Some of you may remember our Here Come the Girls blog post from last year when a group of rescued battery hens arrived at Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel looking a little worse for wear. Youth hostel manager, Caroline, gives us an update on the Cairngorm Girls one year on...

“The Girls are doing great! Betty Blue, Priscilla Pink, Daftie white, Yolanda Yellow Prunella Purple continue to go from strength to strength however sadly Gladys Green passed away due to unknown causes.

The Girls now spend their days roaming free around the youth hostel grounds, taking dust baths under the bushes, chasing the ducks off sharing their food with the wee birds.

Daftie White lost her leg ring over the winter but the others remain intact so we can still tell the hens apart. We also discovered that The Girls do not enjoy the snow at all - they would rather hop on any available surface than have to trudge through the white stuff! Staff even had to dig a chicken path through the snow to allow The Girls to get around in the garden.

Summer of 2014 saw, on average, 1 egg per chicken per day being laid although this has slowed a bit during the winter. The eggs are available for a 20p donation in the youth hostel and they always sell like hotcakes! The Girls have also gone through a moult - where they shed and replace feathers - during which time egg production stops. On doing some gardening last year we discovered a clutch of around 20 odd eggs under some thick bushes in the garden well away from the coop… one (or some) of the girls had been sneaking off and laying outside! Naughty Girlies!

What's next?
2015 will see a new coop being built for The Girls as the original one took quite a beating over the harsh winter. This new coop will be funded entirely by egg sales donations from hostellers who love to watch the antics of The Girls here at Cairngorm Lodge.”

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