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Tell me I'm being a dummy.....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BettyR, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I have started selling eggs to help pay for the feed that my chickens eat. I never realized that there was such a large market for homemade eggs. I'm selling all my chickens will lay minus the ones I'm using of course. I'm getting about 1-1/2 dozen eggs a day and I want to keep getting this amount because I'm really enjoying the money.

    Before I started selling eggs I never worried about how old my hens were, it didn't matter. I have no problem at all culling out the excess roosters for the gumbo pot but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around dispatching some of my older hens. I feel like Benedict Arnold.... I need y'all to yell and me and tell me I'm being a dummy.

    With the roosters I just tell DH I want a rooster to make gumbo with and he sits on the back porch with the 22 and pops one in the head for me. I walk out a little later and gather it up, skin it, gut it, and bag it really quick to stick in the frig for the following day. I know it would be just as easy to do with a hen but it just somehow doesn't feel right. I think I have a certain amount of animosity where the roosters are concerned that I don't have with the hens.

    There are times when I have to cull several roosters before I'm really ready to eat them and stick them in the freezer because they will gang up and start chasing and harassing the hens. I don't know if I should just leave well enough alone and continue as is or if I should start culling some of the older hens. I would appreciate your opinion.
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    So they provided you with eggs since they could lay and your all done with them?

    I have one elderly hen that still gives eggs, and some young ones that are supper broody that nearly never give eggs but do hatch are raise chicks nicely.

    But my customers want cruelty free cage free eggs- your customers may just want eggs.

    I can sell mine for 3$ a doz. and that does take care for their feed, I have 16 hens, 7 ducks, 3 drakes and 5 roosters with only one exiled at the moment. Duck doz = $5, mixed doz are still $3 at the moment.

    We can't discharge firearms in town, nor process animals so I'm in a different place then you with my chickens.
     
  3. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    A couple of suggestions. Why not sell your hens.... I imagine there would still be a market for them.... This is spring and folks want layers. Be honest about their age and you'd be surprised on the price they might bring you and then you rehome your hens. I have kept hens of some of my breeder pens of up to 4 and 5 years of age and then just given them to a good home. It sounds like I'm taking the hen's side[​IMG] You are right that the production of eggs goes down with age and if you've reached that point where financially it doesn't make sense for you, it might be time to sell. We routinely sell some of our flock every year, and you might want to develop your own rotation system...Great luck!
     
  4. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I don't think your being a dummy! I routinely butcher excess birds. BUT I have a seperate pen for old laying hens. My oldest girl is 9 she laid an egg a day through year 7, sporatic last year and none so far this year. We love her. She eats a hanfdul of scratch, we can afford that. I actually have 7 retired girls, I use their pen to keep my back up roo in. It works for me. I suggest a layer for $ pen with high production birds, and a retired pen that provides your family eggs.
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Or you could be like me and just know you'll be running a Home For Elderly Hens (and roosters) at some point in the future.

    They will always provide great fertilizer. They will continue to keep the property bug-free long after they lay their last egg(s). They will ALWAYS make me smile with their antics.

    My dogs and cats don't lay eggs - they continue to eat, shed, and poop, and they will live with me until they die (or I assist them in crossing the Rainbow Bridge).

    My chickens don't have to lay eggs at all. It's great that they do, but they don't have to provide eggs to live here.

    I do give cockerels to a friend for processing, though. The five "core" roosters can live here forever, but I've come to the realization I can't just keep ALL the roosters just because they were hatched here. I've also sold or given away some of the pullets and hens to special people. And some of the roosters, too; generally the bantam boys because they'd only be a lot of work for little more than a Cup O' Soup.

    So, I know that *I* am the dummy, because I don't look at the hens as food at all.
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Cruelty free? Unless you or your customers never eat chicken I think that's a moot point. It doesn't make sense to keep old hens around and then go butcher a different chicken for dinner, or buy one from the store.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Thanks, but it actually is more about the cages and the debeaking and other standard -industry- practices:

    Besides this group is almost "nearly" vegan and 'local grown' eating crowd.
     
  8. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Bowdon, GA
    You may me laugh out loud and I so needed that TODAY! I had a volunteer last year at the Farm and he asked how old some of my hens were and when I told him 5 years old and then a few minutes later he said what I thought he said was "you belong in a nursing home!" ( LOL, but he said your hens belong in a nursing home. ) Well, I said I probably do, but my husband is sweet and lets me stay here. Anyway, poor fellow was as confused about me as I was about him. LOL....Finally we figured what each other said and it was laughter time again. I have hearing aids but I don't like to wear them outside!
     
  9. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Maybe I should clarify just a bit more....

    I'm selling my eggs for $2 a doz and that is bringing in about twice as much as what I am spending on feed. I know they are getting all the feed they want because there is always food left in their pans the next day when I go out to open up the hen house and put new feed in their pans.

    I'm not really sure how many chickens I have...there are about 30 hens that come to the hen house to roost each night when I go out to lock up and the rest just fly up into the trees around the chicken house. It seems like there is always one or two wandering around with a new batch of chicks so it's quite obvious that I'm not getting all the eggs that are being laid.

    I also know that predators must be taking some or we would be drowning in chickens by now. I think I'm basically talking myself out of culling any of my hens since I have all the roosters I can eat at any given time and I really don't like putting chickens in the freezer. They take too long to thaw, I really prefer fresh chicken and I need all my freezer space for when we purchase a steer once a year. Yeah....that's it....I'm not a freaking pansy. LOL not much anyway.
     
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    We were talking about eating old hens...

    You mentioned that it wouldn't be a good fit with your "cruelty-free" customers. I say chicken is chicken and it's not necessarily cruel to eat an older hen if you are going to eat a chicken anyways.... This is a case of "What's good for the gander is good for the goose". [​IMG]
     

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