I have to get rid of some chickens... but which ones...?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by clairabean, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    I have 23 chickens- 2 roos and 21 hens. A few standards, some banty EEers, and some Japanese banties. Standards range in age between 1-3 years, banties are 1-4 years old. I am going through one big bag of feed a week and getting 1-2 eggs a day. Yes, ONE or TWO eggs a day. [​IMG] All the banties have quite laying totally altogether. It has snowed this past week, but the coop has very sufficient lighting.

    It is killing me every time I have to go to the feed store and shell out $18 a bag for maybe 10 eggs a week. Killing me. Financially this can not go on. In the past I have justified using the egg $ for the feed, but we have not had enough eggs to sell for months.

    I am thinking of gettting rid of some hens to minimize my feed bill, but I can't figure out which ones. I am kind of attached to the fickle EEers, but the standards are the ones laying. Maybe do them all in and start from chicks in spring.[​IMG] There is a friend who would gladly take them all to feed his dogs the raw diet, so no worries there. My one buff orp roo is definitely staying. Best roo ever.

    Ugh. Decisions are hard. I am hoping to come up with a plan or at least rationalize my thoughts.... Any ideas or thoughts on this?
  2. animalsRawesome

    animalsRawesome Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    I will be watching this thread closly. I too get ONE egg a day; I have about 30 hens that are just turning 2 yrs! [​IMG]
  3. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    I take it you can't eat them yourself? Might make some good soup chickens... At least then they've served 2 purposes... Get rid of the oldest first... Thats the best I can say...
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    21 hens and 2-3 eggs a day. But they're pets. I think the laying seasons are cyclic. Maybe this will help. Half of mine are not known to be steady egg layers. Half of them are near or are 4 years old.

    If you want better layers, buy popular layers. And once they get beyone 2 years old or so, they can decrease in productivity.
    But mine are all pets-I could care less about the eggs.

    Decisions? If you can't make them, let others pick out the ones they want.
  5. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Well, I would have to start weeding out the non-layers....

    I am actually having to let go of a beautiful bantam cochin hen that was a part of my breeding project because I just can't justify keeping her any longer because it is going on 50 days since she last layed...I know the end may be near with her hiatus, but she never seemed to be molting, she eats the same things everyone else does and they are still laying, and she has about 17 hours of light a day... I just need to cut corners to justify keeping ANY birds, and she has to go. It's tough to decide, all around.
  6. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Unless I eat them I just keep them until death...the hens that is, I always get rid of xtr males.
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    I just went through the same thing. Lucky for me, I live in an Amish community, I sell them my older hens or trade for things like pine shavings which is a good deal for me. (sometimes I just give them away, I don't like the taste of older birds. I did keep 2 girls, my Spitzenhaubens, they lay beautiful, perfect shaped white eggs and are excellent brooders. Everyone else went to make room for the breeds I wanted. Good luck with your decisions. Michele
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Culling older and/or non productive hens has to happen if one is to keep the finances in order, as you state.

    If you could get 100 lbs of good feed for $19.50, would that ease the pain? Would a price like that allow you to keep a few favorites?

    I can afford to keep 1/2 my flock stocked with more heritage breeds. But, even they are very good layers, Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds, but still it is about break even, maybe. The commercial sex link flock on the other side of the barn pays the bills. Considerable profit there.

    Give this some thought if you decide to "re-build" your flock in spring.
  9. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    If you could get 100 lbs of good feed for $19.50, would that ease the pain? Would a price like that allow you to keep a few favorites?

    Yup! That is a great price, but unheard of here in my area. No farmers selling that sort of feed. We have reduced the feed what we can already.

    The birds are not worth my time to process to eat. Most are banties, and others are old. I have never butchered, and I am not willing to practice in the snow for mediocre birds.

    I have decided I am going to get rid of my lesser favourites and keep my 'pets'- my EEers, which I am fond of. If things get a little leaner this winter, they will have to go as well. [​IMG] It is going to be a long, snowy winter here in my parts.​
  10. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    Well...most hens go through a molt about this time of year. Will last about a month or so and then they will start laying again. I have about 30 hens and am only getting 1-2 eggs a day now, lol. Why don't you wait and see, am sure they will start laying again especially if you add lights inside your chicken house. My EE's and White Rocks lay all year..except for this molting time now.

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