"Recycled" commercial layers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by trifecta, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. trifecta

    trifecta Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2012
    Laidley, QLD, Australia
    So, now that my meat project is ending (finally in phase 3 and down to 4 chickens :( ), I was scouring craigslist the other day and one of the commercial layer facilities down the street from me is selling off 1 year layers that have just molted.

    Has anyone every successfully "converted" a true commercial bird raised in a commercial setting to a happy, well adjusted backyard gal?

    My main concern is behavioral. We will not have any more chickens soon so biosecurity is not a big issue (we will essentially be all in-all out) and we will likely be moving in the next 18 months or so.

    Any other advice or obvious pitfalls that I am missing would be greatly appreciated. I kindof feel good about the idea of giving a few of these girls a second chance.
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Many people have recycled spent hens from the commercial layer operations. They're just chickens.

    When you receive them they may look pretty rough, but if they seem otherwise healthy and uninjured that will change with time and good management. Their toenails may need trimming and you should not pen them with other chickens that did not come right out of a confinement operation. Feed and water them as you would any other grown bird. In time they'll learn how to scratch and do all the other things that chickens do as they grow out their new feathers. They won't lay quite as well as they did in their pullet year but you should still get plenty of eggs and somewhat larger too.
  3. twisted troy

    twisted troy Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2010
    My very first hens were hi line browns from a semi free range operation, I locked them in the coop for a few weeks and let them out to totally run loose. They did great and ran to me like dogs. They also guarenteed me 1 egg each a day!
  4. lindsay297

    lindsay297 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2012
    Petawawa, Ontario
    Our current 12 RIR types are "rescues" from a commercial farm sending year olds to meat!! They are wonderful. It took about two weeks for my girls to start to figure out what being a chicken was all about but, after that they were fine. They are really friendly. My kids go in and get eggs and can reach right under and get them. No pecking!! They really love their veggie bits and they come running when they see the pail. I would definitly do "rescues" again if the chance presented itself.

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