I have 6, 1 1/2 year old RIR hens. They have been good to us with their eggs for a full year now. We hatched out two of their eggs and now have 1, 3 month old cockerel and 1, 3 month old pullet. I am considering processing the 6 hens for future soup stock and keeping the 2 young birds. And then in the spring I will add some day old chicks to the 2 younger ones. I am considering this for a couple of reasons. 1st I hear that hens tend to slow down on the egg production at about 2 years of age. 2nd or coop is about 25 sq feet and the run is 200 sq feet. With 8 birds in the coop through the winter it will be to crowded for them. The plan is to build a much larger coop in the early spring to accommodate a larger # of chickens. Any and all opinions are welcome here. Nothing is set in stone so please voice your opinion.