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Author Topic: Rescued End of lay hens  (Read 1138 times)


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Rescued End of lay hens
« on: April 08, 2019, 10:25:25 pm »
I've acquired 4 'end of lay' hens I don't know anything about them, they were on their way for processing, we were allowed to get a few out.
They look very pale round the head, feathering not as bad as some pictures I've seen, any advice on care please?
Thinking they look anaemic , or just worn out? Smaller than I expected, largish floppy combs, mainly pale as well.


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Rescued End of lay hens
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 11:20:28 pm »
Feed them layers pellets, which is a balanced feed, and maybe a bit of corn which they like for a change. I got some a few weeks ago and they've never stopped laying. I kept them in a run, with house for a few days, then let them out in the garden and they love scratching around. They go in themselves at dusk and I just shut them up. If you can't let them free range they also enjoy greens or grass cuttings. Their combs will soon reduce to a normal size and become a healthy red.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Rescued End of lay hens
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2019, 01:17:25 am »
I already have a couple of hens, so the newbies are in isolation for a while, a shed well away from anything. Looking forward to letting them out though ?.
I have some mixed flake, might try them on that tomorrow, flaked corn and peas in it.


  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Rescued End of lay hens
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2019, 07:05:07 am »
We took 6 on in January. They looked quite rough but now look lovely. They free range and take themselves to bed at dusk and get locked in. They get a mix of Allen & page layers pellets mixed with corn. Eggs every day!


  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Re: Rescued End of lay hens
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2019, 08:42:42 am »
We sell about 30 of eggs per week from end of lay rescued hens. They look great after a few weeks.


  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: Rescued End of lay hens
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2019, 09:15:00 am »
Keep a close eye on them in their 'early days of freedom' as they can get very cold.  Our rescues had never seen the light of day before, so had no idea what rain was and had no idea that the needed to shelter from it.  They were also virtually bald, so they had no way of regulating their temperatures. 

The few that did have feathers were so moth-eaten that the rain just soaked into them.  After a few weeks they were all good as gold, their feathers were growing back and were becoming much better preened, so were more water-proof.  It was a delight to see how their natural behaviour soon kicks in, scratching, dust bathing etc. 

The pale floppy combs were also much more vibrant too. 

We don't have any at the moment, but the rescues were some of the friendliest chooks we have ever cared for. 

Part time dabbler

  • Joined Aug 2016
  • Cornwall
Re: Rescued End of lay hens
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2019, 12:45:25 pm »
Make sure you introduce them as gradually as you can, the existing hens will be stronger and very much up for establishing the pecking order.  First thing is feed up the new ones so they are not so weak.

When we got some I ended up buying a second coop and a second water butt and separated the run so they could see each other for a few weeks before letting them mix. It is a stressful time but they will establish their own order.
Physically part time in the garden, mentally full time in the garden


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