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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is the right section, hope it is...

We have thrown around the idea of getting some chooks for a while now, a long time before the consideration of following a vegan diet came into the mix, as the egg industry is the first thing that we were not happy with.

Having never owned chickens before though, I am wondering how easy/hard it would be to rehabilitate rescue hens, is there special things I need to be aware of or do with them?

And where would I even get them from? We are in Brisbane
 

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One thing you have to be aware of with rescue hens is that, depending on the conditions in which they were kept, they may not be able to walk or even stand at first. So, for a while, you may need to carry them outside, over to the food and water, etc. They may initially also be disoriented/frightened by open spaces. The good news is that they adapt very quickly.

I don't know the nature of the predators in your area, but chickens are extremely vulnerable to predators, and rescue hens will be even more so at first. Where I live, I have to worry about everything from hawks to coyotes, raccoons, foxes, free roaming dogs and cats. The most insidious predator in this area is the weasel, which is why the chicken house is clad in 1/2 inch hardware cloth (a type of wire fencing with 1/2 inch openings - a weasel can get through a one inch opening). My chicken yard is too large to roof over with fencing, but it is shaded by trees, so hawks do not have enough clearance to swoop down and get a chicken. However, it means that I have to be home by dusk so that I can secure the chickens and the ducks in their respective houses before the predators come out to hunt.

My best advice is to join a chicken forum, and concentrate on the housing and predator section to learn as much as possible about what you need to do to protect any chickens you get. If you have any questions other than about predators in your area, I'll be happy to answer them to the best of my ability.

As far as getting chickens - rescue places always seem to have roosters available - they're hard to place. As for hens - I know that there are some people who *liberate* hens, but I don't know how you would go about getting into touch with such people. Most commercial egg establishments *cull* (i.e., kill) their hens after a year, so if you buy hens from them, you will at least be saving lives, even if you are contributing to their profits.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuddle View Post

Not sure if this is the right section, hope it is...

We have thrown around the idea of getting some chooks for a while now, a long time before the consideration of following a vegan diet came into the mix, as the egg industry is the first thing that we were not happy with.

Having never owned chickens before though, I am wondering how easy/hard it would be to rehabilitate rescue hens, is there special things I need to be aware of or do with them?

And where would I even get them from? We are in Brisbane
http://www.homesforhens.net/index.html
says they started in Brisbane.
The feeding consideration is very important with these girls. They may not recognize or investigate anything other than layer mash as food. Some battery rescues have gone to the edge of starvation before caretakers realized that the hens didn't know mixed scratch grains were actually food.

You may also have to keep them in near-battery like conditions for a few weeks so they can safely and gradually make the transition to walking and an open space. A dog crate large enough for 2-3 to stand and take a few steps around each other is a good place to start because you can easily control the amount of light they are getting. They are extremely fearful and panic-stricken birds, clump together and may involuntarily injure each other if you just let them out into a coop or fenced area.
 

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Please keep us posted if you do rescue some hens! This is something I am also very interested in, and hope to do in the future.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlp View Post

As far as getting chickens - rescue places always seem to have roosters available - they're hard to place. As for hens - I know that there are some people who *liberate* hens, but I don't know how you would go about getting into touch with such people. Most commercial egg establishments *cull* (i.e., kill) their hens after a year, so if you buy hens from them, you will at least be saving lives, even if you are contributing to their profits.
Send them my way there is a factory farm just outside my city and it makes my blood boil

And Nuddle I think its great you are looking into doing this. When I get appropriate space for chickens i plan on doing the same - although I would love to have an entire animal sanctuary for liberated farm animals. Esp liberated race horses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
would love to have a big farm and do that too.

I am just wondering if I should start with a couple of chickens, just to get the feel for how to look after them before getting rescue hens, as they will need more looking after, understanding... does that make sense?
 

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Here is a link to a great US organization with loads of support and experience in helping chickens who have been victimized by factory farming.

http://www.farmsanctuary.org/
http://www.farmanimalshelters.org/care_chicken.htm

I called Farm Sanctuary for advice a few times when I first rescued Sunshine, my chicken. They are very helpful and supportive. They also have great online info about chicken care, from the perspective of someone keeping them as a companion and rescuing them from factory farms.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuddle View Post

would love to have a big farm and do that too.

I am just wondering if I should start with a couple of chickens, just to get the feel for how to look after them before getting rescue hens, as they will need more looking after, understanding... does that make sense?
The problem with that is that you would have to be able to house the rescue hens separately, at least for a while. They would otherwise almost certainly get picked on by the chickens you would already have, and be completely defenseless against that.
 
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