AFTER laying the soft egg, which was odd as usually hens experience relief after laying. She did not have an elevated temp, so no infection and she has not laid since then but does not look egg bound and I am hoping she will just go into a natural moult and shed/regrow feather and stop laying while she does so -

For the last four days I have been feeding her high protein food, I have  increased calcium in her feed  and she has eaten loads - I have also upped her corn/oat feed and dropped the layers pellet right off to hopefully promote a moult.
I suspect she was just getting so bullied, not eating properly, she is still bald and still trying to lay and it all got too much for her. Hopefully she will pick up but I WILL hoick her out back into hentensive care tomorrow if I think she is not progressing properly again.
Ho hum ex batts are sent to test our resourcefulness to deal with a crisis!!


  1. We had a Chicken Whisperer in our Community Garden who cuddled and nurtured our sick hens! Love the 'hentensive'!

  2. Some of our endangered chicken breeds are feather eaters and would peck some of the others bald. We'd tried all kinds of remedies, thinking it was a nutritional problem. It turned out that Vitamin C helped when they are pecking someone (or more than one) bald. They didn't want to eat citrus so I mixed Vitamin C supplement in with their feed.


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