Older hens


8 Years
Aug 29, 2011
I live in Sacramento CA and I'm excited that the laws against chickens in the city may soon be lifted. The rules will allow only 3 hens. My question is this. From what I've read hens don't continue to lay throughout their lives. So what do I do when the hens get too old to lay. Even if I am willing to have an "old age" home for chickens until they die a natural death; I can't get any new chicks since I'm limited to only 3. What have others done?

Sounds great about the law being changed.

I am not limited as to how many chickens I can have and I do have some older hens, 3+ years old. The thing is, rarely does a hen stop laying completely. Egg production does drop with each passing year, but I know folks with 10 year old hens still getting the occasional egg. My older hens (11 of them) are currently molting, but right before their molt started I was getting six eggs a day from them.

I do know that folks with limited space or limits imposed by law will sometimes turn to the dual purpose breeds, i.e., hens that are good for the stew pot when their egg production decreases to the point of being uneconomical. Others simply find pet homes for their older hens and replace them with chicks or young pullets.

Good luck to you and enjoy! You'll soon be addicted.
Welcome to BYC.
That is a choice that you're going to have to make when the time comes. My Barred Rocks and Hamburgs are pushing 6.5 years old and are still laying, even in this record heat we're having. They have provided me with many eggs with enjoyment and entertainment. When they stop laying, they will continue to provide me joy and will live out there final days here to the end of their lives.
I have no bird limit... however keep birds mostly for eggs. Only a few special ones live their lives out, the rest are just stewed at about 3 years old. I sometimes sell them, but generally prefer to stew because then I know that they were cared for their entire lives and don't have to wonder.
If you are only looking for eggs, as production drops you could re-home them to a farm outside of the city limits and go again.

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