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Author Topic: Poor laying from Rescued Hens  (Read 6286 times)

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
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Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2013, 10:13:13 am »
I had 4 POLs two years ago to start with, then added 4 ex commercial free range 18 months ago that would be over 3 now and was getting 6-7 eggs a day from those 8 last summer.  I have since added 20 odd others of mixed age/breed but after a couple of weeks of 17 a day through the spring I am now lucky to get into double figures and that is with finding the latest hidden eggs..

Some of the older ones have died off or stopped laying, tellable by the combs fading, but I do think the heat has got to them and I also think becoming free range for 12-14 hours a day has reduced egg numbers because they're not eating solely the layer pellets and evening corn, they're on a more varied diet and are hiding under bushes in the shade much of the day rather than mooching about scratching and eating.  I am assuming the pellets are formulated to encourage maximum production compared to a mixed garden environment  ???

I still get more eggs than I can sell or eat myself so I don't grudge the older hens their retirement and keeping up with the nettle patches they favour laying behind is keeping me on course with the gardening this summer but I could do with a bit of cooler weather myself as I don't find shade under bushes, I find clegs..  :(   
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chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2013, 11:40:11 am »
The layers pellets we buy here (Sanders) are designed as a supplement to free ranging in that they have a whopping 5.5% calcium. Most chickens around here are left to wander freely and predator losses are just accepted (or roadkill). Because ours have eaten the enclosure clean so are really only eating pellets, we have started mixing rearers and layers to get back to 3%.

Fanackapan

  • Joined Jun 2013
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Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2013, 01:48:15 pm »
Personally I think getting eggs from ex- batt's would just be a bonus  ;D . The Main reason for having them is to give the poor little sods a second chance at life  :thumbsup:  . Like any animal or any one that has been through a pro longed traumatic experience, there is a fairly high chance they are going to have psychological problems and need a little extra care and tolerance  :hug: .
 Sorry if this offends anyone, it's just how I feel about ex batts.

How happy I am to read this Bert , for very obvious reasons  :hug: : they do deserve what freedom they can get after the tough year in the factories. Anyone rehoming these hens and expecting to profit by it will likely be disappointed , anyone rehoming with your outlook will be delighted. I have rehomed 3 times and all the hens have come back into lay, once they are restored to fitness and they are the friendliest and tamest and easiest to handle of any of my mixed bag of hens.
To answer the point about rehoming centres maybe misleading people a bit, actually fair comment to a degree, the rehoming centre I am connected with does say they will lay for years to come but as already said the ones I have taken myself have on average laid for a good 18 months. Also when rehomed they go with a care sheet and contacts for any problems that may arise. Should anyone find they are 'not for them' we would do our best to take them back again.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2013, 01:54:30 pm »
Personally I think getting eggs from ex- batt's would just be a bonus  ;D . The Main reason for having them is to give the poor little sods a second chance at life
This is exactly why I got mine years ago.  We had never had hens before, bought a croft, got half a dozen ex batts just because we had the space, free ranged over 20 acres.  Came running to my dog whistle at mealtimes!    ever so funny watching them,  :roflanim: wish I'd had my video phone then. :innocent:  They did all lay from time to time, but we got other breeds to supplement.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

colliewobbles

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • South Norfolk
Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2013, 03:05:09 pm »
We have a house full of rescued animals and we are not looking to make a profit from any of them.  But up until now the chooks have kind of paid for themselves with the lovely eggs we have had - we bought the extra dozen because our friends at dog training all love the eggs and said they would by from us if we got more.  Now we are in the position of having lots more chickens but seemingly less eggs than before!!

My original question was that these ladies don't seem to laying anywhere close to what we have had previously and I was trying to work out why that might be.

Please everyone - lets not turn this into a thread where people are put down for hoping to sell on their eggs.  I do lots of stuff for rescued animals aside from the chickens which I don't need to discuss or justify here.

Donna

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2013, 04:57:27 pm »
Sorry if that's how I came across, not intended that way.  :-[ :-[ 

My surplus eggs are sold to friends and neighbours too.  Just saying that I got mine for their good first and foremost and the eggs were a delicious bonus. I was chuffed to bits to find one of my ex batts had survived the fox attack and I think she is one of my best layers; she's also the friendliest of all six.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

colliewobbles

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • South Norfolk
Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2013, 05:01:45 pm »
 :hug: :hug: :hug:   no harm done  xx

Fanackapan

  • Joined Jun 2013
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Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2013, 05:42:06 pm »
We have a house full of rescued animals and we are not looking to make a profit from any of them.  But up until now the chooks have kind of paid for themselves with the lovely eggs we have had - we bought the extra dozen because our friends at dog training all love the eggs and said they would by from us if we got more.  Now we are in the position of having lots more chickens but seemingly less eggs than before!!

