Hi from Vancouver Island BC

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by CottonBarry, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. CottonBarry

    CottonBarry New Egg

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    Hello all! First off I want to thank you all in advance for all of the great knowledge you share here! A bit about us, first time having chickens, we have 13 birds of varying breeds. We have 5 hylines that we got first. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have chosen them. I am stressed about when the two year mark comes and they stop laying!!! I don't know if I could eat them! We are looking at raising meat birds in the spring and I will be sure not to name those ones! We have an ancient welsummer that came with the coop (that my grandfather built for my aunt), a red rock, barred rock, Plymouth Rock, a splash Orpington, black maran and 2 americunas (I am spelling that wrong!) all are now laying except the Plymouth Rock and the americunas. Our girls free range over the 5 acres, and they have a very large penned area in a cedar grove with the biggest, most amazing rotten stump that holds enough bugs to keep them happy for hours a day. Thanks again for sharing all of your experiences! I don't have any pressing questions at the moment except, maybe how you all have dealt with the hylines when they stop laying. How long do they live? I find they are the most social and loving of our birds
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I think by hy-lines you mean one of the sex link type layers. Don't know how long they live but, I think they don't stop laying at 2 years, they just slow down. Maybe you could rehome some or all now -rather than stress for two years worrying about it. I'm a great worry wart and know sometimes I have just to put space between me and my stressors. Welcome to the backyard chickens flock. Others may have other suggestions on coping with this.
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Some people keep their former laying hens in a sort of retirement capacity, where they are able to live out the remainder of their lives. If you have the room and the resources that is another option for you. Nobody can force you to invite them to dinner. Many of the chicken folks on here feel the same way.
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Hyline is actually a company brand name rather than a breed. Hyline specializes in producing high yield layers of two types; White Leghorn strains which lay white eggs, and Red Sex Links which lay brown eggs. I'm not sure which layer you have (based on your description of their loving temperament, I suspect the Red Sex Links), but in either case, these egg laying machines spend such energy in their high egg production that they typically have a short lay life (2 years or so of prime laying) and typically a short life span as well (3-4 years). When they stop laying, your only options are to either eat them, give them away (if you can find someone to take them), or keep them until they die of old age. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
     
  5. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    Hi and :welcome

    I also have sex-links; we've had six over the past six years - their life spans vary depending on the individual birds, their health, what they like to eat (we had one who would feast on the kitchen scraps :p) and the weather conditions. They generally live 4 years and stop laying after 2 or 3, although there are plenty of variations - our Trotsky is now 4.5 years old and still laying. Feathers died at age 2 because it was very aggressive and didn't like to eat its veggies.

    If you've named your chooks and they're like pets to you, the best option is probably to keep them till they die of old age (if you can do that, of course). We've found that as soon as they stop laying they don't like to eat the layer feed we buy any more, and generally just scratch for bugs and eat grass. Sounds like you've got a really nice bit of land for your chooks, so you could just let them roam and feed them less once they've "retired".

    They are very social and friendly, I've loved having them for so long. Good luck with your chickens!
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X3 The production breeds like the various Hyline strains are bred to produce a lot of eggs in a short period of time, usually the commercial operations replace them around 2.5 years since they don't want to keep them through the second molt. They do, like all hens go into molt and will quit laying during that time, if you keep them after that they will start laying again, just less than they used to... Most of the commercial hybrids do seem to have a shorter life span and lot more reproductive problems which tend to lead to early deaths, some of them do live good long lives though.
     
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] I had some hylines myself, but I had to rehome them when we moved and they were still very young at the time. I found them absolutely adorable and very friendly. Lovely little birds. As the above posters said, chickens bred for high production usually don't live very long and many develop problems with their reproductive organs later in life. If you let your hens lay naturally, without "encouraging" them, as they do on commercial farms, it may help though.
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Many breeds lay well into their 3rd and 4th years. They don't just stop laying, they just taper off. My BA's are 3 1/2 years old are laying just as strong as their first or second year! So you have plenty of time before you need to cull, if that is what you plan on doing with older birds. You can still keep them as pets after they stop laying, although they won't be earning their keep through eggs. :)
     
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    My buff orpingtons are two years and already starting to decline...slowly.
     
  10. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! Sadly they don't seem to have a long lifespan, I had one that just died at around 2 years old.
     

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