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Pure breeds as struggling to cope with loss of ex battery

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ive had ex battery hens for the last four years. I love my girls so much,  I become very attached to all of them and I just love giving them a fresh start in life. However I’m struggling emotionally with how sick they can get and their short lifespan it completely breaks my heart. I’ve had all my girls for a minimum of two years from rescue so I know that they are already slightly elderly. 

ive lost two in the last 3 weeks, one to a tumour and one to peritonitis. I’ve just come back from the vet with one of my girls I’ve had for four years so she’s very old who is on borrowed time and another whose got a tumour. I’m so lucky as my girls have been so resilient and we have successfully treated a few peritonitis and health issues but now I’ve lost quite a few I was thinking of getting some more. 

I just don’t know if I can cope with the heartache of them having health issues and loosing them so soon after getting them and somebody mentioned pure breeds can live a lot long and be healthier. I would feel awful not having any ex battery but was considering having a mixture of ex battery and pure breed. Is this possible if so what pure breed would suit me best? I’m not bothered about eggs they are just pets. I also know pure breeds are often not vaccinated is this a problem if they will be with my existing girls ? 

also has anybody else struggled emotionally with loosing their ex batteries and the health issues they have. I’m very lucky I’ve got an amazing avian vet but I’m in there it feels nearly every month !

thanks so much 

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Very good of you to open your home and heart to ex batts! But I understand the struggle with the emotional side of things.

Don’t think anyone active on here now has ex batts. But you would probably need to stick to standard sized breeds as bantams might likely be bullied. Don’t know what your ex batts are like, but they can be feisty madams.

Pure breeds can live to 8 or 9 years with the odd 10+ exception, but this definitely isn’t a guarantee. My oldest chickens got to about 5 years.

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On 6/1/2021 at 7:03 PM, Audrey247 said:

has anybody else struggled emotionally with loosing their ex batteries

My mum has stopped having ex-batts for this reason. It sad because giving them a live after their caged / barn time is over is such a great thing to do, but it is undoubtedly hard to watch them go downhill with such regularity and at such a young age.

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Our first hens were rescued so completely understand how you feel. It is a lovely thing to do but it is heart breaking having them for such a short time. Our hybrids have generally lived for about 4 years but its ranged from 9 months to 10 years

Perhaps you could have pure breeds next and then in the future see how you feel about rescuing again?  

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My longest living Pekin will be 9 in August and she even laid an egg the other day.

I think it is heart breaking to lose any pet but I don't think it matters how long you have had them for - if you care about them, you will be upset.

It could be harder for you to lose a pet that you have had for a long time.

If you are happy to give the ex batts the time of their life with your care then I would continue to do that - you are obviously very good at it.

I think it all depends on the chicken - some live a long and healthy life, others not so long, ex batts are obviously slightly disadvantaged because of the life they have lived before you've rescued them. I've had some Pekins that have only lived for about 6 months.

Do what you feel is right for you and your circumstances xx

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If you are taking ex batts/rescue hens then please do feel reassured that you are giving them a great home and clearly much love (which they have obviously been lacking) and showing them kindness and care after a tough life. Owning animals is a great privillage (sp) but this is balanced by the tough decisions that you have to make when they go downhill. But how much better for them to have had that care and love, albeit for a short time?! You can't quantify that and, although it is hard on you, you are giving them precious time to be chickens rather than egg machines so be strong and hold that thought.


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