How much to pay for a retired layer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DStewart PDX, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope this is the right place to start this thread. Recently, I have tried to shift my chicken meat consumption to proper backyard and farm birds only, avoiding CornishX and other such birds. This means happening across the occasional rooster or other cull bird, getting birds from neighbors, the occasional wild duck, etc. Now I have the opportunity to buy some retirement-age layers. I would get them live and have to do the processing myself. What do you think is a fair price for such a bird? A magazine I read a few days ago listed $2 for a dressed old layer, and that to me seems like it doesn't even cover the cost of processing. A farmer friend suggested $5 per pound, which seemed outrageous. What do y'all think?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Prices are going to be regional to some extent. Around here spent hens go from $0 to about $5 at most live, don't know anybody who sells them already dressed. Cornish type meat birds might sell for $5/ lb dressed, usually see them advertised for $3-$4 / lb around here. Checking auction results and Craigslist might be a good way to figure out prices in your area. ie last auction a couple of weeks ago here heavy hens went for .25 to 4.50, fancys went .25 - 2.
     
  3. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your input. Checking craigslist is a good idea, too.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Drive down to Grants Pass and I'll give you about 18 older hens, plus some young cockerels [​IMG]. My health just isn't good enough for butchering consistently right now.

    I'm heading back up to OHSU next week, I'd actually consider bringing them up, except I'm travelling in a Corolla [​IMG]
     
  5. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish! Grants Pass is quite a haul. Sorry you're having to make the drive.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Thanks--it's boring as anything! Oh look, a sheep. Wow. 50 miles later--oh look, a sheep. wow.
     
  7. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not pay anything for a spent hen. Whoever is getting rid of it, is doing so because they don't want to 'do the deed' and I would think that for the doing, the bird should be free.
     
  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Monday I picked up 31 spent layers and old roosters from three different places, all free. I have some of my own to butcher so I gave all of those to some friends/neighbors who have six children and a low income -- they were very thankful to get them, spent most of yesterday butchering! I think if you can put the word out in the right places, you should be able to get some free. Of course, if you live in Portland proper, it might be harder....we live near Klamath Falls, and know quite a few people who have chickens. You might put an ad on Craigslist in the Farm and Garden section, stating what you want and why. You may need to take a whole flock, and be prepared to butcher and store the meat. Canning works well if you don't have a big freezer.

    Kathleen
     
  9. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, everyone. I could see paying a little for a hen that's been processed, but not for a live bird! Yes, I could do a better job of getting the word out that I will take old layers. Lots of Portland people are squeamish, though, and want their hens to "retire" somewhere besides the pot. I would drive a bit to pick up several, though. And I have a pressure canner, so if I did a whole batch, that would be worth it.
     

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