What do vegetarians do with unproductive laying hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Gardener_in_Training, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Gardener_in_Training

    Gardener_in_Training Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 22, 2009
    Corvallis, OR
    I'm new to the forum and still deciding if I would like to try keeping chickens. If I do, I will keep a small number (around 3) in a suburban area, for the purposes of egg production.

    One factor (of many) I must consider is what to do when my hens grow older and no longer produce many eggs. Both myself and my husband are vegetarian and are not interested in eating our chickens.

    What do other vegetarians do? Do you keep the hens until they die of natural causes? If you keep unproductive hens around, do you bring in new, younger hens and keep a mixed-age flock so that you still get eggs?

    I'm not meaning to start a philosophical discussion on vegetarianism and omnivorism; I am only interested in learning what people who do not eat chicken meat do with their older hens. [​IMG] Thanks!
     
  2. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,516
    18
    223
    May 3, 2007
    North Central MS
    Cull and use as fertilizer to grow more veggies???
     
  3. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,353
    29
    203
    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Basicly people sell there older chickens off. In your case to non vegetarians. There are those that just like to keep them as pets but that is few and far between.
     
  4. Chicken03

    Chicken03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    245
    1
    121
    Mar 20, 2009
    Western Pa
    You can keep them around as pets until they die of old age. Or maybe you could sell them alive to somebody who wants to eat them?
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    34,028
    462
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Around here it is not a problem to find someone who will take a hen for free or a little money, to butcher and eat. Depends on whether that would bother you, I guess.
     
  6. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    5,679
    10
    261
    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    I am not a vegetarian but my laying hens will never be food, for me or anyone else. Once they stop laying they will live out their last days as pets. Honestly, hens can produce a few eggs here and there most of their lives anyway and I feel they have given me so much I will give them their retirement. [​IMG]
     
  7. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    Quote:Nicely put! [​IMG]
     
  8. Chihuahuamom

    Chihuahuamom Out Of The Brooder

    45
    2
    24
    Oct 20, 2008
    AMEN luvmychicknkids ! The answer to everything on here....cull em ,eat em, did anyone ever hear of just having them as pets???? I have dogs and cats that give me nothing in return except Love!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  9. Gardener_in_Training

    Gardener_in_Training Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 22, 2009
    Corvallis, OR
    For folks who keep them around - do you periodically get young hens so you continue to get eggs? If so, do you introduce them to the older hens or house them separately?
     
  10. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    [​IMG] Gardener_in_Training,

    Ditto-Forever Home

    Imp-They still earn their keep even without eggs.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by