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Rescuing Battery Hens

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Has anyone got any advice on homing a rescued battery hen? Charlie (my 11year old daughter) and I would really love to give a home to a rescued hen.

We already have 2 hens and an eglu (since March this year) and would love to increase our flock.


How would we integrate a new girl with our girls?


Do we need a separate house and run (quite liking the pink eglu as an option!)


Where can we find a rescued battery hen?


Should we rescue 2 at once to give them companionship?


Are they likely to bring in diseases that affect our girls?


All advice welcome..................please


Thanks :D


Pam xx Babs and Ginger

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I can't comment about battery hens but I would say that you need more than one. Hens are sociable creatures and don't do well on their own. You should always have at least 2 hens so that they are company for each other and 2 take the same amount of care as one alone.


EDIT - Doh, I've done it again, haven't I :roll: ! Read carefully Kate! I missed that you'd already got 2 hens so one ex-battery girl would be fine! Sorry about that :wink: .

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There was an interesting article in last month's Country Smallholding magazine all about rescuing battery hens, and I think that there's an update in this month's edition too. There are a couple of people on this forum (kazaddress is one) who have rescued battery hens, I am sure that they will be along soon with advice.



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Just wondered, as no one replied to half your questions; I'd be careful about introducing one rescue bird to an established pair. It takes care & consideration to bring in a new chicken anyway, and an ex battery could have a very hard time.

Obviously, that thought was behind your question, so good luck with whatever you decide to do. Especially if you find you need another Eglu so as to keep the oldies & recuees separate! :wink::lol:

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Practical Poultry forum has a great section all about battery / rescue hens - Lots of advice / experiences from loads of people, and they all seem very supportive.


Personally I think it would be hard to introduce one battery hen to an established pair - I echo Sheilas comments, I think it would have an extra hard time. In fact that sounds like the perfect excuse to get two and another Eglu :D


Good luck!

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I echo the comments about introducing a battery hen (or two) to your flock - be very careful as they will be traumatised and in need of some very special care and attention. There is a Battery Hen section on the Practical Poultry Forum which has a thread warning of some specific health risks to the battery hens as they have been kept in a very un-naturally sanitised environment. There are diseases they can (and will) contract from your other hens who will either have been vaccinated or been allowed to develop some natural immunity. Sadly battery hens will have the benefit of neither. So there is a lot of preparation to be done but I have no doubt whatsoever that it would be a very rewarding experience. Good luck and well done!


P.S. Don't forget that commercial free-range egg producers also replace their flocks every year or so, which means thousands and thousands of them are ending up as pet food too. This might be an easier option for a novice - it's one I'm considering.



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Oh. poor hens, I'd really love to give them a home, and it would be such a fantastic experience for the children too, to get involved with rescuing and rehabilitating new hens, but I think I'm a bit tight on space. Could fit in another 2 girls in the orange eglu, but that would involve shared accomodation, and I'm not sure that I could arrange an easy, pecking free introduction. Not sure how hubby and neighbours would greet another expansion to the flock either :? I'm so tempted though, even though I really don't know what I'd with more eggs either- we're supplying the neighbourhood as it is :roll:

I'm going to check out the web-site and try to think sensibly about this, I think it needs really careful consideration, not an impulse thing based on compassion for those poor bedraggled birds.

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Oh I've missed the forum and have problems with my Pc :evil: so forgive me for being infrequent, also alot or work to catch up on and a puppy to start walking (slowly )


Just a little note to add to your great responses. Ideally 2-3 hens need to be adopted because you would need to keep them isolated at first and they need company. 3 is in case, sadly, you lose one due to the condition of the hen, not easy to tell if the strain is too much.


About to post about a battery hen sponsorship scheme for xmas pressies!! 8)


Bx :wink:

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