*gulp* what do I do with them when they're "done"?


10 Years
Sep 27, 2009
Floresville, Texas
I am only allowed 5 hens, which I have, by law...but what do I do with my hens when they are no longer useful for eggs? I just don't know if I have the heart to "dispose" of them. Maybe give them to someone else who can? Is there an old chicken sanctuary? lol.
If you don't want to keep them you can probably find someone on Craigslist who will make chicken soup out of them. Or if you're a big softy like me you can just keep them and let them live out their lives.
I am a big softy. I'll probably search the end of the earth for a sanctuary, lol.
Unfort. I couldn't keep them, that would mean my egg days are up, which would defeat the purpose of me having them really.
Perhaps by then i'll have moved out of city limits, we're crossing our fingers in the next 2-4 years!
Well I KNOW that my Barred Rock hens are 1 year old...but I don't know a thing about my RIRs...and they're my favorites. I think I could live with the Barred Rocks "going away", but the RIR's I think I would need to keep....they're such sweethearts
lol, I suppose that's something I should get used to...since I plan to have meat chickens when I do get out of the city. I'll probably just pay someone else to do the butchering, or my husband

I do however know how to dress a dove start to finish, but I don't think chickens are that easy.
Do most here usually make a meal of the ones they no longer can use for egg laying? What about those that you get attached to?....is it as simple as 1...2...3....whack!?...I mean...if it was one of your sweetest hens..lol.
Our egg layers are pets. They all have names, and the kids are attached to them, so we won't be eating our layers when their egg production slows down.

Luckily, we are not limited in how many birds we can have, so I plan to keep adding a few layers a year to keep me in eggs.

Some breeds stay at laying longer than others, too. You RIRs might slow down, but you may still be getting an egg or two a week many years down the road from them. They might cost more in feed than they pay back in eggs, but they'll probably still be doing some laying.
If money is no object, then I wouldn't mind keeping a favorite hen now and again. But, money is always an object here, so I have to be very practical about culling my flock. My chickens aren't a hobby or pets to me, so the choice is a little more clear.

Is it easier? Not really. I still feel some remorse when killing a nice, sweet hen who has followed me around for companionship. But, when it comes down to it, where would you draw the line?

I hated killing my older, good roo. He was a good, sweet ol' roo but I think he was shooting blanks and he was the dominant roo....so, if I want to raise my own offspring and I free range, what are my choices? Rehome? And not know if he is being treated well? I'd rather give him a quick and merciful death after giving him this wonderful life of safety and chicken fun.

I have a flock of 29 hens and a young roo now. If I let them all age naturally and live out their lives here, pretty soon I would be having a big feed liability and no dividends.

It's never simple and never easy. But then, no one promised life was going to be simple or easy. Some things just have to be done and you stiffen your spine and just do it. The cradle of the killing cone and a sharp knife across the throat is swift and gives my old friends a good death. They are then turned into something useful. If they die of old age, what then would I use them for? Buzzard food?

Naw....I give them freedom, good food, a safe home and plenty of sunshine and fresh air. My old friends give me joy while they are alive and sustenance when they are dead. We should all be so lucky in our lives!

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