Do you rotate chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by black_jade18, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. black_jade18

    black_jade18 New Egg

    Mar 30, 2009
    I am a student that was asked to design a chicken coop and to explain all of the expenses. I am wondering what do you do with the chickens after they stop laying eggs like they used to? Do you sale them or just let them grow old? I have been looking different places and it seems that laying chickens do not make for good meat birds. I have some classmates that assume that you would sale the chickens for meat. Is that true? Thank you for your time. [​IMG]
  2. melissastraka

    melissastraka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Hoquiam, WA
    Some people replace chickens every year but in saying that, some people let their hens who are not as productive layers, due to age, live out the remainder of their lives as pets. There are some that do cull their chickens after egg production slows to a couple eggs a month to a year. It is all personal ideals and how attached to the animal you are like anything else.
  3. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    You couldn't sell them for much as "meat chickens". They have to be slow cooked because of their age - otherwise the meat is tough. Most people either let them live out a 'pet's life' or cull them (butcher & eat, or sell for less than $4-5).

    We cull ours (butcher & eat) before their 3rd year - but ours are not pets. They will lay best up to 2-3 yrs, after that the production drops off. The only stock we keep into the 3rd yr are 1) good breeders - roo or very best layers, 2) good broody/mother.

    Here's an example using one of our flocks...
    It's a small flock of 8 Barred Rocks that are 19 mo old. They just finished molting and are laying again. They are with a RIR roo. We'll hatch eggs from them for Black Sexlink chicks. They'll turn 2 yrs old at the end of August. We'll move the rooster out and keep them for layers into Fall. The eggs will be sold at the local farmers market along with eggs from our other flocks.

    In late October, the market will end. We'll cull the group of hens at that time and butcher them with the Fall crop of Cornish X meat chickens. There are 2 or 3 in the group I may keep for breeding again next season - two best layers and one broody who also lays well.

    Now, this would not do at all for some people. For many people their chickens are pets and they would not dream of eating them. But we're a farm, it's business to us. Although we do like our chickens very much and treat them quite well while they're here.

    Edited for typo
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    When egg production slows among my 12 starter hens, I'll allow them to live out their lives, hopefully as a closed flock in the coop/run they now have. Then we'll start a new 'closed flock' in another part of our barn...[​IMG]
  5. Shared Acres

    Shared Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2008
    Northeast Fla
    I would imagine 1 of three things, depending on the place they are from: 1-sell, 2-cook, 3-keep as a pet.

    You were asking about coops. One of the best coops I saw on here was someone who had a shed as the main house and then like 4 runs coming off of it. All the chickens went into one run for a certain length of time and then that run was closed down and another run opened. That allowed for grass to regrow, etc. Which seems ideal, as the chickens will pick the regular runs bare!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2009

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