How long to keep hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NonTypicalCPA, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. NonTypicalCPA

    NonTypicalCPA Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2010
    SW Michigan
    We've got seven 18 month old hens. How long do people normally keep them before switching them out? My kids don't like the idea of turning them into meat birds [​IMG]. How long will they live if we decide to keep them as pets?
     
  2. Maximus

    Maximus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Altha Florida
    Normaly they live to 5 or 6 but I have had many that lived longer.
     
  3. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    many can lay that long...less eggs as you go. I'm keeping mine till they give up the ghost. [​IMG]
     
  4. Maximus

    Maximus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2011
    Altha Florida
    Quote:Me to! [​IMG]
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I have three that are 3 years old, and their egg production has dropped drastically. They will go this fall when there are less flies. By taking out the older ones, I can get new chicks each year. Young pullets will lay through the darkness of winter, older pullets make nice size eggs. And old hens make very good broth. Once in a while one gets to be special, but for the most part they get old and crabby, and then with the thought of new chicks, it makes it easier.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Mrs. K :

    I have three that are 3 years old, and their egg production has dropped drastically. They will go this fall when there are less flies. By taking out the older ones, I can get new chicks each year. Young pullets will lay through the darkness of winter, older pullets make nice size eggs. And old hens make very good broth. Once in a while one gets to be special, but for the most part they get old and crabby, and then with the thought of new chicks, it makes it easier.

    X2​
     
  7. Spitman

    Spitman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2010
    Fred's Hens :

    Mrs. K :

    I have three that are 3 years old, and their egg production has dropped drastically. They will go this fall when there are less flies. By taking out the older ones, I can get new chicks each year. Young pullets will lay through the darkness of winter, older pullets make nice size eggs. And old hens make very good broth. Once in a while one gets to be special, but for the most part they get old and crabby, and then with the thought of new chicks, it makes it easier.

    X2​

    x3​
     
  8. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

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    Knee Deep
    i have a 10 yr old at the youngest hen who gave up laying this summer. but he egg count did go down to one every week or so. i had a silkie who laid till about 10 or 11 before she quite.
     
  9. NonTypicalCPA

    NonTypicalCPA Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2010
    SW Michigan
    Wow, that's longer than I expected. I guess I'll have to experiment with adding new chicks into the flock, hopefully without having to eliminate my kids favorites older hens.
     
  10. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    10 years is the average expectancy for chickens. They can lay well the first 3 years and then slow down dramatically. A 10 year old hen can lay an egg. I don't plan on getting rid of mine for anything.
     

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