Curious when you cull?


13 Years
Apr 19, 2009
I am just curious on how many of you cull your chickens after their egg laying days are over?

My friend does it and then gets new baby she seems to turn over her flock every 4 or 5 years...but I have read that chickens live to be 10 -12 years old...

Do you cull them and eat them after their egg laying days are over? If not, what can you do with them that is productive? If so, do they taste tough?


I DO NOT want to start a 'debate on right or wrong'

I am NOT judging anyone's personal choices

I'm purely curious...
They will produce eggs much longer than that. The best production is in the first few years. If you cull and eat them they can be a little tough so they should be used in a pot for dumplings or soup. If production is important to you, you could re-home them to someone that isn't that concerned with amount of eggs after the first few years. I think most ppl on here just let them live their lives out because we tend to have chickens as pets as well as producers. Good Luck
I haven't decided yet what I am going to do with my hens once their production takes a deep decline. I want to sell their eggs, and at this point I can't afford to have chickens that aren't going to pay for themselves. I am planning on culling some and rehoming others (maybe keep a favorite as a pet). I know the birds culled after 2 years of age are best as soup, pot pies or other chicken recipes that use shredded (boiled to cook then pulled) like chicken tacos and stuff. It is also my understanding that have a strong taste, not in a bad way, just more "chickenier" than the younger ones.

However if you want to keep your chickens til they die of old age, they will continue to lay eggs for many many years, just not as many as the younger ones do. You may get 1 a week per bird or something (not 100% on the numbers)
I plan to keep mine. I always get dual purpose birds, not heavy production birds that wear out sooner, in hopes that I will get eggs for a long time.

And then they can retire and eat bugs in the sun.

I plan on keeping ours until they die of natural causes. But it is interesting to me all the various reasons/uses people have/raise chickens...they are a MULTI-PURPOSE animal that is for sure!
My original plan was to cull them off after a couple of years and replace with younger, better producing birds. The fact of the matter is, though -- I've gone and gotten attached. So, looks like we're going to have chickens for a long time to come ;-)
It really depends what you want out of your birds. IF you just want a friend and pet to keep for their entire natural life, then you depend on other breeders like you would for a pure bred dog.
Being new to chickens, I am wanting to have as nice a flock I can. That means culling. BECKY-H has it right. Cull heavy every three years or more. Roo's tend to get lazy after a couple of years and pic favs in their flock. This might not be the hen you want him on either. So, I carry ALWAYS a minimum of 2 cockerels or more each and every year as backups. I wrote and talked to 5 of the very best Buff Orp breeders in the USA, and 2 of the 3 don't have any cockerels for one reason or another and are depending on poor ole Bob Coulter to bail them out. And the third has just one cockerel. All 3 do not like having their flocks depend on others breeding.
It also depends on the breed on when you can tell what birds are better for confirmation. Alot more then just feeding and watering.
If you like chickens more then the normal BYCer, I say cull every year. I am hatching out ALOT of Black and Buff Orps. I am not going to stop till I know I have great quality back ups for both hens and Roos. Even then I will still raise to better each spot I have for my breeding stock.
Mine are hens, so at the moment, except for some young birds, I don't have any Roos.

My big big RIR rooster sort of got culled.

He SERIOUSLY attacked me. I don't know why. He had always been a nice and a gentle bird.

But anyway, my husband shot him and his brother in law took the hackles, and now he is in his new existence as a fishing lure. I am sure he is happy at this.

I do let my hens live a nice long life, but we truly cannot have any animal who is aggressive. I often have kids over to toss corn and so forth to the birds and pet the dogs. Additionally I have some physical problems and I am a little fragile.

I do not know why he suddenly got aggressive and I felt rather bad over his sudden demise but it had to happen.

I got my birds to be dual purpose. After the egg laying days are over, they will be a delicous stew, I'm sure. As for my "extra" Roos, I plan on sending them to freezer camp. I will keep a couple to keep the flock going, and my favorites are on "bug patrol". We have a LOT of bugs here in the South, and chickens take care of that niche quite nicely. Not to mention the free fertilizer!
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