Three Year Old Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eggscetera, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. eggscetera

    eggscetera In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2011
    Palmer, Alaska
    OK. I'm tender hearted and can't bring myself to butcher the old hens. But go they must since I have some great new hens just starting to lay. Here's my question:
    Will they still lay an occasional egg? Or are they done?
    I have a friend who doesn't want to pay the going rate for new layers ($15 to $20 here). I told her I would give her my 3 year old hens for free. But if they won't ever lay eggs again even a free hen is a dud (although you get what you pay for). If I give her these old hens can she expect to get eggs now and then?

  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    They will still lay eggs (assuming they are otherwise healthy), they just will not lay at the rate they did when they were younger. The link below has a graph of what you can expect in general, it varies by individual bird and breed, but you can expect 5 year old birds will lay about half of what they did at their best.
  3. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    I wish to second what Kelsie said. You can still get a couple good eggs a week out of a retired layer. Most folks with economy in mind butcher older hens because they're not getting back what is being put into them in the form of feed.
  4. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop

    Jun 16, 2012
    Tending to my chickens
    They should still lay, but not as much as they did when they were younger. I had a hen lay up to 6 years old. Good nutrition and happiness are key, too.

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