laying vs eatting chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mamarosa, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. mamarosa

    mamarosa In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2008
    I am very new at chicken raising. I bought dual purpose chickens with the intention of just raising them to lay eggs.
    My friends are asking can you eat them too. I don't know.
    Do they need special food. How many years do chicken lay eggs and if you choose to eat them hold old do they have to be for that. I have "heavy breeders" any info would be appreciated. They are 2 weeks old right now and happy, active and fun to watch. So far my experience has been great and thanks to all of you have helped from everything to coop building, to brooder, to feed
    Once again
    thanks to all of you
  2. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    It would be good to know what breed(s) you have.

    You can eat any chicken at any age...typically meat birds are processed at 8 wks.

    If a chicken is older... let's say 1 or 2 yrs, you can certainly eat them, but they would be best for a stew or soup... cause they are older and less tender.

    Chickens can lay eggs for many years, but their high production is only for 1 or 2 years. I have 3, 3 year old hens who only lay 2 times a week. I have them for pets, so I don't plan to process them.... but that is not to say that many people don't and that it is a bad thing. [​IMG]

    Suggestion: If you plan to process your chickens, don't name them.
  3. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Quote:Or let your children or grand children paint their toe nails.[​IMG] Yup, we even have a cow with painted hoof as does a horse or two. My poor dog and cats can not be found when the girls break out the nail polish.[​IMG]
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:Yes, you can eat any chicken. They are all made of the same thing.... which is chicken. [​IMG]

    Quote:If you are specifically raisng them to eat, then you should use a broiler ration. For purebred chickens, they reach a good eating size at 15+ weeks.

    "Dual Purpose" means 'meatier than a leghorn' so be aware these will look very different from the chicken you see normally in a grocery store.

    If you want meat birds, I recommend raising a crop of broilers. With vaccum sealing technology, you can easily do a batch of 25-50 broilers then have chicken in your freezer for a good part of the year. Broilers will be ready to eat at around 8 weeks which makes them far more economical than dual prupose birds or purebreds.

    Quote:They can lay for many years, but they start to slow down after the 2nd or 3rd year. If you elect to eat them then, they will be called "stewing hens". They're best for stock, soup, etc rather than frying or roasting. They're not pretty.
  5. catfish

    catfish Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    Greenbrier, Arkansas
    welcome to the club.

    See the link in my signature timeline of a chicken life.
  6. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    as said yes you can eat any breed of chicken.the duel purpose hens lay you can eat them when their laying life is over.they lay good for 3yrs or less.then you can put emm in the stewpot.

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