I don't mean to be crass, but I have to ask this...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Shrader, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Shrader

    Shrader Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm new to chicken raising and so far I'm really enjoying my 9 little 2 week old pullets. I'm raising them primarily for the eggs. I live in the city, so I don't have a farm or anything, but I do have a nice size yard and they'll have ample room to ove around. I understand they can live to be about 15, but will only lay eggs for about 2 or 3 years. I hate to be crass, but I just can't have 9 non-egg-laying chickens hanging around for an extra 10 years. What do you do with them?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    That's not necessarily true. Chickens can lay their entire lives, just not at the same rate as when they were younger. Plus, they also provide fertilizer and bug control, not just eggs, so I feel they have benefits beyond their egg laying abilities. Now, if you can do it, many people put their slower laying hens in the stew pot and start over with youngsters. I won't because they're pets as well as for eggs, but such is the lot in life of a chicken sometimes.
  3. MoonGoddess

    MoonGoddess Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Philly, PA
    I just asked a very similar question.
    I heard a couple of people on here say that they have chickens lay well into their 5th year with only a minimum of slowing down after the 3rd year.

    And SOME chickens will live to be 15, but I think generally their life span is around 6 years.

    I suppose it's a preference at that point. Some people cull them, some keep them on, buy new ones and let until the older ones live out the rest of their lives.

    I am pretty sure from everything that I hear that you will definitely NOT have 10 years of unproductive chickens running around being a drain on your resources.

    I hear if you name them then forget it though...it's like trying to eat a friend.

    I'm a veggie and my hubby is a meat-eater...so we are currently having this discussion at home. [​IMG]
  4. Shrader

    Shrader Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for the honest responses. They have names already, and I'm afraid I won't be able to slaughter them. I can deal with slower egg layers just fine!
  5. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Chickens can live to a very old age. I have heard 30 years, but they can probably live a lot longer, birds are ver long lived in the animal kingdom. It is very rare that chickens die form old age. They are usually killed by either humans or predators at some point since they are prey animals living outside. I live in town so the predation is very minimal and I have two 9 year old hens and one that is a little older. All three still lay pretty well and have show no signs of slowing. If chickens live in a stress free environment (good food, no predators, ample space, etc.) they will live for a long time and lay for relatively long time.
  6. Arklady

    Arklady Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    I sell mine at the flea market or to private individuals for about 3 -5$ and what they do with them is up to them.

    I am going to eventually be in a place where I have pens set up for to slaughter all the birds regardless of egg laying ability for my freezer. That is the purpose of my having chickens in the first place. I don't slaughter the breeders. First and foremost these chickens are food animals and I do eat meat. All kinds I draw the line at organ meats. I just can't go there with that. But I can and will do my own slaughtering. I plan on putting down some rabbits this week end.

    Let me just say again. I do try to sell the older birds at about 3 or 4 years old for 3 -5$ first. If I can't sell them then I butcher them.

    Older hens can be placed in a large kettle and slow cooked for chicken stock, the stock is then frozen. You can never have enough chicken stock for baking purposes.

    Oh and I don't name my food animals.


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