They're featherless, infested with red mite, have clipped beaks and are all pasty. I knew what to expect but nothing prepared me for this. One has begun to wander around the run and peck at the grass but the others look completely shocked and horribly depressed.
How are they this evening, hope they seem a bit perkier? How many did you get?
I have some ex-batts coming soon, I know what to expect, but I think my DD will be horrified when she sees the state of them!
Are you able to keep an eye on them without disturbing them too much? I know that I will want to keep an eye on the 24/7, but mine will be out of sight from the house - I may have to set up chicken cam and watch them figure out this whole new world.
They are a little perkier, thanks Lucky. They must've been scrapping a little as 2 now have bleeding combs although nothing too serious.
I got 3. 2 of them seem far healthier than the other, who has just sat hunched up in a corner of the run. They seem to spend a lot of time standing on 1 leg, which my others don't do but I'm not sure why.
They've found their food and water but don't recognise anything other than crumbs as food - they ignored the strawberry I gave them and the crust of bread DS tried but they still seem shell-shocked and have no idea what to do. My other 3 girls were curious yesterday but have decided to give the new girls a wide-berth.
I can see them from the kitchen window so have spent most of my day in there, peering out through the rain. I hope they'll be happy here. How many are you getting?
yeah, they do look awful when they come out of prison
and the smell!
but ex-batts are usually the most friendly type of hens- ours were always coming for cuddles they will stand on one leg- that's not unusual for birds, so don't worry abotu that (unless they look like they're in pain when they put a foot down - if they pull it up straight away) - remember they're not used to walking on solid ground.
and ours took a long time before they wanted to walk around (we'd have to force them out of the coop in the morning), or do anything other than stand and look sorry for themselves (or try to peck everything in sight - Rita was rather nasty - she must have been at the bottom of the pecking order inside, because she would try to fight with all the others )
Don't worry about the food, either - they are used to layer's mash, because that's all they've ever been given before. keep introduing new food, though, they'll get used to that (oh, yes, and become right proper gannets! )
Mine are ex-bats. They will improve - it took mine a few weeks to really settle in. Mine will eat anything now and usually turn their nose up at layers mash in favour of leftovers, pasta and vegetables I cook for them. Mine look lovely now as well.
My Dad keeps ex batts as well and he had a real pitiful specimen - he used to dig up worms for her and she's lovely now.
one Rita was always very bedraggled, and Sandra was a bit scruffy, but looked like a real chicken very quickly. It took Rita about a year to get a proper set of feathers, and when I saw her all properly feathery I cried all over her