Picked up my factory hens....pictures and story

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by livestock101, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. livestock101

    livestock101 In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2007
    I picked up my factory hens a couple days ago and a busy couple days it's been. I called the egg company on Tuesday to verify that they would be selling their "old" layers on the 21st of June, only to be told they were getting rid of them THIS week. I quickly made the 1 hour-1 1/2 hour trip to go get them.

    My 12 year old daughter and I arrived at the farm at 2pm. Went into the office and told the woman we wanted to buy some hens. I paid her the money (50 cents for each hen) and she says, "Go back to building number 5 but DO NOT go inside. Just wait outside the door and (whatever his name was) will bring your hens out to you."

    As my daughter and I drove up, I could already see problems. There were piles of dead chickens outside of each hen house. It was sickening.

    The man came out of layer house number 5 carrying my new chickens upside down by their feet. They weren't making any noise, so I asked him, "Are you sure their alive?" He shook them up and down, they started squawking and he says, "Yup, their alive." I was really getting angry. My daughter tapped me and had me look toward the building. While he was throwing (literally throwing) my chickens into a box, we were able to see inside the layer house. It's just like you see on the internet. The chickens were in cages stacked up quite high, with their heads outside the cages and carrying on something fierce. My daughter whispered to me that she felt like throwing up. The whole thing was so sad.

    We got as many hens as we had room for, wishing I could have gotten them all. It's been 2 days since they arrived. I have not allowed them to have grass yet as they are getting used to everything else. Teaching them to drink has been quite a chore. The eating thing is better but not for all of them. A couple were so weak the first day, I thought they would die. They could hardly even hold their head up. Even with as bad of shape they are in, they ARE laying eggs. I wish they would stop. They need to heal. I'm certainly not eating the eggs. I've been cracking them open to look inside and then throwing them away.

    Here are photo's of our new hens. As you look at the photo's you'll see their combs are HUGE! Can anyone here explain why they are like this? We have leghorns that I raised from chicks and their combs don't look anything like this. These poor hens are almost blinded by them. Another thing, their toenails are SO long. Can I clip them?

  2. aran

    aran Songster

    Apr 28, 2007
    rochester ny
    that is horrible! There must be a forum to air formal complaints of animal cruelty about this place you got the birds from. I wonder if they have been given steroids of one sort or another that has caused their combs to do that?

    Maybe a vet can trim them? I dunno. I would think trimming their toenails would make them feel better also.

    Im surprised their beaks are not removed!
  3. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    My god, how awful. I feel physically sick just reading about the place and seeing those poor hens. You're a beautiful person for doing that. Keep us updated on how they are doing!
  4. steffpeck

    steffpeck Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    WOW!!! I am practically speechless!! You are so awesome to save these poor things!!! I sure hope that there are more that can be saved.
  5. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Songster

    [​IMG] Why oh why are some people so cruel? I was horrified with your story, I most certainly would take your pictures and or hens and file a formal complaint...........they should NOT have chickens.....so glad you took them, I could understand wanted to take them all........how awful......keep us posted on them okay...... poor things..[​IMG]
  6. mlheran

    mlheran Songster

    As they improve (and learn how to be real chickens!) their combs should redden up a bit and get a bit stiffer. I've seen a few blogs about rescued hens, and after proper care they always turn out 100% better -both in condition and temperment. I commend you for creating a sanctuary for these hens!

    If you feel that you (and they) are up to it, you might try giving them a warm bath. It will clean them up a bit and soften their toenails, which will make them easier to clip. Keep some styptic powder (or cornstarch) handy for dipping in case there is any bleeding.

    Good luck, and thanks for the informative post! [​IMG]
  7. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Dear God. You are an angel!
    Sadly, I don't think that the place you got yours from are doing anything different than all the other large-scale operations are. Factory farming of any animal is utterly barbaric - have you ever seen how much space a brood sow has?
    I could stand on my soapbox all day, but I'm already sad today, so...Schweitzer's quote below says it all.
  8. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I am in tears. Both because of your description of the factory farm, and because I'm so happy you rescued some. Hooray for you and your daughter!!!!!
  9. lcountry

    lcountry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    Saw this on a webpage about rehoming battery chickens in the UK - (http://www.thehenshouse.co.uk/caringforhens.html)

    "The hens have been used to very warm conditions within the battery unit; this is why so many have large, floppy combs (they act as heat dissipaters) - the combs will not only redden as they are exposed to the weather, but usually shrink as the hens need to 'lose' less heat..."

    Thank you for saving these girls. There is an egg farm near me -- maybe I should find a couple girls from there. Once my dear girls start laying, I don't think I'll ever buy another egg. Wish I didn't have to buy eggs now, but at least I try to get cage free - fwiw.
  10. crazy4daisy

    crazy4daisy Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Central Missouri
    Oh my goodness, that's so horrible, how could anyone do that? Their combs are so pale [​IMG]

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