Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Back40, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Back40

    Back40 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2009
    O.k.... I have 16 Black Australorps who have been great layers for over two years, but they are about at the end of their laying days, I guess. For about 3 months, after their last molt, they started laying about 4 to 5 eggs per day, and now have gone to 1 to 4. I don't want to kill the girls for meat if the meat is not going to be worthwhile, as it seems such a waste. I've heard from friends that layer meat from older chickens is not nice, but tough, stringy, although flavorful. Does anyone have any thoughts on 1. whether to try and prepare these layers for food, or 2. if not, what does one do with chickens that don't lay any longer?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Well, it certainly isn't a "fryer", but a "stewing hen" is always tasty and has been the preferred bird for soup for a 1000 years. You've a couple of choices, and perhaps some recipe folks will help you out. We're pressure cooker people and pulled chicken folks ourselves. The broth/stock? simply the best. Not a waste at all.
  3. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2010
    I had an old layer 6+ years that totally stopped laying, we culled her, put her in a pot of water, cooked her on the wood stove till the meat fell off the bones, after picking the bones out I added peas,corn,potatoes, and carrots cooked it another hour or so to get the veggies tender, made some homemade dumplings added them to the pot, and made the best chicken stew ever.[​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I agree, process them. You will have the tastiest chicken soup you have ever eaten! [​IMG]
  5. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have lights on their coop? Most likely, they've slowed for the winter due to low lights. They tend to slow more the second year than first without lights.
  6. Back40

    Back40 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2009
    Thanks to all for the advice. First I'll try the lights in the coop to see if they improve. Everyone deserves a second chance...
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Good chance they'll increase production in the spring, too -- not to former levels, but some. Guess it depends on how many eggs you want. They should be larger eggs, too. I have one Australorp who is headed toward 3 years old, I don't count but I'd say she is laying 3 or 4 a week, and they are HUGE, bigger than XL in the store.

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