Ex-Batt Chooks

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DannyBoy230

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Ex-Batt Chooks
« on: October 14, 2010, 10:56 »
Hi all  8)

I love my chooks dearly and I am thinking about adding a couple to the flock... and I love the idea of 'rescuing' some ex batt chooks. But I am not sure how to go about it - where do I find them? What (if any) jabs will they need?  :blink:

I have an enclosure within the run so they will be able to have their own space while they all get accustomed to each other, but how long do I keep them 'separate'. I've read maybe 2-3 weeks???  :unsure:

Any advice is welcome!!! Thanks very much!  :D

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Flowerpower136

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2010, 15:00 »
I'm a big ex batt fan, but they can come with problems, so you would have be ready to recognise and deal with them.  We've had lots of shell problems, and just yesterday had to have my dear Nell put to sleep cos of suspected peritonitis.

I've been relatively lucky with mine.  Others on here experienced broken wings and other traumas.  So you could be faced with some vets bills, though yesterday was my first.

They will have been fully vacinated during their lives in cages, so that's one thing you don't have to worry about.  They will need worming just as your other chooks do, and some need their claws clipping, though ours were done before we got them, I've had to clip Paxo's since.  For some reason she doesn't wear them down.

Also be aware that you may or may not get eggs.  These girls are retired afterall.  We started off swamped with eggs.  40-50 per week from 8 girls.  Now with just 6 girls surviving, some weeks we only get a half dozen.

Having said all that, I wouldn't swap my darling exbatts for any fancy breed.  They are a joy. 

For more info and to find your nearest collection point check out the British Hen Welfare Trust (formerly Battery Hen Welfare) website www.bhwt.org.uk

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Aidy

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 17:10 »
Agree with flowerpower on this, my girls are great, have different charachters to my Blackrocks. BHWT is the first place to contact, have a look at poultry markets too, up here they have them for rescue.
They do need lots of attention and observation to keep them well, but its well worth it. You may find some wont survive too long, we lost two in 6 months, no signs of illness just died over night.
Hope you do get them and give them a little chicken pleasure in their short life.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 09:49 by Aidy »
Punk isn't dead...it's underground where it belongs. If it comes to the surface it's no longer punk...it's Green Day!

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DannyBoy230

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 08:43 »
Brilliant advice guys, thanks very much.

Flowerpower, are there any links to show symptoms of 'common' problems with ex batts so I could ready up and study - this way I'll know what I am looking for.

With all my little girls I think the eggs are an added bonus! They are such friendly birds - my kids adore them.... as do I!  :wub:

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Clarie

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 09:31 »
We took on two hens from a nearby farm. They were free range rather than battery but kept in a flock of 12,000 which had to be replaced once they were about 15 months old. Apparently supermarkets will only take eggs from young chickens - why??
Of all my hens Betty & Kitty are my favourites. They are so friendly & nosy and love cuddles. When they escape into the main garden they come up to the house and tap on the door asking for treats! We have a mixture of breeds but if I could chose again I'd have more like Betty & Kitty. They really are such fun, and are still laying well despite being turfed out at a relatively young age.

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Flowerpower136

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2010, 13:17 »
DannyBoy, I think the best thing to do is to look up your nearest BHWT coordinator (via their site), and ring them and have a chat.  You would need to talk them anyway to register, they have to sus you out before you can adopt. :D

As I mentioned mine have been relatively trouble free.

Providing you get birds that don't arrive with injuries, the first thing they have to deal with is the trauma of rehoming. But to be honest, as long as you are aware of what they are going through, and keep an eye out for problems, they will do the job themselves.

For some it can all be too much, and they just give in and pass quietly, and there is not a thing you can do.  My experience was sheer joy.  When they emerge into the sunlight and start doing chicken things, its the best feeling in the world.  Book time off work, cos you won't want to leave them!

When you first get them, they'll need to overnight in the dark in the coop, and then just let them out to mix with the others and see how it goes on.  Remember, they won't have been in the same cages, so will be strangers to each other too.  There will be some re-establishment of the pecking order as they join the flock, but that's the same with any new chooks.  Don't assume they will take the lower order either.  The balder, the fiestier!

Depending on what they've been used to, they may need to be fed mash for a while, but they soon get used to pellets, and corn, and worms, yum!

