The Good Life ...

Anita Heyes, Windsor Crescent, Aspull, with her four ex battery hens that she has named after Emmerdale characters
Anita Heyes, Windsor Crescent, Aspull, with her four ex battery hens that she has named after Emmerdale characters

A WIGAN family are getting a taste of the good life after adopting a quartet of hens.

Anita and Jeff Heyes were inspired to taken in the chickens after reading about local farmer Alison Thorpe who rescues battery birds by the hundred.

And with the cost of eggs now averaging a record 30 pence, Aspull mum-of-three Anita reckons she has a bargain as each usually delivers one every day.

Being a fan of Emmerdale she has named her brood after characters from the TV soap: namely Diane, Laurel, Leyla and Betty (would that be Egg-leton then?) while the coop has been nicknamed The Woolie.

Anita says that she and Jeff have always been interested in that Good Life/back-to-nature lifestyle and are very keen on recycling and also look after rescue dogs.

But they figured that they didn’t have enough room for chickens in their back yard too.

However, after consulting Alison, who reminded them that whatever space they had would be far greater and more comfortable than the conditions in which the hens had lived to date, they gave it a go.

“And we have never looked back,” said perfume saleswoman Anita. “The chickens are no trouble at all, we can feed them vegetable scraps and such like and old newspapers make for good bedding, so we are recycling too, and we get free eggs every day to boot.

“We have five dogs at the moment and keep them apart although one Jack Russell did get into the coop a while ag. I should say that the hens attacked him and he came off worse!

“We were inspired by The Good Life and the article we saw in the paper about the Amberswood farmer who is rescuing former battery chickens. We got two quite manky ones and two nice ones, one of which is so fine that we call her Diane after the Woolpack landlady. Sad, I know!”

Anyone wanting to adopt a rescue chicken can call Alison Thorpe on 01942 254249.