My original question was that these ladies don't seem to laying anywhere close to what we have had previously and I was trying to work out why that might be.

Please everyone - lets not turn this into a thread where people are put down for hoping to sell on their eggs.  I do lots of stuff for rescued animals aside from the chickens which I don't need to discuss or justify here.

Donna

Fanackapan

  • Joined Jun 2013
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Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2013, 05:51:48 pm »
Oops I seemed to have lost my voice  :roflanim:

What I was going to say is I:did say that the rescues come from different sources , even if they end up at the same centre so you could be right in thinking your last lot were from a less well managed establishment (I am being so polite there) but other reason such as the weather at present has a lot to do with a slow down in eggs being laid.
A couple of rescued hens makes anyones flock richer by their antics , if nothing else.
We have silkies,hybrids ,pure breeds and ex batts all living peacefully together in the back garden, I get a mixture of egg sizes and colours/patterns and the people that buy them wouldn't go elsewhere now as they love the mixtures and know the hens are looked after properly.
They are just lovely pets who do a lot towards contributing towards their keep which , much as I love the dogs and cats, can't be said about them  :roflanim:

colliewobbles

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • South Norfolk
Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2013, 06:01:24 pm »
I am pretty sure they were different sources although from the same rescue.

Funny thing is - the first 3 lots we have had over the years have been the ones you see in a terrible state, battery farmed with no feathers.  They have come on great and laid plenty of eggs.

This lot looked much better when we got them - rescue lady told us they were from the new enriched cages which is why the looked better.  They could have been from the same farm as before - but they were definitely kept under the new conditions.

Donna

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2013, 07:39:55 pm »
If it's any comfort, mine are not laying as well as they were two weeks ago - I think it's the heat  :)

Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2013, 11:31:27 am »
Personally I think getting eggs from ex- batt's would just be a bonus  ;D . The Main reason for having them is to give the poor little sods a second chance at life  :thumbsup:  . Like any animal or any one that has been through a pro longed traumatic experience, there is a fairly high chance they are going to have psychological problems and need a little extra care and tolerance  :hug: .
 Sorry if this offends anyone, it's just how I feel about ex batts.

How happy I am to read this Bert , for very obvious reasons  :hug: : they do deserve what freedom they can get after the tough year in the factories. Anyone rehoming these hens and expecting to profit by it will likely be disappointed , anyone rehoming with your outlook will be delighted. I have rehomed 3 times and all the hens have come back into lay, once they are restored to fitness and they are the friendliest and tamest and easiest to handle of any of my mixed bag of hens.
To answer the point about rehoming centres maybe misleading people a bit, actually fair comment to a degree, the rehoming centre I am connected with does say they will lay for years to come but as already said the ones I have taken myself have on average laid for a good 18 months. Also when rehomed they go with a care sheet and contacts for any problems that may arise. Should anyone find they are 'not for them' we would do our best to take them back again.

It doesn't offend me at all. We sell eggs on the gate and ever increasing demand meant we needed a quick fix. Space wasn't a problem, we just needed hens. We looked at POL but most are classed as POL at about 14 weeks these days! So we found a local organic egg producer who was selling off their ex layers for £1.50 each. We spoke to them and they said they were currently laying 3-4 good eggs a week each. So we took them at their word and bought 20. The idea wasn't to make a profit, just give them a second chance in our field and keep the egg box full for our customers as we were worried they would stop coming if it was always empty. We saw them as a stop gap as we had 48 eggs in the incubator which will be laying probably late autumn. Our plan was to give the ex layers away in small batches once these came into lay.

It was just a disaster. We accepted the initial low laying rate as stress from the move. But it never picked up and they didn't half go through the layers (good, expensive A+P stuff). As I said, any eggs they did lay were brittle and most got eaten anyway. We tried all sorts but they turned into a money pit. I know now that they should have gone as pets. The point is that we feel a bit ripped off as the people selling them to us either lied or had no idea of the problems we would face. We knew it was a risk and we didn't have high expectations and worked our calcs on 2 eggs per hen a week to break even which we would have been happy with, just to keep the customers supplied. We never got anywhere near that.

A lesson to us, that's for sure.

Daisys Mum

  • Joined May 2009
  • Scottish Borders
Re: Poor laying from Rescued Hens
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2013, 04:10:14 pm »
Like you Stereo I have quite a lot customers at the gate so while I think that it is commendable that people rehome these birds it's not for me either. Feed costs are just so high that I can't afford freeloaders ( says she with some ancient light sussex and a few very old hybrids) but I kid myself on that just because I see them come out the nesting boxes they must be laying  :innocent:
Anne

 

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