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Layers

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

O.k....  I have 16 Black Australorps who have been great layers for over two years, but they are about at the end of their laying days, I guess.  For about 3 months, after their last molt, they started laying about 4 to 5 eggs per day, and now have gone to 1 to 4.   I don't want to kill the girls for meat if the meat is not going to be worthwhile, as it seems such a waste.  I've heard from friends that layer meat from older chickens is not nice, but tough, stringy, although flavorful.  Does anyone have any thoughts on 1. whether to try and prepare these layers for food, or 2.  if not, what does one do with chickens that don't lay any longer?

16 Black Australorp hens, two dogs, two cats,  fish, and a really big backyard in Florida with just a little bit of winter...
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16 Black Australorp hens, two dogs, two cats,  fish, and a really big backyard in Florida with just a little bit of winter...
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post #2 of 7

Well, it certainly isn't a "fryer", but a "stewing hen" is always tasty and has been the preferred bird for soup for a 1000 years.  You've a couple of choices, and perhaps some recipe folks will help you out.  We're pressure cooker people and pulled chicken folks ourselves.  The broth/stock?  simply the best.   Not a waste at all.

 

 

Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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post #3 of 7

I had an old layer 6+ years that totally stopped laying, we culled her, put her in a pot of water, cooked her on the wood stove till the meat fell off the bones, after picking the bones out I added peas,corn,potatoes, and carrots cooked it another hour or so to get the veggies tender, made some homemade dumplings added them to the pot, and made the best chicken stew ever.droolindroolin

Trust slowly, Love without regret, Laugh with total abandon.
Mom to 2 very spoiled dogs, 9 very pretty pasture ornaments (Arabian horses), & more and more chickens.
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Trust slowly, Love without regret, Laugh with total abandon.
Mom to 2 very spoiled dogs, 9 very pretty pasture ornaments (Arabian horses), & more and more chickens.
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post #4 of 7

I agree, process them. You will have the tastiest chicken soup you have ever eaten! droolin

I'm down to two girls...
Fantine - Hatched May 10 2011, white EE pullet, laid first blue egg Dec. 30, 2011.
Epinine - Hatched Sept 7/8 2011, EE hen, green egg layer.

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I'm down to two girls...
Fantine - Hatched May 10 2011, white EE pullet, laid first blue egg Dec. 30, 2011.
Epinine - Hatched Sept 7/8 2011, EE hen, green egg layer.

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post #5 of 7

Do you have lights on their coop? Most likely, they've slowed for the winter due to low lights. They tend to slow more the second year than first without lights.

OEGBs, Three Egyptian Fayoumis, Two Silver Leghorns, 2 Sicilian Buttercups, 2 Golden Penciled Hamburgs, EEs,production reds, Cornish Xs and red broilers,a Doberman, a teenaged chihuahua and a papillon, one TB gelding (rescue), and my matriarch Paint mare with her daughter and son (gelding), plus one wonderful husband who puts up with me
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OEGBs, Three Egyptian Fayoumis, Two Silver Leghorns, 2 Sicilian Buttercups, 2 Golden Penciled Hamburgs, EEs,production reds, Cornish Xs and red broilers,a Doberman, a teenaged chihuahua and a papillon, one TB gelding (rescue), and my matriarch Paint mare with her daughter and son (gelding), plus one wonderful husband who puts up with me
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all for the advice.  First I'll try the lights in the coop to see if they improve.  Everyone deserves a second chance...


Edited by Back40 - 12/4/11 at 5:30am
16 Black Australorp hens, two dogs, two cats,  fish, and a really big backyard in Florida with just a little bit of winter...
Reply
16 Black Australorp hens, two dogs, two cats,  fish, and a really big backyard in Florida with just a little bit of winter...
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post #7 of 7

Good chance they'll increase production in the spring, too -- not to former levels, but some.  Guess it depends on how many eggs you want.  They should be larger eggs, too.  I have one Australorp who is headed toward 3 years old, I don't count but I'd say she is laying 3 or 4 a week, and they are HUGE, bigger than XL in the store.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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