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by Dandelion 17th August 2020, 9:45 pm

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default Ex-commercial hens

Post by Dandelion on 15th August 2020, 2:29 pm

Having lost three hens during lockdown, the vet suggested that trying ex-commecial hens might work for me. He thinks that buying hens from a small supplier can lead to problems, as it is difficult to vaccinate effectively if you only raise a small number of hens. I was very pleased to try his suggestion, as we were down to just one hen again, and it was proving almost impossible to get any hybrids. My daughter works with someone from a farm who was happy to sell me some hens from the batch she was buying, so they arrived three weeks ago. The vet's advice was to buy more than I needed, as he said they don't always survive the transition period, so I bought three. They were in quite a state - the lady who got them for me was quite shocked by their condition when she picked them up. One has no tail, and the other two are naked from the waist down, but they seem to be settling in.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Re: Ex-commercial hens

Post by Dandelion on 15th August 2020, 2:32 pm

[img]Ex-commercial hens P1020110[/img]

Poor Pearl has no tail

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Re: Ex-commercial hens

Post by Dandelion on 15th August 2020, 2:39 pm

They are Burford Browns, and their eggs go to Waitrose and Happy Eggs. Surprisingly they are still laying which to me is above and beyond the call of duty - after all the trauma they have been through they are entitled to a bit of time off!! The two who are featherless at the back were looking quite red so I decided to spray them with gentian violet to stop the others pecking them. It has done the trick but was like a comedy sketch. Because the hens are so nervous I sprayed them at night, taking them out of their sleeping area, doing one a night. The first night I forgot to put gloves on, and still have purple on my hands. the second night I remembered the goves, but the hen decided to shake her feathers as I was spraying her, and I had purple across my face and neck!! A scrub with a flannel and some Number 7 Radiant Reflections face cleaner has got most of it off!!


Last edited by Dandelion on 15th August 2020, 10:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dandelion
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default Re: Ex-commercial hens

Post by Dandelion on 15th August 2020, 2:44 pm

[img]Ex-commercial hens P1020111[/img]
Pearl is bottom of the pecking order and gets chased, so I have made some of these little shelters out of old cloche hoops and some UPVC offcuts clipped on so she can hide and feed.

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dandelion
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default Re: Ex-commercial hens

Post by FloBear on 15th August 2020, 7:30 pm

Ex commercial hens are so rewarding, Dandelion, because the instinct to be proper hens comes through very quickly. Molly is the bottom of the pecking order in my coop and has a bald patch on her back by her tail. I have some gentian violet, I suppose I should give her a spray.
With my previous flocks I have had an almost constant supply of eggs year round. Only one of this lot ever seems to lay an egg!
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default Re: Ex-commercial hens

Post by Dandelion on 15th August 2020, 10:36 pm

I didn't realise you kept ex-commercial hens, FloBear - I may be bending your ear and asking for advice. I'm finding them quite different to the hens I've had before: I would like them to be less scared of me, but I suppose that will just take time and patience - it's hardly surprising in the circumstances! I think this is definitely the way to go though - it's what I want to do now. My other two are Molly and Dolly by the way!

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dandelion
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default Re: Ex-commercial hens

Post by Ploshkin on 17th August 2020, 6:20 pm

We have a commercial 'free range' egg producer very near by and I have occasionally had birds from him when he is changing over. I've not had the lack of feather problem though because he has specifically caught out some tidy ones for me. I've had Burford Browns - not brown and they've always been excellent layers. It doesn't take them very long to get into the swing of things.
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default Re: Ex-commercial hens

Post by Dandelion on 17th August 2020, 9:45 pm

Thank you, that's really encouraging.

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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