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sjs

How long should my ex-batts live?

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We've just lost our lovely ex-batt, Hilary, whom we've had for 13 months. We lost our first in Feb. Both unrelated issues - one had a tumour and the other Peritonitis. Our lovely vet in Bisley, Surrey has assured me that we're not doing anything wrong but I feel dreadful that we've lost two so quickly. The one we never thought would make it past 6 wks is still going strong. I never thought I'd be so attached and am desperately upset. I'm wondering whether to give up on the idea of rescue hens in the hope that we can get a couple of 'normal' (?) hens that will live longer. My 15 yr old daughter cares for them (no hens could be loved more) but its been distressing to see her so upset too. I'd like to ask what any of you would recommend. I'm just worried that our inexperience is not catching problems in time too.

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I'm so sorry sjs. I haven't kept ex-batts but the average lifespan of hybrids is only around 3 years, even if they have had a good life from birth. If yours were around 18 months old when you got them then they have pretty much lived out their lifespan, especially given their difficult start in life. I am sure you and your daughter gave them both a wonderful retirement, one that few hens are lucky enough to get.

 

If you want hens with longer expectancies and fewer egg-laying problems then pure-breeds tend to live to around 6. They are unlikely to have been fully vaccinated, though, unlike hybrids, so they will be more susceptible to infectious diseases.

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I've not had ex-batts either but I'm sure Egghead is right, it's nothing you're doing wrong. I've lost hybrids aged 2 and they've been pampered from day one. You're doing a great thing giving them a chance of freedom, however long they survive out of their cages :clap: .

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Hi

I got 7 ex batt in May 2010.

Lost the Raquel after a few months. Mavis was free 11 months.

I lost Betty ,Hilda,Blanch & Vera this year, they nearly had 2 years free and Rita is still going strong.

 

Sage

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You're doing nothing wrong......I've had 15 ex-bats in total ,over 6 years, and they all live for varying amounts of time. Flake only lasted 2 months with me but I've had another that managed 2 years. I think it all depends how old they are when they come out of the cages and what sort of life they led while in the cages. During June I lost 3 in total; one just died overnight, 1 had a tumour and the other had a stroke, and yes it is heartbreaking and you do wonder if you are doing anything wrong but I focus on the fact that they've had some time to experience life as a normal chicken and I wouldn't be without ex-bats for the world.......I can't imagine owning any other breed of chicken! Please, please keep with the ex-bats.....they really deserve the chance of a fantastic life, however short it may be.

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Please don't worry - you are doing a great job.

 

I have had five in total;

 

One of the first lot was free for 6 months and another for 1.5 years I have the last of the first lot is still here 2 years on but I think has crop problems this morning as its not empty an she is sleepy.

The second lot one was only free for 2 months bit the other is still here.

 

They tend to get a lot of problems mine have died from sour crop, egg bound an old age bless them. :(

 

Even a short amount of time out of the farm is a bonus to these poor birds. :)

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We thought the same. Brought two orps( quite expensive) and although love them they are more work. They do keep going broody, fussy with food and I lost one a few weeks ago, only two years old :( the other is now lonely and only happy when free-ranging with me for company so have found her great new home on small holding and going back to batts. Also found the pure breeds a lot more noisey which is another reaon we're going back to batts :D

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I lost 4 over 3 days, all unrelated and cared for by the lovely Vet in Bisley :D

I was left with my 3 and a half years free disabled girl. I had planned 2 pure breed chicks for my sanity (alongside my beloved ex batties.) however circumstances dictated a couple of young hybrids, a black rock and light sussex, as friends for her while my 2 chics are growing up. Disabled or not she can strike like a crocodile x Cobra... :lol::lol:

This time last year I had 11 !

The heartache is unbelievable isn't it.... xxxx

I have just heard of July rescue 21st I think it is....

Having now had both I understand why everyone says how different the batties :):)

they are so special, much as I adore my new youngsters I so so miss a garden of special girls.... :)

i too have had them les than a year right up to 3 years 7 months... ...

no rhyme or reason...

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Thank you all so much for your lovely words of encouragement. I think that, having read them, we will re-home some more ex-batts. Can I just ask if my one hen, Feathers, will be ok on her own for a couple of weeks until the next re-homing?

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I have kept a lone hen for a couple of weeks while I sorted out /quarantined some new friends. I am sure she will cope. She might appreciate some extra human company in the meantime.

 

Have fun with your new ex-batts when you get them!

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if you are able to keep her company as much as possible AND she is not sad and miserable then yes... and will have to be also...

you "could" try and ring Brenda at C ranleigh an explain, she might have someone or 2 ready for rehoming.. (she keeps any not so ready back)

Although I believe the last rehoming was free range AND Brenda has a lot of space , so if yours will be shut in the Eglu run for any length of time, perhaps not a good idea.

Surrey poultry might have something looking for a good home.(NOT the place nearest Fred!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) There is no reason that you cannot mix a "posh" girl, and she might be your "constant" so to speak, that is what I am hoping with my pure breed chicks....

Something to help the heartache of the inevitable passing of a special rescue lady.(although as you will read on here there are no sure things!!!! :)

well done for caring for your 3 and taking them to a vet when they needed him...

Its hard I sure do know, but try and focus on the happy retirement you gave them, and not on your loss. xx

And well done for reaching the one year henniversary of freedom x

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We've got a lone hen at the moment, I'm making sure she gets lots of time out of the cage and attention while we get her used to our other flock, I would have thoughts she'd be okay for a couple of weeks, just keep a close eye on her that she isn't getting stressed or lonely. Good luck (& well done for rescuing your ex-batts :clap: I agree its difficult when they get ill (actually waiting for the vet to open to take one of ours) but to know that at least one human has cared for them is a wonderful thing after all the horrors they have been through).

 

Aurora GNR Bea GNR Bellatrix GNR Ginny GNR Mineva GNR Trelawney GNR(cube purple)

Alice (Bluebelle) Bella (Bluebelle)

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