Poll: Statistics on the fate of "spent" layers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by deborahca, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. They live a pampered life until they die of natural causes, or become ill or injured.

    21 vote(s)
  2. I sell them or give them away.

    5 vote(s)
  3. I kill them, but don't eat them.

    0 vote(s)
  4. I have someone else process them, then I eat them.

    2 vote(s)
  5. I butcher and prepare them, and I eat them.

    15 vote(s)
  1. deborahca

    deborahca Out Of The Brooder

    I've been looking at back posts on the topic of "to eat or not to eat" older hens, and I see that people have strong opinions one way or the other, but I don't get a good feeling for HOW MANY backyard chicken keepers fall into each camp. I hope I'm not reinventing the wheel here, but I thought I'd try posting a poll on the topic.
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Bet most will have multiple answers, #1, Pets stick around until they die / have health problems, #2 some friends like older hens that are still doing some laying but are tame and calm, #3 might want to add another category for process for pet / dog food, usually have enough roosters to process for us humans.
  3. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    since cubalayas keep on laying good as they get older, i keep good older hens as breeders. i also look at the chicks that come from them and if i see a fault or some trait that i don't like keep coming from a certain hen, i will sell or cull her. i am very selective. if a hen has been here over 10 years, she can stay until she dies.
  4. deborahca

    deborahca Out Of The Brooder

    How many people have pets and non-pets in the same flock? It didn't occur to me that that was a likely scenario. I probably can't use much more than a dozen eggs a week anyway, so I'm not looking for a high rate of production... if hens are still laying an egg a week, I think I'd consider them productive -- for those that cull, at what rate of production do you cull?

    I'd love to see more statistics here... with the small numbers it looks very bimodal.
  5. cabot

    cabot Chillin' With My Peeps

    I personally have never culled due to production. Being a small animal vet, I have euthanized one sick bird and treated a few others. I have both layers and pets in my flock and find that just yearly replacement of the few birds I may lose to illness or predators keeps my production stable. Generally speaking I think there are definately two camps on this subject and both have their own merit. My birds are pets first and we enjoy the eggs produced but would not cull a healthy older unproductive hen. [​IMG][​IMG]
  6. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

    Dec 16, 2011
    I have not had to think about this yet, and I'm not sure what I'll do. Most all of my chickens are pets - but at different levels. There are 7-8 chickens in my flock of 17 that I will probably keep once the stop laying, (1 for sure...'cause he's a rooster. ;) the rest, probably will give them away/have someone cull them. There is 1 that I am almost wishing will die...she is a bully but it comes and goes so I am teeter-tottering on getting rid of her or not.
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    They will live out their lives till they die (however that may come to be) this is why i do not keep an excessive amount of chickens, this was my intent when i got into keeping them they will stay, and be useful for other purposes.. ie; garden/pest control/maintenance etc

    Each keeper IMO should evaluate what their long term goals are for when the eggs do stop, that way they can plan accordingly, plan breeds, #'s of birds and so forth.. it's actually a topic often forgotten about until it occurs but should be addressed before you get the chickens. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  8. Muffinburgler

    Muffinburgler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2012
    Watsonville, CA
    All my chickens are pets. The eggs they lay are just a nice bonus.
    1 person likes this.
  9. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 3, 2013
  10. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    i don't consider chickens as pets. my conure is a pet. some of my dogs are pets. some dogs hunt for me. they are hunting dogs. chickens are livestock and they are here to feed me and put money in my wallet. would i be sad if some of my older hens died or got killed? of course. they are still livestock and part of the farm(food).

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