1 year old Australop is not pulling her weight

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WIchickens, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. WIchickens

    WIchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, Truck (named by my 4 year old son) is a big girl. She eats a lot. She isn't overly friendly. I would put up with all that if she would just lay some eggs. I get like 1 a week, tops. And to top it all of she totally has shut down for the winter. My others hens have started back up....she's not doing much but eating.

    Do I give her a little more time to come around, or should she go into the stew pot?

    And that's another question I had, at what age do layers go from a rotisserie chicken to a stew pot?

    I have never had to deal with this before!
     
  2. 11mini

    11mini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most birds raised for meat are between 3 and 6 months old. Sounds like yours is over 3 years (generally production decreases after that) and will probably not be very good to eat other than long slow cooking like a stew. If she goes broody you could use her to hatch some fertilized eggs and start some new chicks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    So she has never laid more than 1 egg a week......even before the winter hiatus?
    Not all birds of a certain breed are prolific layers, it's often an individual thing and could be something lacking in her reproductive system.

    It's up to you how many freeloaders you want to feed.

    Generally any bird over about 16 weeks of age will be more tender if slow cooked.
    Any bird can be unpalatably tough if you don't rest the carcass for 48-72 hours after harvest and before cooking or freezing.

    ETA: How many birds do you have?
    How big is their coop and how many nests?
    Crowding and pecking order issues can put a hen off laying.
    Do they free range....is it possible she is laying out in her range area somewhere?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'd either sell her or butcher her. If you butcher, being as she's a hefty gal, a big pot of chicken and dumplings could be in order. Or, my favorite, enchiladas! Sounds like she could make two pans if she's that large.
     
  5. WIchickens

    WIchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, she is only 1 of 5 chickens. And she's kinda bossy with the others, mainly cause she is so big. They have a run they get to use when it's above freezing, which has been for the last few months around here! So she definately isn't hiding eggs anywhere.

    We have 2 nesting boxes, so there is enough space. I think like a pp said, it just might be her genetics.

    She will turn 1 next month, so I think it might be time for her to go,especially since I am not emotionally attached to her. We just moved to a farm and I am getting 15 more layer chicks April 1st and am hoping to start a little egg business. She will definately drive down my profit margin!!!
     
  6. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 1 year old black australorp who has been on strike since mid-October. Her other flock mates of the same age (barred rock, RIR, BO) all started laying again in mid-January. So . . . I can relate!

    As we're this close to spring, the days are increasing in length, and you've already fed her all winter, you may want to seriously consider keeping her through spring and early summer so you at least benefit from her egg production during the height of the laying season. Then cull her in late summer/early fall when she slows down or stops laying. Even at her age, I'd recommend slow-cooking in the stew pot.
     

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