Amelia Update: Our Bushfire Survivor

Amelia with all her friends at NSW Hen Rescue’s 2nd Micro Sanctuary located on the Mid-North Coast of NSW

By Charlotte Lim

Amelia was surrendered to NSW Hen Rescue after the Charmhaven bush fires. Although she had survived, she suffered from severe burns to her face, eye, comb and feet, and had experienced the horrific trauma of seeing her three other hen friends and one horse perish at the same property. Severely dehydrated by the time the rescue team had gotten her, Amelia was rushed to the vets and placed on a drop. The flesh on her right foot had been burned right through to expose her tendon. She had her feet soaked in iodine before burn cream and bandages were applied. For the next few months, Amelia would have twice weekly vet visits for bandage change and burn assessments. She was on constant pain relief and anti-biotics. The prognosis was grim.

But Amelia is a fighter and a survivor. The team at Hen Rescue received updates that during each vet visit, Amelia would be much brighter. Her blood tests showed that, luckily, there was no internal organ damage, and she began drinking on her own.

Amelia settling in for her first dustbaths at her forever home in Mid-North Coast NSW

Amelia then had surgery to remove her one burned eye. Despite her total vet bill mounting to $2200, our Hen Heroes and generous donors banded together to ensure that she received the care she needed. Amelia lived in-doors at Hen Rescue Headquarters as she healed. Slowly, her comb healed and so did her feet. Despite her injuries, Amelia made the most of her new home – perching on the sofa and watching Neighbours with Catherine (founder and CEO of Hen Rescue) each night.

Amelia with her best friend Chantelle

Amelia was understandably, very cautious of her human carers. Due to the burns on her feet, she wasn’t able to go outside and make friends with any of the other hens at Hen Rescue Headquarters. When her physical injuries had healed, a decision was made to rehome her to our Mid-North Coast Micro-Sanctuary run by Ana, NSW Hen Rescue’s director.

Amelia has lived with Ana since the 10th of March. When she arrived at her new home, Amelia met Chantelle, another hen who was rescued the very same week. Both new girls were introduced to each other, and to Ana’s surprise, Amelia didn’t run away or quarrel with Chantelle. They became instant best friends and were introduced to the rest of the Mid-North Coast flock. Chantelle has a very calm and gentle personality which melds well with Amelia. She gets along well with everyone, and has helped Amelia warm to other members of the flock – when Chantelle is off exploring and scratching around the garden with Cora, Amelia spends time with her other close friends Tilly and Saskia.

Amelia enjoys getting up high onto the garden furniture and being able to see everything with everyone. Since she only has one eye, we think this makes her feel safer. Amelia’s favourite treat is sunflower seeds, followed very closely by corn. Although she gets fed a whole bunch of delicious things like watermelon and oats with cinnamon, she zooms up to munch up sunflower seeds fresh from the plant.

Amelia is settling in so well and each day she has warmed more and more to Ana. Now, she doesn’t move away when Ana comes to take photos or spend time with the hens. She’s safe, loved and happy.

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