So.... I am thinking of contacting the local egg farm and trying to buy some of their old battery hens. We want more egg layers/mature hens right away and since we are probably getting some Americaunas from a hatchery, we don't want an exceptional number of chickies all at once. (we had 6 last year and they were a little overwhelming.) I have a million-billion quenstions about this. I searched the fourm, but I dint find many answers. If you have any answers or even any good advice, please lay it on me! My first questions: Procurement: If the farm in the next town isnt willing to give up its hens, how d I find a different source? Internet search has proven pretty useless. Egg laying: Is it true that supposedly "spent" hens will continue to lay eggs once they are in healthier conditions, such as my yard? how long will these hens normally live, and how much of that time will be productive egg time? HOw long after I bring them home will they porduce eggs? How long will it take for any antibiotics/junk adative to their food to clear thier bodies and not show up in the eggs? Are these hens productive and reliable layers? athey dont ahve to be perfect, but I do want to get egs porportionate to the number of birds ai am feeding. Bringing home: How long to quarentine? THe only place I could put them is my garage. (Or if I am really desperate, an unused bathroom or my basement). How cold a night could they stand? Feed: Right now my hens are on a mixture of Purena Layena in the blue bag and the increased-omega 3 layena. Will these hens need anything different? I am sure the egg farm is not feeding 100% vegetarian omega-3-added feed. in fact, they are porbably feeding the cheapest hting they can find. (This is not an Eggland's best or anything like that. They make thie kind of eggs I will not buy becaseu to me, they taste like fish.) So what is the best way to change them over to the feed I use? Will they need any vitamin suppliments or anything at first? Behavior: Will they know how to scartch and hunt for bugs? WIll they learn form the other hens? Will they be terrified the first time the rooster tries to mate with them? I am thinking of putting my gentler rooster in with them after the quarrentine period is over. If it does scare them (it would me!) will they get over it/learn from the other hens? I have heard stories of battery hens that were even afraid of grass. They get over that, right? Will they have any lasting behavior issues I should know about? (remember, I already have one hen who cannot be trusted outside bacause she wanders away at night. I need some SANE normal hens, not more psych patients! ) First Aid: I understand they frequently do not have many feathers. HOw can I keep them warm/help the feathers grow back? Are they prone to any particular injuries, for example, broken bones from poor nutrition? OK, enough questions for now! After my rooster fiasco, I am not too keen on taking in new critters without asking an extensive number of questions. I really need to know what to expect. Thanks guys!