Is an ex- battery hen worth the trouble?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by catwalk, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. catwalk

    catwalk Songster

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    I have access to "used up" hens from a factory farm, but my searches here have all indicated that they are very "special needs." Their debeaking requires a special diet of boiled this and mashed that. I don't see myself cooking for a chicken more than I cook for myself! I would really love to see the transformation of a featherless, miserable wretch to beautiful comfortable matron, but I may not have the patience. I'm wondering if the "debeaking machine" ever gets jammed up, thus skipping a few birds, or are some less severe than others? I may be able to choose my hen when the time comes for them to move on to the next phase of their lives (soup), but for biosecurity reasons, I cannot go into the coop.
     
  2. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

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    Well it's sorta up to you if it's worth the trouble.... that's a personal judgement call, so the questions is, is it worth it to you?
     
  3. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

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    I have 30+ ex battery hens. They all have been debeaked. They eat the same food as all my other chickens that are not debeaked. They drink and eat fine. I have had no problems with them at all.
     
  4. catwalk

    catwalk Songster

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    I already have one "special" bird, if that's what you can call a Silkie with too much fluff on the face. I just want to give a miserable chicken a good home for the rest of ther life without having to become a culinary apothecary on her behalf. I was wondering if anyone had a hen from a factory farm that didn't have all the issues with eating that I've been reading about.
     
  5. greathorse

    greathorse Songster

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    I am pretty sure that they will not require a special diet because of their beaks. They do nip the ends but I have never heard they need to eat from a straw as a result.

    I would not use battery chickens because I prefer to pick my breeds and enjoy larger heritage breeds etc. But I would imagine that they would lay quite well for you. I beleive they are often changed out during or near a molt so you would have that to deal with.

    Good luck
     
  6. catwalk

    catwalk Songster

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    This is a lot more positive information than I was reading about on other threds. Thank you very much. I have a while to make up my mind, as the farm is still wringing the eggs out of them full force, and I'll likely fill my pens up by then. I seem to have the same illness as many others on BYC, inflamation of the incubator.
     
  7. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

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    The molt is the main thing you will have to deal with as they are usually in a heavy molt. Takes a while but they come up a treat and are great birds to have a round. They don't go broody often as it seems to be bred out of them.
     
  8. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Songster

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    I have four ex factory birds, 3 Hens and 1 "it" Roo. I've had them for almost 3 months and they are just starting to grow their feathers back. One of the Hens started laying eggs two days ago and they are monster eggs LOL The Hens beaks are normal but the Roo's was cut, he eats right along with everyone else just fine. He doesn't crow, doesn't top the girls just follows me all over the yard, talks to me and jumps up in my lap, such a sweetheart.
    My Cuckoo Maran started topping the Hens about a week ago, I'm tempted to put a few of their eggs in the 'bator ;-)

    Michelle
     
  9. mrszlopez

    mrszlopez Songster

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    I agree. It is all a personal choice. I am in New Jersey & have been trying desperately to find somewhere locally that rehomes ex-battery hens. To me, they are worth all of the trouble in the world. Where are you planning to get them from ?
     
  10. catwalk

    catwalk Songster

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    I grew up on this farm, and I hated every minute of it! The hens were mean, it was dusty and full of fleas, and it was hard manual labor. My parents sold the farm to relatives, and current laws make the place a lot cleaner. When the birds come in as pullets, some will get loose, and they are not allowed into the buildings once they hit the ground. They are picked up by neighbors or eaten by neighbors' dogs. When they go out after two years, I'll have my pick of any of them. I think they just got them in at the beginning of the year, so I'll have some time before any are available to me. Plumtucked, could you please post pictures of your rescues? I remember them being so ugly and wretched, it made me hate all white chickens! I really need to see what some love can do for them. Also, are they grateful like pound puppies, or are they "raised by wolves" wild?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009

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