Battery hens, a good idea?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bock, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. bock

    bock Songster

    2,281
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    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    I am planning on getting about 12 more hens this coming spring so I can sell free ranged chicken and duck eggs. Originally, I was planning a trip to a few different feed stores for chicks, but then I came across a story about someone who had adopted ex battery hens. I think that would be a great thing to do, but I am wondering a few things. First, how do you find ex battery hens, do you pick them up at the farm? Is there a certain time of year they usually "get rid" of old hens? How old are they when they are killed or adopted. How long does it take them to grow back their feathers? Can they eat normally with trimmed beaks? Is it likely that they would carry any diseases? And finally, what does it take to get these birds mentally stable again and just learn to be chickens? Thank you for the input! I hope I can help these beautiful creatures! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010

  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Lots of questions- you can sometimes find them at shelters. You can also check with the closest commercial egg houses you can find. A commercial house is not going to let you come on to the property, but maybe you can meet someone off site. The only time I have seen this happen in this area was when a house was closing down, and they had to do something with the birds. Yes- they can eat when they have been debeaked- they eat pellets or crumble- that is what they are fed in the houses. They may have a hard time preening and pecking things off the ground though. 1 -2 years is how long they are typically kept before culling. They will grow back feathers after the next molt, if they have healthy skin and follicles. Yes- they may have diseases. The ones that can recover will, and the ones that are 'crazy' won't- only time will tell. The ones I have experience with from true battery cages- did not know how to perch and had to be kept in small groups or they would smother each other in piles. Many had sores on their feet and legs, and skin. The ones that survived the initial transition- did well. Battery hens are kept in cages and crowded- they may have injuries to their heads, vents, legs ect- if you can find some, be prepared for 'project' chickens.
     
  3. 3chimama

    3chimama Songster

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Bless you for thinking about this!
     
  4. bock

    bock Songster

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    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Mypicklebird, they sure sound like a project, and like they might be hard to find. [​IMG] If I can find a place near me, maybe I will just rescue 2 or 3 to see how it goes. And thank you 3chimana, I try to do all I can to help suffering creatures. [​IMG]
     
  5. my3chickens

    my3chickens Songster

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    Apr 24, 2010
    Maryland
    Try emailing Farm Sanctuary, I know they have 2 locations, one in NY and one in CA. They rescue farm animals from horrible situations and may be able to offer some suggestions. I live in MD and thought that being so close to the Eastern Shore (lots of chicken facilities) that I would be able to adopt some rescued chickens, but no such luck...

    Best of luck to you and thank you for having such a kind heart [​IMG]
     

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