Hi from Scotland

Scottish-Hen

In the Brooder
May 15, 2015
58
3
43
Scottish Borders UK
Hi!

Firstly hope you like the word play on my user name.... Hen in Scotland is sometimes what women who are friends refer to each other.... So you would "Hi hen!" To a friend!

Anyway back to introductions, I'm Lou, stay in the s ottomh borders and until 3 weeks ago have two bantam hens and two bantam cockerels. Now we have 9 chicks from one mama hen and the other hen is sitting on eggs too!

We've had rescue chickens for a good few years now... We get battery hens who have pretty much no feathers or ever seen sunlight and nurse them back to health so they have happier free range last years.

Our bantams are our first non rescue birds and we took them on because they were being picked on at their previous home. We certainly didn't expect chicks so soon as they are very young birds.

Anyway we now have these chicks (currently in a rabbit cage in our living room with mum) because it is still pretty chilly here at night and in honesty I've no idea how the other birds would react to having these chicks appear!

So I've lots of questions about when they can go outside, how to introduce them to the outside etc.

We're thinking about getting another coop (the chick wouldn't be able to jump into the current one) and using it as a nursery coop & run (might post links to options)

Oh so many questions!!! But for the most part, hubby and my 9 year old twins and I are loving having an extended family!

Look forward to getting to know you all!

Xxx

Lou
 

Yorkshire Coop

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Hi :welcome Lou from Yorkshire UK

Glad you could join the flock! Congrats on your new chicks :celebrate have you stopped by the learning centre? Lots of articles on raising chicks and broody hens. Here is the link for the raising chicks section > https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-and-raising-chicks

That's so nice of you to have been rescuing battery hens and giving them a good life, that must be very rewarding when you see them back to full health.

Wishing you the very best of luck with your expanding flock in the future. Enjoy BYC and all the chicken chat :frow
 

mymilliefleur

Keeper of the Flock
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sunflour

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HI hen, so glad you decided to join us.

Here's another link: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/raising-your-baby-chicks
It has a description of integrating baby chicks to the flock.

They need to be fully feathered 5-6 weeks old to consider moving outdoors - but that would apply if the temps are warm enough. Sounds like a separate coop would be the best plan if you can work it out. Once it is in place, start letting them have an hour or so on a sunny warm day to play in the new coop. Make sure to take their current feeder and fount out with them, so they will see something familiar. Mine only visited their permanent coop/run twice before moving in and transitioned quite easily. But I have never had to integrate flocks and that can be quite stressful even if all are the same age.

Explore the forums, feel free to post questions, we're here to help.
 

whoop whoop

Songster
Apr 26, 2015
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Two Crows had the best advice for me, he said put new chickens in a separate run with the old ones and let them get used to each other without actually getting near and it worked, everyone is happy and there was very little pecking order going on. Rescuing battery hens must be quite disturbing I would think, its such a cruel practice. I know the world needs chickens but to be so inhumane is just awful. That's why I don't eat chicken.
 

Teila

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Apr 15, 2013
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G’Day Scottish-Hen here is Aus it is chook, as in “Hi chook”
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Kudos to you on rescuing battery hens .. I rescued 6 many, many years ago. When I got them home, I popped the box into the run, opened the box and gently lifted out each girl and placed her on the ground.

What happened next still brings a tear to my eye to this day …. They didn’t move, they all stayed exactly where we had put them for at least 10 minutes. We tried giving them an ever so gentle prod; nothing, no movement. It was at this point we realised that, as a result of confinement in a tiny cage, in a hatchery, these gals did not realise that they could move!

Not long after our realisation, the gals had a realisation of their own in that their legs did have a purpose and from that moment on, they made up for lost time! These gals scratched, dug, explored, sun bathed, dust bathed and regardless of how nice we were to them, made use of those legs to ensure that we were never able to catch them!

Sadly, circumstances required that we sold the property but the gals moved in with a neighbour who had fallen in love with them as much as I and I assume they spent many happy years scratching around in their back garden.

That was over 27 years past and it was not until 2 years ago that I was able to once again, have some chickens.

I am pleased that you are loving your extended family and they are very lucky to have you.
 

N F C

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Hi @Scottish-Hen , welcome to BYC!
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It sounds like your flock is rapidly expanding, lol. Thank you for taking in battery hens and good luck with the new bantam chicks.

It's nice to have you here!
 

Scottish-Hen

In the Brooder
May 15, 2015
58
3
43
Scottish Borders UK
Thank you so much for such a warm welcome.

Rescuing battery hens is very hard. Like Teila said they firstly just stand there not knowing they can move. Then they have practically no feathers and a lot have their upper beak chopped to prevent precking.

The first time they usually move is when yo scatter food... The run away from it. It's horrible. But because they are so scared they let you pick them up. Which means you can tend to wounds (of which there are many)

However, once you gain their trust and you nurse them for a few days and they learn they have 3/4 of an acre to explore they feather up in no time and within a week of two they are different girls. Some of them are only with us for a few months but to give them a good last few months is so worth it. These girls are often under 18 months but past multiple egg laying a day so the farmer gets rid of them. The choice is us or cat & dog food factory.
We will be rescuing more when our contact has more - it's literally two days notice... She gets a call saying they have 2k birds to go and does she want them. It's heartbreaking because sometimes she can't take them all.

We usually try to take at least 6 from each rescue and there can be 6-10 rescues a year.

It's just so amazing to see the difference in these girls. If I could get my hands on battery farmers... Well... Let's not swear!

I'm going to have a good look at the links you've sent me and take things from there but you've all been so welcoming and helpful so THANK YOU!
 

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