BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › What did you do with your old hens that no longer lay eggs?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What did you do with your old hens that no longer lay eggs?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

What do people do with their hens that have gotten so old that they are not laying at all?   If you have a large flock, do you just keep them?  I am hoping I will be able to find someone to take mine that like to keep chickens around even if they aren't laying anymore, since we have only room for three hens and can't really get new hens without getting rid of the old ones.  

Chicken Momma to 3 urban chicks, Cynthia (Silkie/Cochin Cross), LaQuesha (Welsummer) and Lilly (Ameraucana)
Reply
Chicken Momma to 3 urban chicks, Cynthia (Silkie/Cochin Cross), LaQuesha (Welsummer) and Lilly (Ameraucana)
Reply
post #2 of 40

People sometimes choose to keep them.  You've decided you cannot or will not.

People sometimes make chicken broth soup or dumplings with them. Tasty.

People sometimes sell them, but their destiny is likely someone else's cook pot.  That's about it.  

 

 

Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

Reply

 

 

Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

Reply
post #3 of 40

Basically you have four choices: (1) process them yourself; (2) give/sell them to someone else who will process them; (3) keep them and get eggs elsewhere; and (4) find someone with plenty of acres who can keep hens that don't lay.  I can't think of anything else to do with them.  With our first seven, we will keep them until they die - our granddaughters named them - they're special to us - and we have plenty of room for extras.  The ones we've gotten since then we've not named - so we will probably sell to someone who will process them when they get older.  I don't think I have the courage to process them myself.


Edited by CarolJ - 2/12/12 at 11:38am
post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred's Hens View Post

People sometimes choose to keep them.  You've decided you cannot or will not.
People sometimes make chicken broth soup or dumplings with them. Tasty.
People sometimes sell them, but their destiny is likely someone else's cook pot.  That's about it.  

I have to agree with Fred, although there are some people that will take them off your hands and keep them as pets. I will keep mine around for their lifetime, but that's me.

Breeding: Silkies, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Ameraucanas, Naked Necks, Buckeyes, Welsummers, Marans and Mottled Houdans. 

 

Pictures by Les Farms are not to be used without written permission from me first, and never for any commercial gain. Thank you.

 

Visit our COOP Page! 

 

Raising CX Free Range ~ Poultry Sexing Tips ~ Raising Chickens Naturally 

Reply

Breeding: Silkies, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Ameraucanas, Naked Necks, Buckeyes, Welsummers, Marans and Mottled Houdans. 

 

Pictures by Les Farms are not to be used without written permission from me first, and never for any commercial gain. Thank you.

 

Visit our COOP Page! 

 

Raising CX Free Range ~ Poultry Sexing Tips ~ Raising Chickens Naturally 

Reply
post #5 of 40

When it was time to cull three of my birds I gave them to a family who are refugees from Southeast Asia. They are recent immigrants and quite familiar with processing poultry and they were very grateful for the extra food. I felt good that the chickens met a humane and somewhat meaningful end (they were certainly appreciated for what they could provide: dinner).

 

Incidentally, in this process I learned that this community needs to kill a rooster as part of their culture's baby-naming ritual. So, now I know where to send any future roosters that I may hatch. It's a win/win for all of us! 

 

I don't think you need to feel bad about chickens being eaten. Unless you're a vegetarian you've eaten chicken before. Chickens that started as backyard egg-layers and then ended this way certainly had a far, far superior life than commercially raised broilers whose only destiny was the supermarket.  

Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

Reply

Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

Reply
post #6 of 40

Once my birds stop laying they will live the remainder of their live's with me as pets. 

 Say NO to Crested Ducks!                     Common Chicken Practices          Learn more about Avian Influenza

 

 

 

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" 

Reply

 Say NO to Crested Ducks!                     Common Chicken Practices          Learn more about Avian Influenza

 

 

 

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" 

Reply
post #7 of 40

We butcher ours, and I pressure-can them. They get nice and tender that way, and I always have some cooked chicken on hand for a quick meal. I kind of feel bad about it, but if I want to continue to have layers, that's what I need to do to make room for them. I've learned over the years to not name my food. I don't get so attached that way. I think there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Each person has to do what's best for their flock management.

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbi-j View Post

We butcher ours, and I pressure-can them. They get nice and tender that way, and I always have some cooked chicken on hand for a quick meal. I kind of feel bad about it, but if I want to continue to have layers, that's what I need to do to make room for them. I've learned over the years to not name my food. I don't get so attached that way. I think there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Each person has to do what's best for their flock management.


How exactly do you pressure can them .I am intrigued by this.

 

Stay at home mom to 3 ,wife to 1,and servant to 1 dog ,40 or so chickens and 2 bunnies. Living the dream!

Reply

Stay at home mom to 3 ,wife to 1,and servant to 1 dog ,40 or so chickens and 2 bunnies. Living the dream!

Reply
post #9 of 40

You need to buy a pressure-canner, jars, lids, the whole works. There are usually instructions that come with the canner that tell you how to can your produce or meat, and how long to do so. It can be quite an investment at first, and is time-concuming, but I think the payoff is worth it. Another good source for instruction is the Ball Blue Book of home preservation. You can look it up online if you want more information before going out and buying all the stuff you need.

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply
post #10 of 40

My chickens have a forever home, eggs or not. I'll get more when the time comes, I'm just hoping when that time comes I don't have to do it. sickbyc.gif

" In the midst of Winter, I finally learned, that there was in me, an invincible Summer." Albert Camus
Reply
" In the midst of Winter, I finally learned, that there was in me, an invincible Summer." Albert Camus
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › What did you do with your old hens that no longer lay eggs?