Hello I'm new and lots of questions!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by skatcatla, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. skatcatla

    skatcatla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2007
    I've recently been investigating having a couple of chickens in my backyard. I've been doing lots of reading and considering coop designs, breeds, etc.

    The one thing I haven't seen mentioned at all is...what do you do with your chickens once they stop laying eggs (which I gather is after just a couple of years?). Do people just keep them as pets? How long do they usually live? Do you add another chicken to keep laying eggs and just keep the other ones until they die of old age? Or do you take them somewhere to be processed and then eat them?

    I don't know if I could bring myself to eat a chicken I had been keeping as a pet..but I'd love to know how you all handle the whole life-cycle.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    Some chickens don't ever stop laying eggs, they just slow down as they get older, or take breaks, for example during molting, winter (if no light is provided) or occasionally they will stop for a few days. My 6 year old bantam is still laying about 2 eggs a week and my 2yr old sex-link and Australorp are laying like they always have, one egg a day.

    Really how long you keep your chickens is up to you. I like to keep a few favorites and then sell some of the older hens (usually at about a year) and get new chicks in the spring. I find it a good way to find out what breeds I like and what breeds I'd really rather not ever get again. I've only cooked a few of mine, all aggressive roosters that wouldn't have made good pets and are pretty much impossible to sell or even give away. Old laying hens and older roos aren't really good for dinner unless you are making stew/soup, the older they are the tougher they are. Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  3. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    As Angie stated, a lot has to do with personal preference.

    My current flock still has room to grow, so if/when we experience a decline in eggs, we'll get a couple more to beef the system up. And as long as everyone stays sweet, and plays nicely together, we won't eat them. Anybody gets too big for their britches, though.. well, I DO make a mean chicken pot pie.

    editing to add: Actually, I meant a FANTASTIC Chicken Pot Pie.. but I guess the way I worded it works, too!

    -Meghan
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2007
  4. skatcatla

    skatcatla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2007
    Thanks very much for your reply! This has been worrying me. I suppose I'd end up keeping them as pets, so perhaps I'll start with two and maybe add one more in a couple of years.
     

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