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What do you do with your hens when they stop laying??

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

It's a long way off for mine but I'm curious. I only have four and I got them for fresh eggs so what do people normally do with their hens stop laying?? Do you keep them as pets?? I'd have a hard time getting rid of them but I have them for a purpose and would like to get new ones when they stop but I feel like thats totally inhumane...although they are just chickens so I don't see it quit like getting rid of a dog. I already had one chicken that I got from my aunt, so I wasn't sure how old she was, and never laid the 2 months I had her and I was considering just giving her back but she suddenly died...made it a lot easier then getting rid of her.

post #2 of 35

It might sound a little rude, but if the chicken doesn't have a job anymore you could always eat it. If you have a favorite or two you could keep them as pets if they were friendly. When you think of the big factories spewing out eggs from the hens, they probably "get rid of them" as soon as (if not before) they stop producing like crazy. As your backyard chicken, the hen has had a happy life and will serve you well even after she's gone.

Pinky: Um... I think so, Brain, but what if the chicken won't wear the nylons?

The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.
Arnold H. Glasow
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Pinky: Um... I think so, Brain, but what if the chicken won't wear the nylons?

The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.
Arnold H. Glasow
Reply
post #3 of 35

Process for eating.

post #4 of 35

Ive seen many a post from people  who have older hens like up about 6 or 7 and as long as they are happy and healthy they are still laying.. maybe not as much as a young'en but enough to keep feeding her.. I think a lot of it comes down to how long you've had them and how much of a pet they have become.love.  i would think it would be much easier to consume your extra roosters before one of your laying hens.. besides their meat would be so tough .. I guess you could use her as  stock meat? hummm  ..

good luck and cross that bridge when you come to it..

)O(
Pink

homeschool mom of 13 and 17yr olds. married 18yrs,  2 dark Bahama hens, 1 wht leghorn, 2 barred rock hens,1 barred rock roo, 1 barred Holland, 1 Dom hen,  9  EE's, I LF Standard  GLd barred cochin Roo 2 Cochin hens,1 Australorp, 1 black americauna roo,  4 black white crested polish2 ameracauna hens, 4 blue jersey giants, 2 lavender wayndotte, 3 bb bantams bantam ,  2 columbian, one grumpy husband
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homeschool mom of 13 and 17yr olds. married 18yrs,  2 dark Bahama hens, 1 wht leghorn, 2 barred rock hens,1 barred rock roo, 1 barred Holland, 1 Dom hen,  9  EE's, I LF Standard  GLd barred cochin Roo 2 Cochin hens,1 Australorp, 1 black americauna roo,  4 black white crested polish2 ameracauna hens, 4 blue jersey giants, 2 lavender wayndotte, 3 bb bantams bantam ,  2 columbian, one grumpy husband
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post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

Next question then...is there a certain age you have to eat chickens by??? I know with age sometimes the meat gets tough...is that true with chickens...or by the time they stop laying are they still plenty young??? I didn't know why my one chicken died so I didn't want to chance it by eating her.

post #6 of 35

They can lay for several years past the usual peak age of 2 years but their laying might become sporadic, depending on the breed and general health of the bird.  You can eat a chicken at any age but they are pretty well tough and chewy past 4-6 mo. of age.  Best to pressure cook an older hen for optimal tenderness.  Some folks can them to use for soups and this will tenderize as well.  Some just use them for raw protein for their dogs.

post #7 of 35

I knew someone that had a hen that was eight. She would still lay an egg about every third day. Don't think I'd be looking to eat something that "old". LOL!!!

Married to my highschool sweetheart, 3 children, 4 grand-children, 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 cockatiels, 4 BO, 4 BR, 2 RIRs, 2 Red SL, 2 black SL, 1 White Leghorn
"No unemployment insurance can be compared to an alliance between man and a plot of land." ~ Henry Ford
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Married to my highschool sweetheart, 3 children, 4 grand-children, 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 cockatiels, 4 BO, 4 BR, 2 RIRs, 2 Red SL, 2 black SL, 1 White Leghorn
"No unemployment insurance can be compared to an alliance between man and a plot of land." ~ Henry Ford
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post #8 of 35

Until a chicken stops eating bugs AND providing me with enjoyment at his/her antics, it's got a home with me.  I plan on living past my retirement age and my chickens have the same option.  As for hens, it would be the reward for having gifted me with her eggs however long she does.

But that's just me - I'm a chicken-KEEPER not a chicken farmer.

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

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-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

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post #9 of 35

I heard of a 12 year old hen laying an egg a week.clap

Bad spellers of the world, untie!!
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Bad spellers of the world, untie!!
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post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane 

I heard of a 12 year old hen laying an egg a week.clap


wow who ever had her needs to be commended and a big pat on the back.. 12 yrs.. great job..  and still laying.. heck yea no w that is someone who knows how to take care of their animals.. clap

)O(
Pink

homeschool mom of 13 and 17yr olds. married 18yrs,  2 dark Bahama hens, 1 wht leghorn, 2 barred rock hens,1 barred rock roo, 1 barred Holland, 1 Dom hen,  9  EE's, I LF Standard  GLd barred cochin Roo 2 Cochin hens,1 Australorp, 1 black americauna roo,  4 black white crested polish2 ameracauna hens, 4 blue jersey giants, 2 lavender wayndotte, 3 bb bantams bantam ,  2 columbian, one grumpy husband
Reply
homeschool mom of 13 and 17yr olds. married 18yrs,  2 dark Bahama hens, 1 wht leghorn, 2 barred rock hens,1 barred rock roo, 1 barred Holland, 1 Dom hen,  9  EE's, I LF Standard  GLd barred cochin Roo 2 Cochin hens,1 Australorp, 1 black americauna roo,  4 black white crested polish2 ameracauna hens, 4 blue jersey giants, 2 lavender wayndotte, 3 bb bantams bantam ,  2 columbian, one grumpy husband
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