I have kept many different chicken breeds but since moving somewhere where there are lots of foxes I've gone for ex- batts as they're happy living in an eglu. I won't have more than 3 at a time though so they have a reasonable amount of space. Of my current 3 two are now dark and glossy and the other is a bit weedy but all lay wonderful eggs daily. I know that they tend to die earlier than pure breeds and will stop laying in a year or so but they're friendly and happy girls. I'd love to let them out during the day but Mr Fox got my last girls so they stay in. They get moved daily (we have plenty of space) and are very popular with passers by who love to see them.
I first got ex batt hens last August from fresh start for hens. One is called Mrs Barebum due to lack of feathers. All the girls were lacking feathers and confidence. We have a large garden so they free ranged during the day, unfortunately, Mrs hobby got bitten by a fox and she is now in chicken heaven after a visit to the vets. we now have a large enclosure but are let out when I can watch them still. They love life and I will never forget all six running around the garden with the first down pour not knowing what is was. I will only get ex batts in future. Wouldn't ever want to be without them now. ???? forever.
When they arrive they look very scruffy but after no time they are learning to scratch as hens do and within a few weeks their feathers start to grow back and any sores on them heal up with nourishment and handling.
I think it's great you save ex battery/factory farm chickens! Their life is hell until they are saved, they live in a cage no larger than a magazine page, crammed with other chickens, often trampled/stepped on, and most often die due to the horrible conditions. Most are left to die. An tossed out/stepped on when they die.
When you get them they in poor shape but with TLC they become Beautiful Ladies-- Eggs really tasty and thick-- However , they will weed and root in your garden VERY well so make sure you have a run if you want to preserve your lawn and flower beds . Mine great with cats and dogs . Cheeky , brave survivors who roost under my kitchen table if they get in . Health good when recover from horrible battery conditions -- Would not be without my 6 Ladies .
THEY WOULD BE A GOOD BIRD TO HAVE WHEN YOU ARE FIRST STARTING OFF WITH HENS.
last may we decided to get some ex-bats from the bhft. we
have loved having them from the begining and seeing thier feathers grow back and each one develop its own personality.
we were warned they could live a while or not very long so to just be happy we could give them a nice retirement.
sadly Betty died in her coup yesterday after eight months.
she had always been the sickly one who we had to take to the vet every couple of months but she always pulled through until this last time. I miss her already and so do the other girls in the coup.
I hope she found some happyness with us and is resting peacefully in chicken heaven.
we will always remember you our little betty.
We have had several rescue ladies over the past two years. They arrive in a frightful state, confused by sudden open spaces. The first thing I had to do was trim their horribly neglected, overgrown talons. Their feathers grow back from almost naked to big, soft and fluffy in the space of 9 months. And such characters! Each girl has a different personality and we've loved choosing names for them (often on a theme): Perry Combover; Esme; Bernard (think Blackadder!); Nancy Spungen; Varicella (Latin for Chickenpox); Salmonella; Listeria and Tinea. They love standing at the patio doors and giving me their best unnerving 'Zombie Stare'! How did I ever live without them?!
We have had ex-batts for about 4 years now, only 4 to begin with in a converted shed in a run in the garden. It was wonderful to see them bloom! They came in their undies and have now grown into the most wonderful ladies. They are inquisitive, friendly and we love them to bits. They lay eggs quite regularly but they do like to dig themselves scrapes in which to sun/dust bathe so my flower beds have taken a bit of a beating. They share biscuits and cake with us when we have a cuppa in the garden and if any digging is being done they are there to grab the worms. Perfect starter birds, excellent for children!
They look manky when they arrive but you get such pleasure out of watching them when they exhibit their natural behaviour. Its almost like their body takes over telling them to scratch, and take dust baths etc. Over time they start to look beautiful again.
We get 3-4 eggs per day from our 4 hens, and they are so friendly.