buy chickens
Garden Progress

Where can I buy chickens?

First of all you need to rethink this idea. Rather than buy chickens why not think, instead about rehoming an ex battery hen through British Hen Welfare Trust? They are not just ex-battery hens, some are ex caged hens. The difference being very subtle compared to how they will be living in your backyard!

buy chickens from a known charity
This is Esme a few days after we bought her from BHWT. She was missing a lot of feathers, but not as badly as one of her sisters, but they are now full on fluff butts

Reasons to buy chickens from a rehoming charity

  1. expert help and advice on hand all the time
  2. they are known to be daily layers of wonderful eggs, once they are fully free range eggs they will rock your socks off
  3. they are super confident and nosy confident ex battery hens
  4. our girls are fearless and very gentle with smaller children, this is also good for the kids as they want to rescue more chickens!
  5. hens bred for the mass market tend towards hardiness, they are the perfect ‘first’ chicken.
  6. our girls have grown feathers and become true garden divas!
to buy chickens or not to buy chickens?
we love the company of our girls in the garden.

Are you ready to buy chickens?

You need to get prepared for your chickens or ex-battery hens and then you can start to look at re homing dates.

Basic kits you will need in your backyard includes ;

a large chicken coop like this one should happily house 4-6 hens.

We then made the decision to get a chicken run like this one if you do decide to buy chickens, keep them safe as we wanted to have a secure enclosure for them during the day when we were at work. Urban foxes are absolute swines for taking any opportunity to eat your girls. So weld mesh dug around the perimeter has helped us a lot too.
These are essential as you can hang them up and get them away from muddy chicken feet.

Are ex-battery hens for you?

As a family we decided we wanted to move away from intensive farming. One way we thought we could do that was with growing our own food and this seemed like the next step. You can stock up on and still have plenty of fresh food for every day. So if you are at all worried about self sufficiency backyard chickens are the ultimate solution. Ex-battery hens live a long time and will be around 14 months when they come to stay with you. Although they are retired ours have been daily egg producers and we have really made our initial investment back in terms of money. However you will love to spend hours watching them mooch around the garden.

You can also buy chickens that are ex-battery hens from another great charity.

Other areas of self sufficiency you may like..

cold smoke generator

ex-battery hens

Rehoming ex-battery hens – are we ready?

The time has come and our ex-battery hens will be ready for collection in a few weeks time. We are waiting patiently and have really been looking forward to this moment. However this is a massive responsibility and one we have researched thoroughly. I still feel those nerves in the pit of my stomach, but we want to have a fox proof happy home for our hens to roam around.

Do ex-battery hens lay eggs?

Yes they do, we will be collecting them when they are already around 18 months old. This means that in the world of battery chickens they have reached their usefulness and will no longer be laying consistently. We will be taking on four girls and hope to have a few eggs a day from them. Things like giving them plenty of protein in their diets will help, so a tasty example would be DRIED MEALWORMS which we will add in to their feed. In fun ways – obviously.

Once they are free roaming they will find their own sustenance and that is why we have been using natural pesticides only in our garden.

How long do battery hens live?

In the world of commerce they would be used for pet food or chicken paste at 18 months. In reality once they have arrived with you, they could live happily for many more years to come, laying for the majority of that time.

Where can I find ex-battery hens for rehoming?

By using a charity like British Hen Welfare Trust you can extend their lives and give them real happiness. Once you register you are put in contact with the hen rehoming team and it is all very much geared around their welfare and looking after them! Just the way we like it.

What do I need in terms of a chicken coop or run?

Think fox and think fox again. You need a coop of sturdy construction that will prevent Mr fox from wriggling under and attacking your rehomed hens. a palace for ex battery hens  Chicken Coop, this is the model we are going for. There is easy access to the rear to clean out and it has a bit of roaming space for the hens. Alongside this we will be allowing them to free range the rest of the garden.

How many hens should we rehome?

We have thought long and hard about this as our garden space is so big. However the hens we rehome will be our first and we want to get it right. So we have gone for four initially. Hoping that the pecking order will not push one out to be on her own. Also the above coop is big enough for up to 6 hens so it should mean plenty of space to roost and bed down each night.

What else do I need for my ex-battery hens?

I am buying these ex-battery hens 3 Litre Economy Drinker and 3kg Economy Feeder Red and White Set as we want to go to work in the day and trust that they will be okay. They may come across as being bird brained but they are intelligent animals so I will be making lots of fun toys for them to peck their way through. Not being particularly fussy eaters will help a lot with this! I can imagine that whatever has been eating my courgette will stop once the chickens are free ranging, only for the chickens to start.

We are so excited and will be finding our way throughout this journey, please do subscribe and find out more. Small steps to our bigger dream of a smallholding. I hope that we can show you how to raise battery hens in your own back garden too.

If you want to buy chickens now have a look at the article we have written with a bit more advice of your next steps.