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Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your chickens, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

Getting our hens (ex batts) tomorrow and SO excited!
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LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 07/05/2011 14:06

Any tips for settling them in?

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leafbird · 07/05/2011 21:11

we have had ex batts every year now for four years.I always give them some poultry spice in there feed as they usually dont have many feathers, dont expect too much in the first couple of days, the first time ours go on the grass they look like they are doing a walk from something out of montypython, also they have no concept to night and day so its best to not let them out into a large enclosure for a few days.If you have any other chickens keep them away for at least a week so you can monitor for disease and lice You will need to clip there wings as they would not have had this done , and then enjoy they are great birds the first time we re homed we got four eggs on the drive home lol.Also remember a suitable box/cage for the drive home.They also just stand in the rain so i had you put them undercover for the first week. will probably add more as you can tell from the way this is written lol

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LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 07/05/2011 21:17

Thank you.

How long do you think I should keep them in their coop before letting them out? I've had conflicting advice.

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tigana · 07/05/2011 21:25

We have ex batts, since July last year.
It's amazing how quickly they start scratching around and acting like 'real' chickens, even while they still look like very sorry specimens.

As leafbird says, if it rains, pop out and make sure they have headed inside their chookhouse, same in the evening - when it starts getting dark, they may not twig that it's time to go inside and may need a persuading push. Ours have learnt to do this themselves now, think it didn't take very long at all.

We haven't clipped the wings of ours. Apart from a couple of forays out of their enclosure by way of the compost heap ( flappy leap up onto compost heap which is in their enclosure, then tumbly leap off heap onto rest of garden) they have stayed where they are. But our garden is pretty enclosed, so they couldn't get very far!

Be ready for some wobbly eggs. One of ours regularly produces 'Klingon eggs' with quite thin and very wrinkly,lumpy shells - although she's on the same food etc as the other 2. Also, don't be surprised if not all of them lay all of the time. They can be pretty egged-out after their start in life, and a reduction in laying is usually the reason the battery farm are getting rid of them ( it ain't a sudden attack of conscience...)

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leafbird · 07/05/2011 22:05

it depends on your run if its a small one then you can let them in to it after a few hours,i have a separate run for when we get new hens that is a coop and run with a roof and about six ft by six ft, You will also have to look out for bulling,its normal for them to have some disagreements(this is where the term pecking order comes from) but if you see any sings of blood you need to remove the chicken strait away as the other chickens will peck at the wound.they also love lots of leftovers,they also go crazy for corn its like sweets for chickens,i also always feed them with the same bucket makes life easier if they get out(we have a few acres )as they run like mad things for the food bucket lol. i work as a veterinary nurse so if you need any other advice let me know enjoy your lovely ladies

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LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 07/05/2011 22:08

Thank you both ever so much. :)

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chickchickchicken · 08/05/2011 21:52

so pleased for you. its very rewarding rehoming ex batts. there were a few threads recently about ex batts (still showing on the first page of list but dont know how to link) if you want to read them
good luck

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LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 09/05/2011 00:18

I thought that said 'good cluck'!!!

Thank you. Get them today, very pleased. :)

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LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 09/05/2011 00:18

Sorry, got, not get.

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