rescue hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by turtlynne, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. turtlynne

    turtlynne Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2009
    AIKEN
    One of my co-workers families owns a chicken "factory" - when they are 6 wks old chicks are rounded up for slaughter but she says anywhere from 10-50 escape in the yard and just have to forage around on their own - most get killed by neighborhood dogs - she says it is very sad; some survive and actually lay eggs in the bushes etc('feral'chickens?) I am welcome to come round some up myself from the ones that 'escape' during the major round-up...they are all vaccinated and not debeaked and I am wondering is this safe for my flock; I will be able to quarantine them; plan only to keep them as "more pets"; harvest what eggs I can... I could "rescue" 3-4 which seems to be such a small effort but would like to try. Looking for experience, strength and hope in this matter. Thanks
     
  2. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    If they are slaughtered at six weeks they are probably broilers, which have a lot of growth problems anyway.
     
  3. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    I used to collect those birds off the side of the road where they landed when they fell off the truck. They have problems and advantages.

    They are master foragers. If you have a safe place where they can forage at will they will need almost no feed at all. They are made to grow really big really fast on very little feed, with the end result that if they are confined they will eat themselves to death. So there you have a problem and an advantage both together. Also, all the walking and exersise they get from foraging will keep them from having leg problems.

    If you have to confine them you will have to limit their feed. That will make them cranky, and it will cause health problems because chickens aren't really made to eat limited square meals a few times a day. They need to have a little at a time all day long, just as if they were foraging and getting little bits here and there. If you MUST confine them, you might consider a diet heavy on greens and limited on grains.

    The hens grow up to be pretty darned good layers, so you'll get plenty of eggs from them.

    They are very gentle, calm birds, as a rule. They make great pets for little kids because they are non-aggressive and quiet. Even the roosters.

    You don't sound like you would raise them to eat, but with their ability to forage and grow, you would find that you have nearly turkey sized birds in no time at all.
     
  4. turtlynne

    turtlynne Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2009
    AIKEN
    Thanks - maybe I will see what happens with 2...I guess the flock and I will sleep on it!
     

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