Older Hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by heatherindeskies, May 30, 2010.

  1. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Songster

    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    How do you manage them when they lay less eggs? get rid of them by butchering, or adopt them out, or just keep them? I realize alot of people are under a chicken limit and want their alloted # to be productive.....
    just curious
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  2. drunkdog

    drunkdog Songster

    May 15, 2010
    my answer will only serve to bump this...everyone who answers after me is likely to have a different answer and Id bet none of them are wrong. In the end it will come down to a judgement call of your own sorry.
  3. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Songster

    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    Drunkdog, you are prob right!
    I'm just curious.
    I have 2 senior hens, one is a pet, one is hard to catch, but i am thinking about getting one more old senior hen, because my seniors hang together, and when one dies (I will keep them for life) I want there to be 2 left to keep each other company.
    my other 2 hens are year olds, and i just bought 5 chicks.
  4. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress 9 Years

    I'm just going to keep my girls. They are pets too. [​IMG]
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    How old are your senior hens?
  6. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Songster

    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    one is at least 8, the other I'm unsure of, but she has the old, gnarled legs....
  7. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I can't bear to butcher my own hens. And we are into chickens for the egg production. So we sell our hens at about 2 years old, when the new chicks from that Spring start laying in the summer. So whoever buys them will get a year of good egglaying yet, or they can butcher them. Even still, I don't think anyone wants to eat an 8 year old hen, unless they were starving.
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My oldest chickens were a whole year old in March; I bought them in January from another BYCer downsizing her flock. The oldest *I* raised from chicks are now just now 8 months old. I have some 16 week old "teens," some 8.5 week olds just into their integration/segregation coop & pen this past Friday, and some 3 week old chicks in the brooder.

    All of them are my pets. (Who just happen to make my breakfast! [​IMG] )

    I am absolutely certain I will someday have a Home for Elderly Hens. My chiropractor, who also raises chickens (plus goats and sheep) has "offered" to take any chickens I need to divest myself of when I get more of them. I laughed at her. She processes 'em for meat. No way anybody is going to eat Rebecca, Bernadette, Buffy, Greta, Lacey, Matilda, Minerva, Millicent, Rhoda, Laverne or Shirley. Obviously the bantams I haven't listed wouldn't make much of an entre' for anyone, but they too will be forever safe with me even if there was a market for midget chicken drumsticks or anything else.
  9. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I have to "retired" hens who no longer lay one never layed at all since I've had her and the other one just stopped this past year. They will live out the rest of their lives in my care. They may no longer pay their own rent, but they still are friendly and come to greet me.
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:They pay their rent by giving your relaxation and enjoyment... [​IMG] ...the same way many dogs, cats, and other pets do.

    Mine are pets as well, which is why I only have five. They will live out their lives here the same as my other pets. However, some find homes for their older birds, some process any that they haven't grown super fond of, and some sell off old layers for meat (it's supposedly okay if cooked down for barbeque and such). As drunkdog said, none of them are wrong; it's all in how folks view their chickens...

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