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How well do your older hens lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Pluto, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Pluto

    Pluto In the Brooder

    Jan 9, 2009
    How old is your oldest hen that still lays?
    How many eggs a week do you get from your older hens?

    I'm curiouse as to what people with small backyard flocks do when their older hens slow down? If you are limited on space, so you can't just add more hens, but are too attached to cull your older hens. Do you just buy eggs and enjoy your older girls?

  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I have a three+ yr old wellie and she lays an average of about 2-3 a week for me. Sometimes four on warmer days. But I keep her because she is so sweet and I LOVE her dark brown eggs. I got her and her sister from a friend and she is the only 'old' one I have left. My other hens are just coming up on a year in June...they are laying all sorts of eggs for me [​IMG]
  3. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    Nope... I keep hens for eggs. I can't afford to feed them if they're not laying eggs to offset the cost. We have a few that are "pets", that are of course immune to the chopping block, but if they're not laying consistently (usually around 2-3 years old in my flock), then they make room for younger birds. Harsh, but that's the way it is.
    1 person likes this.
  4. I buy 2 or 3 new pullets every spring, that way I always have about 6 eggs a day, and the number of older hens will increase, but eventually I will have a certain number die of Old age every year that matches the number I get... so a balance. I can't cull even my stupid broken rooster... no way can I kill a hen just for being old. My oldest hen that lays is almost 2... actually, that's my oldest hen total... they're all laying still.. obviously... okay... that's enough.... ADD sucks!!!
  5. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Songster

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    A few take longer to moult but in general ; they don't lay much different. Almost 4 years-old. White Plymouth Rocks and Buff Orpingtons. I would say the white rocks do better with moult.
  6. tim_TX

    tim_TX Songster

    Jun 4, 2008
    Well, a hen will lay the most eggs her first year, and the second year she will lay somewhat fewer but larger eggs. Production goes down significantly after 3 years. Personally, I manage a large flock, so I sell my hens at 12 and 18 months, and rotate new batches in twice a year. This helps me to avoid all of them molting at the same time., as well as the age issue.

    But to answer your question, you must decide if you want pets or eggs. I personally would rather not put in the work required if they were not producing, but then I own a ranch and need to engage in ongoing agriculture business to protect my agricultural exemption.
  7. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    my oldest are 4
    EE 's 4 a week
    Buff Brahmas 2 a week
    Bantam Cochins 3 a week

    they are the kids they are safe from pot

  8. Pluto

    Pluto In the Brooder

    Jan 9, 2009
    Don't get me wrong, I would love to have property and the room to really raise my own food. But I'm finding it difficult to not become attached to my hens when they are 15 feet from my back door. Hence the question about the older hens. Our budget can afford the $10 for a bag of layer pellets, but we pay $3.00 a dz for eggs, and we just don't have the room for more hens. I'm really enjoying our homegrown eggs.

    I love hearing that some older hens are still laying 3-4 a week. That's all we really need [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  9. bwebb7

    bwebb7 Songster

    Aug 16, 2008
    Brooksville, Fl
    I have a coworker that has hens that are 10 years old and lay an egg or two a week!
    She wants me to bring her some fertilized eggs next time one of her hens goes broody so she can get her flock re-vitalized. She really only needs a dozen or so eggs a week so she'll only want to hatch a couple.
  10. freddy22

    freddy22 Songster

    Mar 2, 2008
    i have one Buff Orpington that is 4 years old and is the only one still alive from the group of 6 that i started with....she continues to lay very well at about 4 sometimes 5 eggs a week....this is even hard for me to believe since she is 4 years old

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