Don't want to kill my friends

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by desertgirl, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. desertgirl

    desertgirl Roo Magnet

    Mar 29, 2009
    Hello-first time poster, quick question. I am absolutely intrigued by the idea of having backyard chickens and eggs for my DH and myself. However, the thought of buying them knowing that in a few years (2-4?) they will stop producing eggs and I will have to sell them off to slaughter makes me not want to do it at all. How long do chickens live? After they stop laying, can I simply get another and "retire" the ex-layer to live out the remainder of her days? I know this ay sound silly to many of you but I'vv met me, and I know I will become very attached to these creatures.[​IMG]

  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Chickens can live 8+ years. Some will occasionally still lay an egg. It depends how many eggs you need at once and how many chickens you can have total.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi and welcome to the forum.
    You have lots of choices in what you do with your hens after they are past their prime. People that have lots of room keep their old friends and bring in new chickens to lay the eggs.
    Chickens can live upwards of 10 years, depending on the care they've recieved and the breed. I know there are people on the forum that have hens that are still laying the occasional egg at 7 and 8 years old.
    As for me, I am on my first flock. I plan to keep my favorites their entire lives - although my list of favorites grows all the time. The rest I will sell or give away (probably in their third year) to people that want pets, a hen that lays an occasional egg or just like them for yard ornaments.
    My roo and my four favorite hens have a home for life.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  4. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ

    I'll be the first to admit that I'm no chicken expert. From what I've read on hear and other places, It's not uncommon for hens to live 6~7 years. I've heard tell of roosters that have made it into their mid teens. If, you choose one of the "Heritage" breeds, such as Buff Orpingtons, Wayondottes and others, they'll not lay as many eggs per year, but, will lay for more years overall. Yes, you will become attached to these guys. They have much more character and personality than most people realise. Good luck in your decision. Post questions here for whatever you might need to know about chickens. There are lots of folks ready to help.[​IMG]
  5. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep! Retirement sounds OK. I have heard of one particular roo that lived to be 9 years old. ( He died just 2 weeks ago) The way I figure it. If a chicken can live long enough to retire without falling prey to diesease, pests or our own stupidity, he/she deserves to be a backyard pet. [​IMG]
  6. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    This doesn't sound remotely silly!!! Look around, you will find many here who feel the same way you do. [​IMG] In fact, I have said before, if we were all starving to death I would chop off and arm or leg and feed it to my kids and my animals (chickens included) before I would eat one of my laying hens!!! Good luck!!!
  7. suenrob

    suenrob Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2008
    Ft. Myers, FL
    [​IMG] Many of us keep chickens just as pets!
  8. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    thats what I plan on doing. I am very attached to my girls also. I'm like you. I couldn't give them to someone so they could eat her, especially if she has been a pet for years, right? Just think of the life you will be giving your girls. A normal life, unlike those of their sisters in the egg farms!![​IMG]
  9. desertgirl

    desertgirl Roo Magnet

    Mar 29, 2009
    Whew! I like the idea of that. I don't have too much room, but since ithe eggs are just for the two of us keeping an old friend around shouldn't be a problem. I was thinking about just a couple of chickens to start, but as I'm researchig it seems most starters go with 4. Do you think only a couple is too few? I don't want to overdo it at the very beginning, but are there drawbacks to not having enough?

    (Thank you for your very gret advice, by the way!!!)
  10. Gazinga

    Gazinga Chook Norris

    i too, have my choice hens that are my "girls", they have a home for life here, laying or not....

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