Battery Hens? Good idea or Not

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tomfieldenloveshichickens, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Tomfieldenloveshichickens

    Tomfieldenloveshichickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    Somerset, England
    I am thinking of buying some battery hens as they are really cheap and will give me a supply of eggs. However i would like to know from people with experience if i should buy them. Do they produce enough eggs and do they mix well with other chickens. is it allright to feed them the same layers pellets as my other chickens or not?

    thanks for your help
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  2. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2010
    I had some they were White Leghorns. First of all I would follow the quarantine period of at least 3 weeks before introducing them into your flock. The sad thing was that these girls didn't know what dirt was and it took them a while to get comfortable enough to being to lay. Also mine had been debeaked so I had to feed them laying mash instead of pellets. They laid huge white eggs and I usually got 4-5 eggs a week from each hen. They were past their prime for laying, but I only paid like $3 a piece for grown hens. I would say go for it and see how they do.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    If you have the space to devote to them I say go for it. As txcarl said, you'll have to feed them crumbles or mash if they've been debeaked.
    I have 8 broiler pullets in one of my coops. It did take them awhile to get used to going outside and a few of them are still not comfortable with it.
    I had the room and the inclination. They have a life they wouldn't have had otherwise. They provide me with eggs. It's a win-win situation for me and the hens.
    ETA: Keep in mind that the battery hens are usually sold right before they go into their first adult molt, so you may be waiting awhile for eggs.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Tom, you need to tell people that you are in the UK, it's a lot different when it comes to chicken keeping, especially when it comes to ex-batts.

    If you click on Profile, in the blue bar above you can add info about location under your username/avvie.

    I have friends in England and Scotland who rescued ex-batts. There were mixed reactions and some problems along the way. The hens were in poor shape and needed extra care. They had no idea about using a nest box, eating pellets, roosting at night or free ranging. Very skittish around people. I seem to recall quite a few had lice and/or mites that required tedious treatment. They were off and on layers, one friend had several go broody and they were not good broody hens, killed the chicks.

    I'm not trying to discourage you, only to say go into it with eyes wide open. Quarantine, inspect carefully and they will probably not ever be very friendly. Poor birds started out wrong, so if you are willing to be patient and careful, go for it and best wishes!

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