Considering a future bird turnover

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ducks4you, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    I'm happy with my little red hens, (RIR's), all laying more eggs than I need right now. I slaughered their 3 brothers last Fall. I was wondering if anybody else keeps their layers for a few years, then gets more chicks to replace then, THEN sends the slackers to freezer camp (after the newbies start laying)?
    I'm NOT attached to these birds, and I consider myself to be THEIR slave!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Nemo

    Nemo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    I have 16 Buff Orps, who will be two years old. They've been up and down (and down) in production since late last summer, so last fall, I bought 12 Red Stars. (A couple have started laying, already.) So, this spring/summer, I'll have to start testing the Orps. I'm planning on transferring 5-8 to Ice-Station Alpha.
     
  3. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    I typically have 40+ chickens at all times. Every spring I buy the minimum order of hatchery chicks and by fall the girls that have been laying for 2 years go. Some make the soup bowl, some get given away, and even a few just hangout for the winter if I don't get around to processing them.

    But yes, my plan revolves around keeping the young, good layers and part with the old hens. The old ones eat just as much as the ones who lay daily [​IMG]
     
  4. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,536
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    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    THANKS! Good advice. Right now my girls are laying 4-7 eggs/day. That's pretty good for winter with snow on the ground. Do you isolate your hens to test their production? How do you time the "job turnover?" Do you wait until the new hens are just starting to lay, or do you wait until their eggs are full sized? (I have access to new birds in my county, and at auctions in adjoining counties, so getting new birds is pretty easy.)
     
  5. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Well, I have 1 1/2 yo BRsthat haven't laid all week and before then they were slow. I will hatch out new ones in the spring and then retire these girls to freezer camp to be used later as soup. My chickens are not my pets. They will feed me one way or the other. Young roos go as soon as they crow.
     
  6. Tad

    Tad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2008
    South TX on the border
    I have some sussex that are not preforming real well, later this spring when the barred rocks and sex links start to kick in strong the sussex gals will get sold off at the market!!
     
  7. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    South Central KY
    I have not killed off my older layers in the past, but this year, I have a large number of older hens, (these gals are ranging in age from 5 to 8 years old) and it appears that a lot of them are either no longer laying, or so seldom that they are not much help. Our budget is going to force me to thin the herd. (I know, the proper term is flock)

    I have 62 birds, about a dozen are roos to go to freezer camp very soon. Of the remaining 50, there are probably about 20 adults not laying, and some youngsters who haven't started yet. I've just recently increased light for them, and I'm giving them about another month to resume laying. Then I'm doing a rotational segregation to find out who's laying and who isn't.

    They'll be yummy, cooked in the crock pot. The meat makes great tacos, tamales, and other dishes, and can be deboned and pressure canned. No reason to waste them on mere soup!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  8. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Totally! I don't keep any over 2 - 2 1/2 yrs old. Once they reach a 12 - 18 mo, I start hatching their eggs for replacements. Any hen that doesn't lay at least 5 eggs per week in Summer is then culled by Oct 31st. By that time I'm making coop space for raising Fall/Winter chicks.

    I offer culled hens as 2 yr old layers, at a reduced price, usually on Craiglist. If they don't move, then off to freezer camp or into canning jars. Young roosters are processed at ~16 weeks, not later than 19 weeks. I offer them on Craigslist for $5-12 first, depending on breed.

    I use colored zipties to distinguish hens. Then separate them in small groups to determine who is laying.
     
  9. Nemo

    Nemo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    Quote:Reminds me of the Muppet Show...

    Fozzie: Hey, Kermit, Kermit! This bunch of cows loves me. I'm a hit!
    Kermit: Not bunch, herd.
    Fozzie: Heard of what?
    Kermit: Herd of cows.
    Fozzie: Sure I heard of cows! Aah!
    Kermit: No, I mean the cow's herd.
    Fozzie: Of course they heard. I was talking right to them.
     
  10. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thanks, Nemo, I needed a chuckle tonight!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010

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