Emotionally Attached :(

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by klohman, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. klohman

    klohman In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2015
    I'm having an emotional dilemma - any words of support or wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
    3 years ago we started our first flock with 5 little chickens and it has grown and grown since. Currently we have quite the arrayed coop of 19 chickens from almost 3 year to 1 year old. We bought 6 new chickens this last spring with the eventual plan to only keep those 6 and downsize our coop a bit. As you can imagine though, now that it is time to get rid of our older chickens I am awfully attached. We were going to butcher them, but then we realized we don't really know anything about that so we decided we would just put out an ad for anyone who wants chickens (for whatever purpose). My husband is adamant that we need to downsize and our coop is just a bit small to keep them all through the winter (the free range spring-fall) but I am really having a hard time being okay with letting them go.

    Any thoughts? :(

  2. klohman

    klohman In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2015
    In case it helps - our coop square footage is capable of holding 13.5 chickens and the run is even bigger than the coop. We have 19 chickens total.

    What would you do in this situation? Give them away? Keep them?
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    What are the dimensions of your coop and run? How much roost length do you have available? Personally, If it were me, I'd watch some videos on processing chickens, and learn how to do it. You've fed them for 3 years. You know someone will be eating them. I'd hate to buy feed and raise a bird to full size, just so someone else can have a free chicken dinner.
  4. nuklee0

    nuklee0 Chirping

    Aug 15, 2015
    King County, Washington
    I am having similar feelings as well even though we mostly inherited or were gifted these chickens. They all vary in age but I'm thinking it'll be time soon for the older ones. I haven't done anything yet but I just keep telling myself that they've had a pretty good life and I'd much rather eat the ones I raise than the store bought ones because at least I know how they were raised. Building up my courage.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    We used to process our birds, but there's a local poultry processor that does a great job for $4 per chicken, and it's wonderful. I keep some birds forever, some go to the local auction, some to private sales, and some to our freezer. It is necessary to get to a comfortable number of birds for the winter, and I'm almost there this year. Belgian d'Uccle cockrels, anyone??? Mary
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I think I'd gladly pay $4/bird.
  7. icemanabk

    icemanabk In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2015
    You could see if anyone you know that has a house in a rural area would be willing to take them. Im sure theyd go fast if they are still laying. I gave i think 15 or so to one guy. I still go to see my girls and bring a bag of bread. In a week or two ill be out there again. I recently gave him 4 buff orpingtons. 2 roosters and two hens. One particular rooster, paulie, i plaued with a lot when he was a little chick and i was rather dissapointed when he turned out to be a rooster. I had a suspecion early on. He looked great when he left a month ago so i hope hes filled out well.

  8. WVForestGirl

    WVForestGirl Songster

    Aug 11, 2015
    West Virginia
    2x nuklee and lazy gardener
    I also enjoy knowing that my birds had a good life before they meet a stress- and pain- free end. If I gave mine away I'd worry that they were ill treated and I think that being eaten by someone at the end instead of wasted shows respect.
    It sounds like you need to downsize to continue giving the rest a good life, better this than they start picking on each other and get sick?
    Could you maybe find someone experienced to show you how so you don't have to worry about doing it right the first time?
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Truthfully, going in to winter with an overcrowded set up will cause a lot of ugly problems. A balanced flock, that fits in the set up is a pleasure, a flock full of strife can get ugly.

    I would let them go. A lot of people in this hobby, have a hard time processing their birds. Some can do it, some can not.

    Even though you miss some of them, often times they get old and crabby, they are in pain

    I think you will like your flock better, when it fits in your set up, you will have less feed costs, less water hauling, less manurer. It does not matter how you let them go, but it is pretty important that you do.

    Mrs K

    ps, spring is coming, and well if you have room, you can get new chicks, that always helps me.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  10. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 - I realize that it seems easier said than done, but this is one of those times where loving them sometimes means doing what is best for them even when it hurts us to do it.

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