How long to keep laying hens??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by fizzy, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. fizzy

    fizzy Out Of The Brooder

    39
    1
    32
    Nov 11, 2008
    middle Tennessee
    We have BR hens that are 4 years old. We bought new chicks & raised them to replace the old girls (so I thought), but now my husband can't part with the old girls. Something about "knowing them for 4 years" and "not wanting them to go to an inferior home".....he is so soft-hearted. But, seriously, how long DO you keep laying hens? When they all start laying, we'll up to our eyeballs in eggs!!!
    Thanks, Wendy
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    There's no set time limit on how long you can keep your hens. If they are still contributing and you have the time and space keep them. Sell your extra eggs, I do. There are some folks on here that have 7 and 8 year old hens still laying enough to contribute a little to their feed costs.
    In the time I've been on BYC my attitude about this subject has changed. I initially planned on keeping all my hens for their entire life. However, because my SO keeps signing up more and more people that want to buy eggs from me it's going to be necessary for me to have good production all the time. I don't want to increase my flock size by much and have my chickens become a chore rather than the pleasure they are now.
    My new plan is to keep my favorites their entire life. Sell the rest and get chicks to replace the ones I sell or lose. My roosters have a lifetime home here, as do three of my hens. The others will be replaced around the three year mark (depending on their output).
     
  3. RIVERA69R

    RIVERA69R Chillin' With My Peeps

    273
    1
    131
    Jun 9, 2008
    VENICE FL
    It all depends on your personal goals are they for production only is it extra income or are they pets suppling just the family with eggs.
     
  4. Southerngirl

    Southerngirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    763
    6
    151
    Mar 25, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Many of our older hens that are between 6-10 years old still lay regularly, especially our banties and Barred Rocks.
     
  5. Patch of Heaven Farm

    Patch of Heaven Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I plan to keep my older hens even if just for bug control. I am terrified of spiders and since we got the chickens I rarely see them unless a chicken is eating one.[​IMG] But alot of ppl here ask if I have some older ones I would consider giving away for pets or to help with bugs. I might consider this if I know they will go to good homes. Dh wants to put them in the stew pot. [​IMG] So I guess we will see who wins .[​IMG]
     
  6. Maryallison77

    Maryallison77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    328
    2
    131
    Jul 18, 2008
    Fountain, Florida
    Long as I get at least a few eggs a day from my flock of 30 I will be happy! I LOVE my chickens!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. mlmadura

    mlmadura Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    2
    131
    May 1, 2008
    ms
    Hmmmm... I got my chickens as pets primarily lol - The eggs are an added bonus [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    6,396
    10
    263
    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    There's no set time limit on how long you can keep your hens. If they are still contributing and you have the time and space keep them. Sell your extra eggs, I do. There are some folks on here that have 7 and 8 year old hens still laying enough to contribute a little to their feed costs.
    In the time I've been on BYC my attitude about this subject has changed. I initially planned on keeping all my hens for their entire life. However, because my SO keeps signing up more and more people that want to buy eggs from me it's going to be necessary for me to have good production all the time. I don't want to increase my flock size by much and have my chickens become a chore rather than the pleasure they are now.
    My new plan is to keep my favorites their entire life. Sell the rest and get chicks to replace the ones I sell or lose. My roosters have a lifetime home here, as do three of my hens. The others will be replaced around the three year mark (depending on their output).

    This is exactly what I was planning on doing also and we changed our minds but we do have a few favs we are going to keep. Our old hen we got at 1 1/2 yrs old is not laying hardly at all so we were figuring around 2 yrs old to sell them to someone who would want an older flock that are still ok layers.​
     
  9. thedeacon

    thedeacon Chillin' With My Peeps

    202
    0
    119
    Nov 14, 2008
    Midwest
    MIne are not pets but farm animals. they become stew meat between 2-3 years. sooner if I decide to get some new ones,
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by