The old bird

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CynthiaM, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. CynthiaM

    CynthiaM Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2008
    Webster's Corners, B.C.
    So, when does one generally decide that it is time to put the older chickens into the cooking pot? Meaning, at what age is the usual cessation of egg laying occur. Is there a pretty firmly set age? Have a great day.
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    No firmly set age - they really vary, depending upon genetics, care received, breed, etc. Mine live out their natural lives in my care, eggs or no eggs, so I've never made that kind of decision.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Someone here had a 17 yr old hen who still laid an egg on occasion. Mine will never be put in a pot because they stop laying, but then, most chickens dont live as long as the aforementioned one.
  4. cherig22

    cherig22 Green Fields Farm

    Sep 2, 2008
    SW Missouri
    I have two older hens that are yard art. The others will prolly be eaten, maybe not for the ones that are real characters. [​IMG]

    All of my stock is basically yard art, two older mares, getting an older wether in a couple of days. The hens will get older, but they are all still pretty. I plan to increase the flock to include some meat birds, and older ones will be stewed. Around three years or so.

  5. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    Like what has been said, it really depends on the individual. I've got a four year old hen who is still laying about four or five eggs a week presently.
  6. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    I think around 2-3 years. Wonder how good they would be to eat at that age?
  7. CynthiaM

    CynthiaM Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2008
    Webster's Corners, B.C.
    I have no reason to get too much in love with a chicken. I do love my chickens, but I also have to think of economics. If a bird is not laying I don't have the room to keep that bird. My Husband does have a special hen that I won't get rid of because he loves it so much, she is really very special, such a sweet old gal.

    I haven't got the sense of when is a realistic time to put that old chicken in the pot. I am guessing about 2-3 years is the slowing down point in a chicken's life. Have a great day, CynthiaM.
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    My three year old hens are still laying 4-6 eggs per week.
  9. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    wow, that is a good rate isn't it, Cyn? I have never put mine in a pot. Thought about it but couldn't do it.
  10. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    I have 3 hens I inherited from my Brother, they are anywhere between 5-8 years old, and all three are still laying very consistantly. at least 5 eggs per week each. I can tell thier eggs cause one is an Ameracauna (green egg) and the other 2 are RIR's, and lay nice big brown eggs unlike all my other fancy cochins etc. The only time they paused in thier laying, was when betty molted last summer. She didnt lay for at least 6 weeks, but then she started back up with a vengence!

    With proper feed, heat, and water, I dont see why you would have to replace an older bird still laying even every other day. She is producing more than a new pullet for the 6-8 months it takes to grow up!

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