Culling a large number of older hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jimmy trees, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. jimmy trees

    jimmy trees Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 27, 2012
    We have 12 acres of land and are considering doing something with it. I am retired so I have time to work around the property. We are considering a free range organic egg farm. Maybe 250 birds. I am handy enough to build a suitable coop.Start up money is not a problem. There are several farmers markets around and several markets to sell our eggs. I understand that after 3 yrs old egg production drops significantly. So I will have to cull the older ones off. The only thing I am worried about is the culling of older hens. Who buys large numbers of stewing hens? There are Amish families about 40 miles from here. Other than that I dont know.
    Any ideas?
  2. Blarneyeggs

    Blarneyeggs Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 22, 2011
    Southeast PA
    I believe the organic egg farmer down the street culls at 18 months and sells them as stewing birds.
  3. jimmy trees

    jimmy trees Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 27, 2012
    Can you tell me who buys them in numbers and for how much?
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I think it will vary for each area. I often see posts on craigs to sell off older birds.

    Are you going to stagger the ages,and cull the older ones,or just get 250 and cull all at once? I just watched a video where they culled older hens,and they just skinned them.Way faster to process this way than dealing with the plucking of feathers.You might be able to do that,and try selling on your own. I am going to try the skinning method too.

    If not for human consumption then I bet there might be a market for people who cook or do raw for their dogs and cats. I know one local lady that breeds rabbits for dog food.She seems to be doing well with it.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Yes, local market conditions will prevail. They always do. What happens in another's market is irrelevant, of course.

    You might, might ask around and see if other larger scale operations have an outlet. Sometimes, a cat food or soup plant is not prohibitively far away. If there is no one, single place to sell them, then you're going to be marketing them on Craigs or similar. Spent hens or near spent hens are bought by people for a lot of purposes. Retile feeding, raw meat for dogs, stewing chickens, etc. I've seen the listings on Craigs around here for $2. I'd consider that return exceptional.

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