chickens from poultry houses


11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
North Georgia
We have hundreds of chicken houses around us, and lately I've been thinking that I'd like to 'rescue' some hens (either layers or breeders... not broilers!!) and put them in our pasture down by the barn, they'd be away from our chickens up here. I always feel so bad for those poor hens, and I'd love to give some a good home, but wondering if that would be a good or bad idea?

(I asked a guy down the road from us to let me know if he has extra hens after they clean out of house and he told me that they just cleaned out the chickens a week prior and there were 50 left over that he had to kill and throw in a pit... bummer! I would have loved to have some. They were breeders... so not Leghorns... but not sure of the breed, I asked him and he said they were "Cobb chickens" I know they're white, and a heavy breed, so White Rocks maybe or a cross??)
I don't really know what Cobb chickens are, either, except I do know they are raised for meat.

There are others on here who have rescue chickens, and have found it a very rewarding experience, to see them recover and have some freedom; they are often affectionate, too.

But you do have to think about diseases they might be carrying. Guess it depends how well you are set up for biosecurity, and the risk level you can tolerate.
I think if it would be safe for your flock, by all means, go for it!! I sure wish I could do the same, that would be something! Those girls would so much appreciate what you've done. You're a blessing to them.
Oh yeah, I'd do it. I don't know how often they replace the egg-layers, but I'd bet it's quite young, and they have many good laying years ahead of them.

I'm thinking about doing this too, when my girls get old and stop laying.
I am considering "rescuing" a couple battery birds myself. Here's the thread started a couple days ago. I grew up on a laying operation, so I find it hard to speak up against my family's livleyhood. If there weren't such a market for cheap mass- produced eggs, the birds wouldn't be treated so poorly. It's the "escapees" that have it really rough. They are left in the "pit" to starve or out in the field for predetors. If the birds near your house just went out, some more will be coming back in shortly. There will likely be pullets that hit the ground before they make it into a cage, and you may be free to take them. I know BYC members in NJ and FL who would like to nurture ex- battery hens. It would be fun to start an "underground railroad" of sorts to convey these refugees to homes that want them. We can call it Hens Across America!

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