stages of hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jimagination, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. Jimagination

    Jimagination Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2007
    Lancaster, PA
    Ok, I notice that a lot of people get rid of their hens at 2 years old or butcher them. Are there certain stages the hens go through that they stop laying? And also do they go back to laying at some point. Because I have also read that some people have hens laying at 9 years old.
     
  2. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    There are a few hens that will lay for years. A lay that lives near me had one for 14 years that gave an egg every 9 or 10 days. She is a member of AARF and in my opinion keeps many animals long past their time. Once a hen cost more to keep than the egg production it is time for fried chicken. I say this with a hen that is about seven years old and will live her live out here. Once she can't get around on her own, I know she will need to be put down, buried in her favorite dusting spot. Some people don't realize that keeping an animal for years causes it much pain and suffering. I WON'T HAVE THAT FOR ANY OF MY PETS.
     
  3. Jimagination

    Jimagination Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2007
    Lancaster, PA
    Seeing as I am lacto-ovo vegetarian and haven't eaten chicken for almost 12 years, I don't see anyof mine ending up being fried chicken, but thank you for your reply.[​IMG]
     
  4. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Jodi, this is just my guess. But aside from the annual moult which often causes them to temporarily stop or slow down laying, a lot of the production breeds just aren't, well... designed to keep laying for years and years. This is because the people who breed these commercial layers are only interested in the first year or two of the hen's life, not the overall productive life of a backyard hen.

    Again, I would guess that a bird who doesn't get burned out early on by genetic factors, and whose diet and environment doesn't gear it only for hopped up egg production probably has a much longer productive span. For myself, I'll be much more interested in having a hen who can lay 3 eggs a week for 10 healthy years than one who can lay 5 eggs a week for two years.

    Commercially, that would be a big financial hit. For a backyard chicken farmer, not so much.
     

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