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weird question for a newbie...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shellyb, May 5, 2009.

  1. Shellyb

    Shellyb Songster

    Apr 25, 2009
    So, I am new to all of this and have been learning so much from this site. So my question is this, after raising these chickens as pets and eggs, what happens when they stop laying eggs? I know they can live for a long time but don't lay eggs their whole life (not sure how long). So what does one do when this happens? I won't have room to add many more when that time comes to make up for the eggs. I know this is a weird question and a long time off from now, but curious about what people do. Thanks

  2. Heidi

    Heidi Songster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northwest Michigan
    Well I have 4 hens that are 3 years old now. I originally had 8, but sold the other 4 when they were 2. The remaining 4 hens are my favorite so they will live a long happy life. In the past 2 years I've added to my flock about 16 chickens and I'm trying not to get to attached to them. My hope is to just keep selling hens when they are 2 or 3 and then I won't have to think about what to do when they quit laying.
  3. cindyanne1

    cindyanne1 Mother Goose

    Apr 19, 2009
    Central Ohio
    I've thought of this too. With a farmer for a husband I can't see us hanging on to 20 -25 chickens that are doing nothing but eating and not really laying eggs any more, but neither my husband nor I are into the butchering thing. There's a man around here who will kill and dress chickens for $2 a bird and we'll probably go that route and then start the flock over from scratch.

    Still not sure though... if it wasn't for the fact that I keep reading to not mix old and new hens I'd say we would cull half the flock at age 3 years, then get new ones... then the following year cull the rest of the old flock and get new ones to replace those... and repeat that cycle. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
  4. Shellyb

    Shellyb Songster

    Apr 25, 2009
    So he'll do the "dirty work" for you and then give it back to you. That may be a possibility for us too then. I don't know why I'm being such a baby and a hypocrite (sp?) about this. lol. I've never been a vegetarian but this just makes me see it in a whole new light. Didn't think about this aspect before, but I guess it's a fact of being a chicken owner. Thanks again.
  5. chickaddict

    chickaddict Songster

    May 4, 2009
    I asked myself the same question a few weeks ago and decided that if I only get 3 chicks a year and pick a different breed every year AND always name them Hilda, Hazel and Mert, then maybe when the time comes it will be easier to name them dinner. Unfortunately, I"ll never be able to test that particular theory as i completely caved in to my chick addiction and picked up 4 more chicks and 4 more 1 year olds. Maybe it's my sanity that should be tested????/
  6. Are there many people on this forum that keep chickens strictly as pets and NOT cull them when they can no longer produce eggs? I do not plan on eating my future birds (I don't even eat meat) and I don't even want them strictly for the eggs, though it's definitely a benefit. I was originally just going to get silkies but I've been thinking it would be cool to get even just a few barred rocks. When my hens can't lay anymore they'll live out their lives with me just like any of my other pets do. I just like chickens haha. They're fun, interesting and darn adorable! Is there a PET chicken forum out there that anybody knows of?
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Quote:People successfully mix new and old hens all the time. You do read about the problems on here as bad things can happen, but if you wait until the new ones are full sized and you keep them next to each other for a while and follow a few more tricks, there are usually only some pecking order issues but nothing that serious.

    Shellyb, I do not consider you a baby or a hypocrit. (I looked the spelling up) It's an aspect of life you are learning about. However you handle this end of it, I'm sure you will handle it well. At least you care. And welcome to this forum.

    As far as productive egg laying, it can vary a lot by individual chicken, but the most productive years are the first 2 or so, then the average production drops by about 15% each time they molt.

  8. iajewel

    iajewel Songster

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    Most people butcher the hens at 1-2yrs while you can still make chicken and noodles out of them. Replace your layers with the chicks you hatched the year befor, that way you always have good layers and aren't running a geriatrics ward for old hens.
    I know this isn't the answer a pet person wants, but if you are running a funtional farm, this is how it works.
  9. The Wolf Queen

    The Wolf Queen Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    cindyanne1 said: if it wasn't for the fact that I keep reading to not mix old and new hens I'd say we would cull half the flock at age 3 years, then get new ones...

    I do not cull but I add new flock members all the time. Usually for the 1rst week or so there are dominance desputes and every one is fine after that except for once when I added standard EE hens and my dominant banty cochin picked a fight with her. The little dickens won but got a bloody cut on her comb. That cleared in a few day and there was peace, love, and chickens again the next day [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2009
  10. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Quote:There are many people on this forum that raise their chickens as pets and do NOT eat them. There are also many that raise their chickens as pets, but DO eat them. And there are some that don't think of chickens as pets at all, and raise them strictly for eggs and/or meat. There are even some that don't even own chickens.

    Everyone is welcomed here. And [​IMG], RachelFromTheBlackLagoon! Looking forward to hearing about you and your pets!


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