Help!!! How can you tell which hens are done laying?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lilwhispers, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. lilwhispers

    lilwhispers Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    We have a good size flock. We have a dozen give or take a few we got last year as chicks then we have a dozen freedom rangers we got this spring, 6 marans I hatched this year ( only 1 of which is a rooster). In addition to the chickens we have 8 Midget White turkeys ( looks like 5 of them are toms my brother has invited them to thankgiving dinner he asked them to come well dressed;)) then we have 4 ducks. Anyway, we need to do some thinning they went through 30 pounds of feed and 7 gallons of water in 24 hours+/- and are only gettin 8 - 10 eggs a day granted the marans are just about to laying age but haven't started yet. I am thinking the older hens have stopped laying for the most part I would like any advice on picking out which ones are ready for freezer camp.

  2. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    None of your birds are done laying. They are really still babies..even the 1 yr olds. Your birds are either molting ( which they dont lay during for a good month or two) ill, or going through something else-lice..mites??? . Hens do not stop actively laying for a couple of years. Yours are in their prime and it would be a shame to off them because they took a break. They always take breaks from laying. When they go could be months until they lay again. I had Midget whites and I can tell you they ate ALOT...when I rehomed them, my feed bill went down alot! I think you'll find that when your brother takes care of them for Thanksgiving..your feed bill will drop considerably...

    The freedom rangers are meat birds...I would process them since they are 6 months old and folks have usually processed them by now..
  3. blueskylen

    blueskylen Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    my 8 hens are 5 years old and i still get 3 eggs a day from them. they do seem to molt heavier than they used to tho.

    yours are just babies! i think it may be the mites/lice. is there a reason they could be stressed - dog chasing them or lots of fighting in the coop? that will lessen the amount of eggs too.

    the ones laying would be the ones with bright red combs -- if a hens comb has paled to light pink she is either ill or molting.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    There is a great thread around here about why chickens stop laying....many different reasons. My flock are mostly 5-6 years old and they lay every day or every other day, depending on the bird and the season. One year old chickens of good laying genetics should be laying well if they are not molting or have other issues. One thing to keep in mind is that most birds will slow down production as winter approaches.

    You might also check feeding....if fed too much, some birds do not lay well.

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