Help me decide. Voice your opinion.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickendude, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. chickendude

    chickendude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    Dutchess County NY
    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.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I would wait until they are 3 y.o. to process. They don't slow down that much in the first year after molt, and their eggs are the biggest they will ever be.

    Good luck.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    What CMV said.
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

    I don't believe dispatching them at 1 1/2 years would be the most efficient or economical approach. You have a lot of feed invested in them. They could lay nearly as well for one or even several years as they have been.

    Their soup will be even better when they are older, too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2010
  5. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I agree with the previous. You'll be missing out on some nice size eggs and good numbers.
  6. TheMainException

    TheMainException Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Lebanon, PA
    Ditto to above.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If you don't want to keep them, maybe offer them on craigslist. My local farm and garden section has a healthy amount of 18mo hens for sale at about ten dollars each, and still posts looking for layers. Not that I'm against eating "spent" hens, I just dont' think they're spent until a year later.
  8. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    Quote:What gryeyes said that CMV said! I totally agree!
  9. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I agree, I would definitely wait. What if your pullet gets sick or dies... the roo won't be able to give you anything and then you'd be without eggs. Besides, your laying girls are still in the prime of their lives. [​IMG]

    On a side note, my DH is from Dutchess County (near Poughkeepsie). It is gorgeous there! Have the leaves started to turn yet?
  10. BWchicken

    BWchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    I agree. They're in the prime of their lives and you'll get plentiful eggs from them for a while to come.

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