Battery Hen Rescue-Free Range

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Piton, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Piton

    Piton Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2016
    One of my neighbours a few years wanted to start keeping poultry.
    She got 4 battery hens that had finished their battery hen lifespan , had been rescued by a charity and given free of charge to suitable homes.
    Apparently the hens were in poor condition on arrival.
    But with tender loving care and a generous grass chicken run improved significantly health wise and were still producing a significant number of eggs.
    I have considered getting battery rescue hens.
    Would this be a good idea or would they be riddled with disease?
    I look forward to advice from members of BackYard chickens.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I personally haven't had any, as I don't think they do that here, but I do know they shouldn't be diseased because of the way they are kept and how they are probably vaccinated for stuff. The posts I have read on them mostly seems to be about them learning what it is to be chickens and how they interact with each other as they aren't familiar with a flock structure and are probably not kept with their cage mates when rescued, so they have no familiar faces to be with. So you are dealing with some traumatized birds who need a kind keeper.
     
  3. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your talking about hens out of laying houses for egg production.

    There tons of them in my area. Most of the time they are gotten rid of about 14 to 18 months of age. Right before they molt.

    I have gotten a few in the past. Most of the time you will get a few weeks of eggs before they stop to molt. After they molt they are laying machines. And reasonably pretty chicken.

    Most are a red sex linked chicken.

    They only issues I've had is they seem easily succeptible to colds. But I free range and they are not climate controlled anymore. So it's bad to say but I have lost several.

    Most can be bought for 2 to 3 dollars a piece.

    As far as flock integration they can be bossy and rough especially around the feeders but eventually they fall in line with the pecking order.
     
  4. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    I rescued 4 ex-bat girls. Paid $2 for each. I was so glad to give them a kind and gentle home.
    They were de-beaked (which I don't agree with) and they all were in molt and had terrible lice.
    They were quarantined, fed a good diet, treated for lice and worms. You would not believe how those girls BLOOMED! It brought tears to my eyes to see them doing what chickens SHOULD be doing.

    They were all good sweet girls and gave eggs every other day.
    Sadly, 3 have passed on. The lone survivor is 5 & 1/2 years old, her name is Wools.
    She is the kindest hen in the coop. She mothers the rest of the flock and grooms them all with her blunt little beak every day.
    She doesn't lay anymore but that's ok-- she is our senior coop momma.
    She follows my hubby all over the yard and is very loyal to him. When he pulls into the driveway, she has a certain tone to her excited cluck-- just for him.
    I WILL rescue more if the opportunity presents. The whole experience made me a better person.
     
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just out of curiosity, what were they "rescued" from? A burning building? A sinking ship?
    If they were in poor condition it's probably from the "rescuers" not taking proper care of them, but layers are usually skinny scrawny birds anyway. They're bred that way so inputs go to producing eggs, not body mass.
    A commercial flock is a well cared for flock. Sick & diseased hens don't make money for the farm.
    It takes a cage raised chicken a while to grasp "freedom" but they're still basically a regular ole chicken and soon get with the program.
     
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  6. Piton

    Piton Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2016
    How did you treat them for worms and lice?
    Did they die earlier than chicken that have been free range all their life?
    Interestingly Dolly the cloned sheep did not live very long because she was essentially cloned from old DNA.
    Obviously the chickens would not be cloned but possibly bred for short term performance.
     
  7. Piton

    Piton Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2016
    Rescued was the term used by my Neighbour.
    And indeed "rescue" is a highly emotive word.
    I believe they were going to be terminated and possibly become part of the compost heap or maybe crocodile food.
    I think the term" Rescue" appeals to people and possible elevates their ego to the level of Captain America of the battery hen world.
     
  8. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Rescued from a man on the other end of town that bought too many ex-bat girls from a commercial henhouse up North.
    He did not have proper shelter for them. He thought he had himself a great money maker, I suppose.
    He was NOT set up to care for and house those hens! No coop, no safety-- nothing.
    We heard he had them, went over, took four of them and gave him what he paid for them.
    Hardly a "burning building" or a "sinking ship".
    This cause is very near and dear to my heart and I don't regret it one bit.
     
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  9. Piton

    Piton Out Of The Brooder

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    What happens to the battery hens when they are gotten rid of.
    Are they just terminated and composted, sold on for dog food or sold to the Waldorf?
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I always thought they were made into soup or dog food.
     

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