Re-homing 1 year old free range chickens

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by TimboLimbo, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. TimboLimbo

    TimboLimbo New Egg

    Feb 1, 2017
    Hi, any pointers gratefully received....
    A local farm is sending 5000 1 year old chickens to the pie factory unless they are re-homed. Worth doing? however I want the chooks for their eggs?? The heartless me says just get some pullets but the better me says give the old girls a good home! Thanks
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Personally, I go with the heartless option. Many don't and here's a search on ex-battery hens - I realise that they were not battery raised, but there are analogies that can likely be drawn.

    I would imagine that the birds are most likely 18 months old (i.e. been laying for 1 year) at least and their future productivity will be questionable IMO.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Gee do you mean they are going to the "pot pie" factory? If you wanted to try a couple I could see that. But, not taking a large number of them. If it worked out for the hens & you. You could do it with a larger group next time. Don't get in over your head please. They may not have received good care for the first year of their life. You don't know what baggage they could bring with them.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Are you prepared to give the not so old gals the hand of mercy when they are suffering from reproductive health issues? Because that's exactly how most of these ex-batt hens wind up, usually before they are 2-2 1/2 yrs old...if they get to 3 they are truly fortunate indeed.

    I've done it a time or two, thinking I could give them a wonderful free range life and still get a few eggs, even if they aren't laying full bore any longer....and shortly found out that if I didn't kill them before they got sick from egg tumors, ascites, peritonitis or reproductive cancer, they were completely wasted for consumption, and ALL of them...I repeat ALL..eventually had problems unto death or needed to be killed to relieve them of the discomfort of the same. And well before they ever made it through their second year.

    And, since they've been confined for their whole lives, they are often scared of free ranging, wanting to hang in the safety of the coop and close to the feed, as that's all they've ever known about food. They will eventually come out of the coop but they are lackluster foragers, lack survival savvy out on range and won't get too far from the safety of the coop. I had been thinking that they would naturally enjoy the freedom to come and go, the fresh soils, green grass and sunny life....but they saw all of that as foreign, out of their element and it scared them. Sort of like chicken Stockholm syndrome.

    While it may seem cruel that they are going off to the pot pie factory, it truly is the best and most merciful end for them, as they are much like the CX meat birds and designed for a short, productive life and then no more. It's not heartless to leave them to that quick's basic compassion for their worn out bodies.

    Save yourself some heartache, get yourself a flock of nice, hardy, hard working, funny and sweet Black Australorps that will lay like machines well into their 6-7 yrs of age.
    1 person likes this.

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