So you have just re-homed some battery cage rescue chickens and now what to expect and do so they adjust in their forever home with you.
Luckily the weather has been perfect here in Victoria and for those introducing their rescues most of them it would be the first time they have been outside and out of their cage for over a year.
These brown hens we have found with the feedback we are getting have easily adapted in the most part well in their new homes. Chooks like any animals can be very forgiving and will re pay you with not only eggs (YES they will lay if not already doing so)
So time is important for the chooks to adjust but there is a few simple things you can do to help your new rescues adjust well.
- Fresh water and plenty of it – Yes it wont hurt to pop 20mls of apple cider vinegar in 2l of water for 2-3 days for them to give them a little boost. Remember if your doing the ACV or vitamins in their water do one or the other not both!
- Feed – We like giving our rescues a higher protein than normal layer pellets and aim for atleast 17 percent protein for example – barastoc champion layer – red hen – wagners mash all have 17 percent protein. ALSO slowly letting them explore new foods but of course make sure what to avoid (like raw potato, raw onion, avocado is bad for any chook)
- Worming and Mites/lice – we always advice in a rescue situation that you take responsibilty and make the decision yourselves to do the basic husbandry of a chook has they have come from a cages environment and may not be upto date with their basic care needs. We advice prestene (for mites and lice to dust them). Avitrol tablets to worm them. (Both available at most produce stores or online)
- Introducing your rescues to existing flocks – Remember that these birds have never seen another colour or breed of chook. Though most will be just thankful to not have the life of being in a cage there may be a sorting out of the pecking order – be patient or make plans to keep them seperate whilst they adjust on their own and whilst your own chooks get used to them BUT remember there will be some sort of pecking order go on either way and sometimes unless there is blood to be seen or any chook is cowering in a corner its best to let them work it out once and for all.
- Laying Eggs -Yes these guys may go off the lay until they adjust to their new feed, environment etc. BUT most will lay again. Yes some may go through a moult even again. Be patient and remember most chooks lay every 24-27 hours so it may mean you wont get an egg every day from a chook and also as they get older they will slow down too. Also where are they laying eggs. Be patient and let the girls explore they will get the hang of it that laying in a nest box is more comfy than on the floor.
- Most importantly love them, care for them and the reward is that you have given these girls are for ever home.
- Thank you for caring and taking them on!