Is it time to put hens in my freezer???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Crazy4cochins, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Crazy4cochins

    Crazy4cochins Songster

    Oct 5, 2008
    NW MO
    I have hens that are going to be 2 in March and I have new hens that lay and will be 1 in march soo I want to know if I should put the 2yr olds in the freezer?? They are molting now and I have like 40 ish chickens , I feel really guilty about doing it but we need to scale back the feed bill and I want more chicks in the spring. Butttt I have a lot of people wanting eggs now soo Should I keep the originals still various breeds like EE's 4 , BO 4, Australorps 3.
    I am curious if their rate of laying will be like 1 egg every other day or if it will be like once a week.
    Arrggg I feel so confused but I know I can do it I have gotten roo's in the freezer but my hens are different. anyone had the same situation please tell me what you did.

  2. emys

    emys Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    Well, how you choose to keep your flock is your choice. As to the egg laying ability of 2 year old hens, it varies with genetics, and husbandry. I can tell you I had three 3 year old hens this past year. One stopped laying after spring (EE) and the other 2 averaged 3-4 eggs per week (BR).
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I have a two year old EE. She lays every day in the summer/fall and is just now slowing down. Approx. an egg every other day. I have no plans on processing her anytime soon.

    I do know that some people do process their layers yearly or every two years.
  4. Rebel Rooster

    Rebel Rooster I Will Love! :)

    Jun 29, 2009
    Central SC
    My Coop
    I'm going to butcher mine at 2 years... [​IMG]
  5. Do they usually slow down after a molt or do they better for a while?
    I have a bunch in molt now.

  6. Crazy4cochins

    Crazy4cochins Songster

    Oct 5, 2008
    NW MO
    I know my someof my 2yr olds are in molt right now I even have some of the younger Mixed breed ones stop laying but I just put the light in the coop. I feel sad..... I have no idea how long this molting garbage is lasting I have had some that molted at the end of summer. I can only tell that my reds are laying becasue the color of the eggs.
    Well I guess I know what to do. Thanks
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It is up to you, but I don't intend for any of mine to ever see three years of age. And right when they start molting and stop laying is the time I'll process them to save on food costs. Why feed them during a molt?

    The way I'll do it is every spring I hatch some chicks that will be replacement layers. By the time they are laying reasonably well in the fall, the 2-1/2 year olds start molting and are processed. The 1-1/2 year olds also molt, but I'll keep them another year. So during the summer I have three flocks, the chicks, the young adults, and the older gals. In the winter, I have the new replacements and the young adults. Hope this makes sense.

    I believe it is 11 hens you are talking about. If it makes it any easier for you, you treated them well and gave them a good life. You were not cruel and did not mistreat them. If you had not given them a good life, that is 11 chickens that would not have lived at all. And with them gone, you are able to give another 11 chickens a chance at a good life while they live.

    For your info, the average decrease in laying is 15% after each adult molt. It does vary by individual hen.
  8. Crazy4cochins

    Crazy4cochins Songster

    Oct 5, 2008
    NW MO
    I know what your saying becasue that was my plan. I tell people all the time I gave them a great life ,they are all spoiled brats.... but I am weak and they are all my babies, I have been told it is quite amuzing to see me walking around my yard and having like 40 chickens following me [​IMG] my family thinks I am a nut!
    I have an incubator and everything ready. I did process 2 roosters today so that was a lilttle bit of help to my feed bill.
  9. CHIC

    CHIC Songster

    Aug 18, 2009
    Anyone let their hens live their lives out? Any input on that? In theory the processing thing seems good, I just don't think I could eat my babies, seriously.

  10. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Songster

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    mine will live forever.. i am a wuss and hubby said he won't do the deed so pets they are lol.. he can do deer and other animals just not hens with names lol

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