Is an ex- battery hen worth the trouble?

caralouise1974

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
590
5
141
Evesham, Worcestershire, UK
Quote:Definitely. Our bluebelle has had nothing but egg laying issues since we got her at 20 weeks old (and she's a laying hybrid), whereas our purebreed BO has been no trouble at all.

These highly bred laying birds are certainly far more prone to reproductive problems, although when laying well, they lay huge eggs daily for most of the year around. Our BO's eggs look rather pathetic by comparison!
 

catwalk

Songster
10 Years
May 19, 2009
2,063
12
173
Yay! Thank you all for encouraging stories involving these hens. I'm feeling really good about integrating a few into my flock. When the time comes for them to "go out", I wish I could take a whole truck of them across the country and hand them out! They'll propably let me take about 4-6. I doubt they would survive shipping, but I'll post another thread when they come available, possibly in buy/sell/trade, and I can drive a couple of hours in each direction from me to meet up and deliver. How's that sound?
 

Neil Grassbaugh

Songster
11 Years
Sep 1, 2008
741
20
151
Quote:Gladly :) They were pretty ugly when we picked them up, the Hens much more than the Roo. Here are a few shots of the Hens:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/2832_cobbgirls1.jpg
first time trying a treat of chops
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/2832_cobbgirls2chopsfirsttime.jpg
the shot below is about a month after we got them, they were just starting to get some feathers back
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/2832_cobbgirls3.jpg
here are some shots of the 1 roo we rescued, we called him Snowball, he doesn't crow, doesn't top the girls and is literally like a puppy dog..wants to be touched and held, follows me all over the yards, loves to talk to us.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/2832_cobbroo2.jpg
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/2832_cobbroo3.jpg
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/2832_cobbroo4.jpg
here he is talking to my Husband by the back porch, I snapped it with my cell phone so it's not a crisp photo
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/2832_04081421.jpg

The Hens aren't as loving as the roo but I believe they'll come around. They are much more timid than your average chicken. These are Cobbs. We've had them just over 3 months and just started getting eggs from one of the Hens a few days ago..big monster brown eggs LOL

ETA: The Hens love love love running into the pasture and scratching in the horse poop...as can be seen by the "dirt" on their feet! I was worried that they might get stepped on since they move slower than our other chickens but they do great out there.
Michelle

I question if you really know what these birds were used for and how they were housed. They are broiler breeders and were not housed in cages.

I have no doubt that they are Cobbs since probably 95% of the chickens in Arkansas are just that. They are the parent stock that produces the "cornish x" you all discuss. Gee- they can walk! They didn't succumb to heart attacks and they didn't die before they could lay eggs!
 

Neil Grassbaugh

Songster
11 Years
Sep 1, 2008
741
20
151
Quote:Rhode Islands are not used in commercial egg production.
Very few brown egg layers are housed in cages, they are to big. Most of them are housed as "floor birds"
All commercial chickens, especially as they get older, are capable of producing eggs large enough in in great enough numbers to harm them. In the industrial situation they are managed to hold the egg size down to "large" most of the time.
 

Peeper

Songster
11 Years
Jan 3, 2009
233
0
119
Little Rock, AR
I picked up some pitiful looking production hens at an auction in Missouri. They were being passed off as just laying hens but it was obvious they were commercial layers. They were bald, debeaked with one and a half inch long nails, and generally rough looking. I bought them anyway because I wanted to give them a better life. They were so friendly after I got them home. They want to jump in your lap all the time. They seem to be as happy with me as I am with them. Their feathers came back in and they are really pretty birds. They have never laid an egg but they are so sweet I don't regret for a moment taking them into our flock.
 

Neil Grassbaugh

Songster
11 Years
Sep 1, 2008
741
20
151
Quote:This is not advice that is consistant with facts.
Many vaccines are "modified live virus" but these do not infect birds other than those innoculated with the vaccine.
 

catwalk

Songster
10 Years
May 19, 2009
2,063
12
173
The hens I'm experienced with are a custom Leghorn hybrid, and as layers, they are housed four to a 12"x12" cage. The laws have changed since I lived there, and now a cage not quite twice as large holds seven hens. They have access to automatic waterers if they can figure out how to use it, and their feed comes on big chains running through gutter troughs. The hens I know have a few feathers on their heads, legs, and other patches, and their wing feathers have been stripped, just sticks. The ones who survive to be Campbells are the ones who tranpled and pecked the weaker ones to death, and I'm curious to know how they adjust to life "on the outside." If anyone has rescued a hen from conditions like these, please post. I'll ask if my relatives have any "escapees" that they cannot allow back into cages, that I may have, and I'll document her progress.
 
Last edited:

Pupsnpullets

Songster
11 Years
Mar 9, 2008
1,076
18
193
SoCal desert
I've had them from tiny little wire cages where 3 of them were crammed in together. After they finished moulting and had had a couple of months of good exercise, sunshine, fresh air it was difficult to tell them apart from the humanely raised leghorns. They layed well, too. Chickens are hard wired to hussle their food so, given the chance, they revert back to 'regular chickens' with amazing ease. I'd get some if I had more space.

spelling
 
Last edited:

lovemychix

Songster
11 Years
Oct 14, 2008
2,946
29
201
Moulton Iowa
I got some one time and they layed well. They were debeaked and ate and drank fine. Very friendly. Only thing is that they didn't roost and wanted to lay in the boxes and pooped in them.
 

Pupsnpullets

Songster
11 Years
Mar 9, 2008
1,076
18
193
SoCal desert
Quote:This is not advice that is consistant with facts.
Many vaccines are "modified live virus" but these do not infect birds other than those innoculated with the vaccine.

I know this to be a fact with dogs and cats and don't see why it wouldn't be the same issue for chickens. Vaccine shedding happens for approximately 2 weeks post innoculation in animals so, depending on when the chickens had their shots, it may or may not be a problem.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom