There are a few things you need to remember when taking on an Ex Battery hen:-
- She will have spent her life on a wire cage floor.
- She will not have been exposed to faecel bacteria.
- She will enter a totally new environment at your place. She will be exposed to many bugs and bacteria.
- She will have a change of diet.
- She will need to cope with a new social structure.
When you consider all these issues it is not surprising that many ex battery hens get diarrhoea soon after being rehomed. One solution to this is to give rehomed birds probiotics every week for the first few weeks.
At Rock View Vets we stock Berlys friendly bacteria. This works by excluding nasty bacteria that can cause diarrhoea.
Things to remember – the law!
- If you have 50 birds or more you must sign the GB Poultry Register (Free).
- If you have over 350 laying hens you must sign up to the UK Salmonella Scheme.
The Salmonella Scheme Involves:
- Testing the sheds before birds are placed in the sheds – dust samples and rodent droppings.
- Buy vaccinated birds or vaccinate pullets before they come into lay.
- Samples of faeces taken every 15 weeks and tested for salmonella.
- Have a rodent control plan.
This all costs money!
It does mean eggs from these birds can be stamped and sold as Class A. Only class A eggs can be sold to restaurants, shops, B&B’s etc.
You can sell unstamped eggs at the gate. You must keep a medicine record book that is kept up to date. Some local authorities inspect farm gate egg sellers as a food business operator!