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chicken life and laying expectancies

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

ok, noob here getting ready to get my first set of pullet chicks next week.  i have a couple questions i've been wondering about, hope i'm posting in the correct forum.

i am getting a couple buff orps and easter eggers, and here are a few things i haven't really seen addressed anywhere:  

first, approximately what is their life expectancy?

second, approximately how long can i expect them to continue laying eggs?

and lastly, as of right now we are only going to get pullets, and don't plan on harvesting them as broilers.  i've heard that the chickens' meat is really only tender for the first couple years of its life.  if, say, one died naturally and disease free after 3, 4, 5 years, would it be okay to either a) cook it down for broth and chicken soup meat for our family; or b) cook it enough so that at least our dogs would be able to get a few chicken dinners out of it if it's too tough for people? 

thanks for any of your shared wisdom.

post #2 of 7

    Welcome to BYC, this site is really great. The life expectancy of a chicken I do beleive is 8 years and after four they are particularly useless for egg production but still make great pets, a lot of people keep them for one or two years and compost or reuse them if they are just looking at egg production, as egg production starts to slow after the first year.

   A chicken is eextremely tough after it's first season, if ya have teeth it would be okay to make soup with them as even boiled down they will be fibrous to the tooth. We just use the dark meat for soup and give the breasts and wings to the dog and cats. I would not eat a dead chicken they start to rot rather quickly and there is no way of knowing why it died with great accuracy. I plan to sell my first year birds at the sales barn after the new chicks are already laying, save a few who stand out and are actual pets.

 

   Hope this helps, and again welcome.   

Man is just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development" has become the most vicious animal of all!
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Man is just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development" has become the most vicious animal of all!
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post #3 of 7

Hi.  Chicken can live over ten years.  The length of time they lay depends a lot on the breed. The production hybrids tend to burn out in about two or three years. the heritage breeds hang in longer laying well as they get older.  They all slow down as they age.  Expect a drop of around 20% a year.  Each hen will decline at her own rate (Your mileage may vary.).  Growing up we ate older birds.  You may have to cook them longer, but the eat just fine.  No I would not eat a chicken that died of unknown causes. Cooked for the dogs yeah.  Keep reading and learning.  You may find you have problems and questions answered that you didn't' know you had.  And If you need there are a lot of people here who like to answer questions.

Den
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Den
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post #4 of 7

I have a rule with roos - three attacks and you are a goner. This year we dispatched a welsumer roo that put two large holes in my leg when my back was turned. I boiled this two year old roo for darn near an hour and still couldn't stick a fork in him! My dogs thought I was feeding them jerky......

post #5 of 7
I'd robably try the crock pot for an older chicken! smile.png
Mom of 5 wonderful kids, 2 dogs, 1 bunny,

1 Rhode Island Red (Henny Penny) and 1 Barred Rock (Mrs.Cluck) and 2 Production Reds (Popcorn and Chicken Little)  

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Mom of 5 wonderful kids, 2 dogs, 1 bunny,

1 Rhode Island Red (Henny Penny) and 1 Barred Rock (Mrs.Cluck) and 2 Production Reds (Popcorn and Chicken Little)  

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post #6 of 7

Okay i do have birds that lay in 4th and 5th years but not many and they are not commercial lines more heritage....you could try the recipe Coque Au Vin..its a french recipe were the skinned meat is marinatied in a red wine and then slow cookedin a dutch oven...it woeked great and is a recipe for older birds..there is a chicken mag out right now called chickens with a kinda white cover with a chick on the front and the recipe was in there..alos Julia Childs has it it is basically a french recipe for rooster in wine..give it a try .

post #7 of 7

We gave away our first cycle of hens at the 2 1/2 year mark when it got down to 1-2 eggs a day with five hens.  Some days there were no eggs.  Our replacement hens just started laying about a month ago and we're at 3 eggs a day from four hens.  Should be up to 3-4 a day as soon as the fourth hen starts to lay.

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