Which chickens are the healthiest

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ChicknDee

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Which chickens are the healthiest
« on: April 29, 2023, 20:36 »
Hi all, nice to say hello.  :D
We kept chickens 4-5 years ago and jumped straight in with 8 ex battery hens.  :wacko: Definitely a steep learning curve..but one of the best things I've ever done. Absolutely loved them! Until we got to know them we would never have guessed how unique each little personality would be. And there lies the problem. As the months rolled by, we lost them, one by one they just passed away. Besides losing my dogs over many years I've never felt such grief and loss as losing each one.. especially the inevitable favourites.
I'd sworn to myself never to try again, but here I am. I just miss them.
So thinking of a longer lived variety so the heartbreak is a bit further away than the 18-24 months our girls survived.
Any advice gratefully received.  :)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2023, 23:51 by ChicknDee »

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snowdrops

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Re: Which chickens are the healthiest
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2023, 21:04 »
Pure breeds tend to live longer,but my 3 are so skittish cant say Ive developed a bond with any of them in the last 18months since I got them at POL.
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ChicknDee

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Re: Which chickens are the healthiest
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2023, 23:58 »
Pure breeds tend to live longer,but my 3 are so skittish cant say Ive developed a bond with any of them in the last 18months since I got them at POL.
Thanks Snowdrops,
I'll do some more investigating.  :)
I spent an awful lot of time with the hens to be fair so maybe that's why some of them became more friendly. Three or four never came round and wouldn't interact at all, but the ones that did seemed to be those with the biggest personalities. They loved music and would sit together in a big bunch listening  :D had me in stitches so many times. I'd been warned that ex bats can be quite aloof and that's what we'd expected so it was a lovely surprise to be honest.  :)

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New shoot

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Re: Which chickens are the healthiest
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2023, 07:28 »
12-24 months for an ex-bat isnt bad. I am sure it was hard to lose them, but you did give them a golden retirement that I am sure they loved.

I agree that pure breeds live longer. I have had hens live to 10-11 years old before. You get less eggs and they take time off over the winter, but the reason hybrids live shorter lives is that they are bred to be egg laying machines.

If you want them tame, try and get young birds and find a local breeder who just does a few birds. Even by point of lay, they can be skittish and wary if they have been raised in big groups.

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steven c

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Re: Which chickens are the healthiest
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2023, 07:54 »
we have not kept them for a couple of years now we would get Black rocks at as near day old as we could these then become very tame and are long lived if you can get them at about 4 weeks old they will not need extra heat there are many many Black Rock agents around the country who get them from day old to pol.  good luck with what you choose.
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LILLILEAF

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Re: Which chickens are the healthiest
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2023, 16:30 »
if you want nice easy chickens to look after and enjoy, and lay lots of lovely eggs,also live a long life, i would go for the warren they are a hybrid hen so friendly and funny to watch.
You can get these from cyril bason, i have had some wonderful chickens from them, they will sell a very small number to a private customer to 1000s to a big company.
give them a call they are always very helpful.

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Alank

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Re: Which chickens are the healthiest
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2023, 21:18 »
Have you considered bantams? Most of mine have lived for years  :)
I've had purebred and crossbreed bantams and large fowl and much prefer the bantams.
They lay well, granted their eggs are smaller but they eat a lot less than the larger breeds and are easier to clean out as they poop less :)

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Which chickens are the healthiest
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2023, 00:34 »
My favourite hen is the Gingernut Ranger.  They are first, funny with a very appealing character.  Fantastic layers too.  Not the longest lived 6 years or so, but they are real characters  :D

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Mal

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Re: Which chickens are the healthiest
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2023, 15:20 »
As  many have mentioned, pure breeds tend to live longer. If you want layers, go for something like an Australorpe.  The hybrids - black rocks, and such, the ones you usually see sold as Point of Lay- tend to lay more eggs, but they don't lay for anywhere near as long, nor are they as long lived. Most proper breeds tend to have been developed over quite a long period to survive in a free range environment and so tend to be hardier, where the hybrids have been bred for particular farming methods. We hatch ours ourselves and handle them from day one. They soon get used to people and are generally pretty friendly. We have had POL hens and even ex-battery hens, and it is lovely to see how they come along with a bit of love and kindness, but nothing beats seeing the birds come into the World.
If you have children, I'd recommend Salmon Faverolles, they are beautiful, friendly souls that look like balls of feathers almost.


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