Battery Hens, Consider Some, They Are Great PetsKeith
Battery Hens, Consider Some,Save Their Lives!
How Many battery hens do you want? Charities say it must be a minimum of 3 chickens as hens are flock creatures. 3 or 4 chickens fit comfortably into a standard coop and provide a family with enough eggs. You don’t need a cockerel for a hen to lay eggs.
Space: Do you have space for chickens? They don’t require much room, a small back garden will easily be enough for 3 chickens. Are they going to be in a run or let them free range? There isn’t really enough room in the run of standard bought coops for the chickens to experience freedom and if you aren’t happy to let them trash you garden (and they will!) a compromise may be a fenced area of their own. It will require some shade, preferably some greenery, somewhere for a dust bath (a flowerpot with compost in will suffice) and be secure. A moveable fence made from chicken wire is a cheap and easy way of keeping your birds and your garden safe.
Costs: You will need to buy a secure coop and run. Get the best you can afford it will be built better, more secure and last longer. An internet search showed you can buy a small coop/run for as little as £100 ). Manufacturers are stingy when it comes to room in the coops so buy one that is suitable for more chickens than you intend to have. You also need to consider feed costs and buying feeders and drinkers, which are a few pounds each. Bedding is cheaper bought in bales.
Time: Chickens ie battery hens, don’t take up much time, less than a dog who needs regular walking! However, they do need letting out in the morning, which is OK at 8am in the winter, not so good at 5.30am in the summer. They also need locking up before dusk, which can be 4pm in the winter. If you are away from home at this time, will they be in a secure and safe from predators? Their coops need de-pooing each morning and cleaning out thoroughly once a week. Plus you need to keep food and water topped up daily. You could spend as little as 15 minutes a day caring for your chickens and then an hour a week to thoroughly clean the coop, feeders etc.
What if they get ill? Ex-Batts are not unhealthy simply unfit. They can however be prone to certain ex-batt specific ailments so once you have acquainted yourselves with the signs of an unwell chicken, find yourself a vet who has a sound knowledge of poultry. By re-homing / finding some ex battery hens for sale through the charities you will saving their lives and providing a wonderful retirement for some very precious ladies. They will provide you with eggs from day one, provide you with wonderful manure for your garden and keep you thoroughly entertained with their antics and quirky characters!