Out with old in with the new.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Chook Daddy, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Chook Daddy

    Chook Daddy New Egg

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    Dec 9, 2011
    Just been discussing when is a good time to bring in new girls and retire the older layers some of our girls are nearly three and egg production slowing in a few.
    We currently have a clucky girl on 12 fertilized eggs and another half dozen Plymouth rocks to introduce to our mixed group of light Sussex and ISA browns.
    After recently culling our aggressive rooster to make way for our new Plymouth rooster just want to know have our older girls had a good enough free range life or should we hang on to them a little longer, given that we always intended on them being dual purpose.
     
  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure what your question is, but our layers are replaced every year. Every October they are replaced with new pullets before winter sets in right after they molt.

    If you get new chicks in I would wait until they are laying age before processing the old ones that way you still get eggs.
     
  3. eds500

    eds500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What do you do with the hens you've replaced? I'm getting a new batch of hens in the spring and will have to do something with the 5 older hens I have now.
     
  4. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What do you do with the hens you've replaced? I'm getting a new batch of hens in the spring and will have to do something with the 5 older hens I have now.

    You have two options. You can sell them to someone through Craigslist or where ever and that person will probably use them for stewing meat. The second option is that you process them yourselves. and use their meat to supplement your freezer.

    I opt for the second option because I want to make sure they have respect right until the end and are processed in a humane way. I can't do that if I give them to someone else. Often if my freezers are full and I have birds I need to process I can donate the meat to someone who needs it or can it so it is shelf stable using my pressure cooker.

    What you decide to do is really up to you.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What do you do with the hens you've replaced? I'm getting a new batch of hens in the spring and will have to do something with the 5 older hens I have now.

    What we do is process them and sell them as stewing hens to our customers. $2.75 / pound. They make great soup stock that can me made into just about any dish.

    What a lot of people do is can the meat. It actually makes a better product than a cornish x. When you can old layers their meat becomes tender but yet still holds together. Cornish x's when canned are mushy and don't taste like much of anything. Most broiler breeders are sold as stewing hens which are basically a broiler that is old. A true stewing hen is usually just a few pounds and are very skinny, however these broiler breeders will dress 5-9 pounds easy.
     
  6. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jeff - you replace ALL of your layers yearly or just ones that are "old" ?
     
  7. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What do you do with the hens you've replaced? I'm getting a new batch of hens in the spring and will have to do something with the 5 older hens I have now.

    What we do is process them and sell them as stewing hens to our customers. $2.75 / pound. They make great soup stock that can me made into just about any dish.

    What a lot of people do is can the meat. It actually makes a better product than a cornish x. When you can old layers their meat becomes tender but yet still holds together. Cornish x's when canned are mushy and don't taste like much of anything. Most broiler breeders are sold as stewing hens which are basically a broiler that is old. A true stewing hen is usually just a few pounds and are very skinny, however these broiler breeders will dress 5-9 pounds easy.

    I totally agree with you. I love the taste of my hens even as old as 3 years. I usually wait until mine are done or close to done laying. You can usually tell because their combs will get more dull and their legs lose color. Then you know they are stopping laying and ready to process. You can use a crock pot or you can actually cook them up in a pressure cooker and the meat gets really tender. Then using the pressure cooker I can actually can up the meat rather than freeze which saves freezer space for the younger birds. The canned meat is good for chicken pot pies, tacos, burritos stews and pretty much anything in between. It has a much fuller taste than CRX meat.
     
  8. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ya, all of them go. They drop in production about 15-20% in their second year so we just replace them every year. We have a good market for processed layers so for us, making them more valuable as stewing hens vs laying eggs. Our customers wait all year for the stewing hens often buying 10-15 at time to freeze and use for stock at a later time in the winter. It's kind of like buying a side a pork once a year...

    It's a lot of work having two flocks all the time but it helps keep a steady supply of eggs all year long. With out our egg sales we would lose a lot of business.
     
  9. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good info! Thanks [​IMG]
     

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