I rescued 5 battery hens 3 weeks ago, Paxo, Mildred, Maude, Mabel and Maggie. The "girls" are settling in very well and have the run of the garden until "bedtime". I've still not had any eggs though and feel a little disheartened as I really couldn't bare to part with them now.. I have noticed that they have lots of new feathers, will this have anything to do with it? I have put a "dummy" egg in the nesting area, will this help? I do not wish to give the "girls" any chemical stuff that they would not normally have. Please help..
have you had a good old hunt in the undergrowth, behind pots, under things? ex batts will lay anywhere...they don't 'know' to use the nest box, they've never had that luxury.
I'd give them time, 3 weeks still fairly early - it's all a bit odd for them moving from stinky cage to wide open spaces.
Are you feeding ex-batt crumb/pellet not 'normal' chicken food?
Our exbatt lays best on mix of corn, exbatt crumb and green grazing. Try varying food until you find something they like ( for scavengers they can be fussy buggars!) We also add Poultry Spice to their food - it is natural, just makes sure they get everything they need.
1 or 2 may never lay - the reason the battery farm sent them for rehoming was because their egg production dropped below acceptable (see also excessive) levels... they may have decided they've done enough laying for a lifetime!
We got 3 new ex batts about 2-3 weeks ago...now total 4 ex batts, just in last week started to get 1 or 3 eggs a day ( our existing chook went off lay after we introduced the newbies to her domain!)
I think dummy eggs are more about encouraging broodiness (which you don't want...think they stop laying then?) or teaching them where to lay (ie in nestbox not wherever they happen to be when the egg pops out)