Adopting ex battery hens

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Penny Lane
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Adopting ex battery hens

Post: # 292062Post Penny Lane
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:17 pm

Hey folks, I'm seriously contemplating adopting some ex battery hens but I've got a concern or two.
Does anyone have any experience bringing ex-batts in to an established flock?
Firstly I'm worried about any illness that might be introduced to my current girls. Secondly, I'm worried that my old girls (one in particular) might get bullied or hurt. The one in particular is already 8 years old and pretty dodgery and feeble.
I am just contemplating right now as we've said No More! But you know what it's like :wink:
"It's breaking the circle.
Going to work, to get money, to translate into things, which you use up, which means you go to work again, etc, etc.
The Norm.
What we should be doing is working at the job of life itself."
- Tom Good, The Good Life.

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Green Aura
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Re: Adopting ex battery hens

Post: # 292063Post Green Aura
Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:54 pm

I can't answer with any prior knowledge as my OH refuses to have chickens!

I'm fairly certain, however, that I've read - here or elsewhaere, can't remember - that you need to do it slowly, have a separate coop for the newbies and gradually move them closer and let them mix a bit. I don't think I've made that up and it seems fairly sensible, giving you time to assess the health of the newbies and both groups of chickens time to grow accustomed to each other.
Maggie

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Odsox
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Re: Adopting ex battery hens

Post: # 292064Post Odsox
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:28 am

First off, I don't think you need to worry about disease from the ex-bats, as they are probably dosed up the their eyeballs with antibiotics as a norm.
Plus you have the bullying round the wrong way. In my experience of keeping chicken it will be the resident birds attacking the newcomers, protecting the status quo.
GA's suggestion is sensible as they will eventually get on together without the fisticuffs.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Penny Lane
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Re: Adopting ex battery hens

Post: # 292069Post Penny Lane
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:01 pm

Thanks for the advice GA & Odsox. Whenever we've brought in new girls (all from the same place) they've been kept separate until we were confident there wouldn't be too much trouble, which will happen this time too.
I am hoping that our bolshie blackrock will look after the old girl, they've both seen newbies coming and going through their long lives.
I guess I'll be looking out for some ex-batts now then!!!
"It's breaking the circle.
Going to work, to get money, to translate into things, which you use up, which means you go to work again, etc, etc.
The Norm.
What we should be doing is working at the job of life itself."
- Tom Good, The Good Life.

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Weedo
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Re: Adopting ex battery hens

Post: # 292080Post Weedo
Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:05 am

I adopted several last year (Isa Browns), not into an existing flock though. There have been no health problems at all with them and they are very productive (but refuse to brood). I agree with Odsox, they have certainly been dosed with and for everything
The winner of the rat race is still a rat!

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Penny Lane
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Re: Adopting ex battery hens

Post: # 292086Post Penny Lane
Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:59 pm

That's really good to know, thanks Weedo.
We'll work out the issues around bringing the two flocks together as it happens. Thankfully we have two areas separated by a trellis fence so they can be apart but still in view of each other for a while.
"It's breaking the circle.
Going to work, to get money, to translate into things, which you use up, which means you go to work again, etc, etc.
The Norm.
What we should be doing is working at the job of life itself."
- Tom Good, The Good Life.

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Weedo
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Re: Adopting ex battery hens

Post: # 292089Post Weedo
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:53 pm

detached contact works for assimilating flocks; they can still test dominance through the fence. I would suggest that, as with all flock / herd animals, there will be a fairly constant dominance battle going on, generally mostly bluff, as each tries to climb the social ladder. Roosters tend to minimise these battles amongst their girls.
The winner of the rat race is still a rat!

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