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What did you do with your old hens that no longer lay eggs? - Page 5

post #41 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxinachickenhouse View Post

We are currently trying to work it out with fellow chicken keepers that when the time comes they will process ours and we will process theirs. That way, it doesn't hit so close to home. Otherwise when they are still laying but tapering off (< 3 years) we give them to a local farmer who only uses them for hatching chicks and doesn't care about heavy production, just quality hens for his business.


Great tip!
post #42 of 47
Chickens or pigs, it's not easy but I didn't get either of them for pet like qualities. My wife won't have any part in the deed but helps out immediately afterwards. My 2cents
post #43 of 47

Hi.

I am new to owning a layer chicken.  We bought a home and the sellers could not take the chicken with them.  I have been feeding her layer pellet, but she is older, and does not lay eggs, anymore.  Should I feed her something different, now, or continue with the layer pellet?  

 

Thankyou!

Kristal

post #44 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by krissygirlr View Post
 

Hi.

I am new to owning a layer chicken.  We bought a home and the sellers could not take the chicken with them.  I have been feeding her layer pellet, but she is older, and does not lay eggs, anymore.  Should I feed her something different, now, or continue with the layer pellet?  

 

Thankyou!

Kristal

Layer feed is for actively laying birds only. A grower feed would be better. It's normal for adult hens to stop laying during the fall/winter months. Egg production is directly tied to the amount of daylight a bird is exposed to. As the days shorten, productions slows and eventually stops. She may resume laying once the days start to get longer. 

post #45 of 47

Old thread, I know.  But since it came up in the search I did about older hens, this is my two cents...

 

 

We have 40+ hens and a few roos, all between 1 and 4 years old.  I can't imagine killing any of them for food, but understand that eventually all of the hens we have will stop laying and if I want eggs (which I do), I will be hatching or purchasing more for that purpose while still feeding the ones that stop laying. Right now, we get 2-3 eggs a day from the 40+ that we have due to daylight hours and age. I know that will increase soon, but how much is a question. Last summer we were getting a couple dozen a day.

 

I've spent the last few years learning about chickens, experiencing chickens and loving chickens. I will probably not suddenly start processing any of them for meat, but realize that it is one of the reasons people have them. I've evolved from the position that I could "NEVER" do that to understanding why people do, so, it's a process... I love my chickens and will treat them as the wonderful creatures they are, but at the same time... I still eat chicken. 

post #46 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickin' Chickin' View Post


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

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbi-j View Post

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.

You can also just use a pressure cooker. The reason you use a pressure cooker/canner is because in order to can most meats you have to increase the temperature much higher than just boiling as you do with some others. Foods with a high acid content in particular like tomato soups, sauces, vinegar based relishes, etc can be canned without pressure at boiling.

Meats, stews, non acid soups, etc have to be canned at temperatures above boiling to ensure bacterial sterilization and subsequently food safety. To attest to this, a sunken ship from the 19th century on the Mississippi river had some canned goods in tact on board that were tested by a laboratory for their bacterial content. The lab said they might taste terrible, but were safe to eat after over a hundred years.
post #47 of 47
I've had my 3 birds for 6 months, expected laying life is roughly 3 years with golden comets? I'll either change flocks completely by purchasing pullets and killing grilled, original recipe(Houdini), and extra crispy after the new ones start laying. While I'm not 100% committed to that plan I'm also not in the business of having chickens that don't produce- it's the pet that poops breakfast!

My chickens have an egg laying response that is much closer correlated to temperature than daylight. I was supplementing light previously, but it hasn't had any effect. When it's in the 30s I'm getting one egg, the 50s 2-3 eggs out of three young hens.

Additionally, everyone should process their own food (by slaughter or hunting) at least once if you eat meat. There is a deep disconnect between us and our food and taking an animal from breathing to the plate is something very special, and a wonderful experience. You'll treat the meat from anything you kill with more respect than anything you buy at a store and I guarantee you'll feel a little different at the dinner table.

That being said, if you've raised them as pets and treat them like pets rather than livestock that's kind of a different perspective. It does take a certain mindset to separate the two or simply to be able to love animals that you still plan to eat.
Edited by enrgizerbunny - 1/5/17 at 1:10am
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