They might be well feathered, they might not.  Some of mine were tatty but fairly well covered, but poor Tilly just had a few quills and a bright pink bare bum for a full 12 months.  All through that dreadful winter, I had a chux tux on standbay :lol:  But she got through on her own.  She is now fully feathered and magnificant.  I'm going to post a pic of her when I get round to taking it.  I'm so proud ::)

The main problem I've had is to do with shell quality, and it's because they are coming to the end of the reliable egg laying life.  That's why they've been thrown out.

We've had lots of soft shell eggs, which can be awful for them to lay, and some broken shells.  Have had to extract broken eggs a few times, which was a bit of a trauma for them and me.  Stiff drink and a lie down afterwards :ohmy:

But then again, those are problems that will come to most chooks eventually?

BHWT will provide all the advice and information you need.  Why don't you give them a ring? Have a look at the before and after, and see what you're missing. :D




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DannyBoy230

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 13:32 »
You have certainly done yourself proud Flowerpot - they don't look like they could be the same birds!

I had a look at the BHWT website (thank you) and will have a good read up on it. I have also got the numbers of my local coordinator to give them a call.

The website suggests getting the crumbs for them to start off with so I will get a bag of that and presume gradually 'wean' them off it!

"The balder, the fiestier!" - Made me laugh!!!!  :D

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Aidy

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2010, 13:36 »
Tell you what Flower, your girls were in better condition than mine when they arrived, three of mine were oven readys, they only had feathers on their necks. Few weeks on and they were looking like propper chooks.
This was about 4 weeks on, you can see the quils with the feathers on...


And then a few weeks further on...
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 13:42 by Aidy »

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Flowerpower136

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2010, 14:02 »
Blimely Aidy, looks like they slipped you a porcupine! :lol:

They do look good now, and nice red combs.  They must feel a million times better?  Does you the power of good! ::)

I'm going to post a before and after of Tilly when I've taken one.  I thought she'd never regrow, it took a full 12 months, but she could win prizes now.  She's still just as fiesty though :lol:  No doubt who's in charge of our flock.

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Aidy

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2010, 14:32 »
Its funny tho, Siouxsie has never grown her rear end feathers back, just walks around with a bear backside :D

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DannyBoy230

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2010, 14:55 »
ah guys! I was meant to be spending some time thinking this over!!!  :blink:

It's getting harder and harder to say "no"!!! They are such gorgeous girls!!  :lol:

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GrannieAnnie

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2010, 15:06 »
The reason the farms get rid once the hens are 72-80 weeks old are that is when you start getting thin shells, no shells, wrinkled shells and shells with different colouring in.

And of course the supermarkets know that we don't want eggs that are not all uniform in colour, shape and size!     ::) ::) ::)

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Aidy

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2010, 20:17 »
And of course the supermarkets know that we don't want eggs that are not all uniform in colour, shape and size!     ::) ::) ::)
And as we all know its not just eggs  >:(
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 20:21 by Aidy »

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DannyBoy230

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2010, 09:15 »
Well I couldn't believe my luck!!!

After all your fantastic advice on Friday, I stated my interest via an email on the BHWT website. At about 8pm I recieved a phone call saying that we can collect 3 on Saturday!  :ohmy:

Took my kids along to the collection and point and it was all so easy - got them boxed and took them home. Finally got a chance to look at them properly and of course had to spend about 2hrs explaining to a 3 year old why they look so different from the other chickens (I have to admit, I was a little taken aback when I saw them - not the same as pictures is it?).

They seemed to settle down well and have kept them separate from the rest of the flock for now, found 3 eggs from them on Sunday morning  :D (Just in time for breakfast!)

We do seem to have a bully amongst them though  :( One of them is definitely pecking at the other two, and I dont think it's just sorting out whos boss as she really gives it a go and doesn't ease off.

I have applied vaseline to their combs and tried to give them things to distract them, but would appreciate any advice from you guys  :wub:

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joyfull

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Re: Ex-Batt Chooks
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2010, 09:28 »
sadly ex batts can be bullies as they have had a rough life and had to fight for everything. You could try spraying the others with anti peck spray or ukadex (vile smelling but often works). She may calm down when they have a greater area and meet with the others but if not then get a beak clip and fit this to her (not the easiest of things to do - but try softening the clip in hot water forst) she will still be able to eat and drink but not pluck feathers.
But...........
where are the photos?  ???  :lol:
Staffies are softer than you think.



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