how to decide who to eat?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickmashnoon, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. chickmashnoon

    chickmashnoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've got 12 chickens, 5 BR, 6 EE, 1 faverolle, and they all seem to be hens. I was assuming at least half would end up boys and I could decide which roo would stay with the ladies and send the rest to the freezer. I was not planning on putting hens in the freezer- how do I pick which ones to cull? they are just turning 5 months old and only some are begining to lay- we were planning on butchering at the end of october. Do I pick the smaller ones? and when you are gone all day how do you tell who is laying the most eggs? Plus, since winter is comming, do I run the chance of butchering a good layer that just hasn't started due to the shorter days? How do you guys pick? is it plain silly to just pick the ones I like?
     
  2. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Overrun With Chickens

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    For me I couldn't and wouldn't cull my females they have a purpose I did have 3 males I culled 2 choose the last to live because he lost a nail I felt bad.
     
  3. BairleaFarm

    BairleaFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its hard to go by layer production this time of year. The ones i know are laying would stay. I would them randomly pick from the rest.
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Do the best you can on picking who seems to be the best layer. Chances are they'll all be fine layers. The pullets that are laying should have red combs and wattles, instead of pink. They color up right before they get ready to lay. You can also look at their vent, to see if it looks more full and moist.

    The other thing you can look at is temperament. If you have some that are meaner to the other hens or getting picked on more, you can take them out of the flock. All things being equal, there's nothing wrong with picking chickens that you just like the look of or that you like the personality of a little more. You can also pick by the color of eggs you like to get.

    You can also choose to eat the plumper pullets and keep the leaner, lighter pullets for laying.

    You can also sell the extra layers, instead of butchering them. Chickens are pretty popular now and point of lay pullets should be easy to sell in most areas, compared to older hens.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    first year layers will be much less affected by decreasing light than second year layers or older hens. Earlier laying hens are more efficient as in you are getting eggs for less feed invested. So culling late layers is not a bad idea.

    But if this is just a little flock for you, keep your favorites, and sell or cull the rest. Point of lay hens should be easy to sell.

    MrsK
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:That's what I have done.
     
  7. chickmashnoon

    chickmashnoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    thanks for all the advice!
     
  8. angelbabyamy

    angelbabyamy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it were me, if you can't have that many hens, I would try to sell the hens I didn't want and find me some free roosters. It seems a shame to eat hens that are just starting to lay.
     
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Can you not keep 12 chickens?

    I'd keep all the hens and order a dozen Cornish Cross. They'll be ready to butcher by the end of November, which is a good time to be butchering.
     
  10. chickmashnoon

    chickmashnoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nope- not enough room in the coop over winter, right now it's kinda a tight squeez in the run but they get run of the whole yard( 1 1/2 acers) when I'm at home, evenings and weekends. the run is 10x16 and the coop is only 8x3. I don't want to overcrowd and stress them. I like the idea of finding free roosters and selling my girls that I'm "culling" but I'm nervous about bringing diseases back home since I have to keep the roosters somewhere until I slaughter and my chicken buget is mainly out for building a "quarentine" coop.
     

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