What do you do when they don't lay anymore?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by llaaadyel, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. llaaadyel

    llaaadyel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
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    I purchased my chicks not only for pets, but also for egg laying. I was wondering what you all do when after 4 years they no longer are producing that many eggs. Not everyone lives on a farm and can have as many as they want. I am actually limited to 20 where I am and will be at the 15 mark this year.
     
  2. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many will be hitting the 4yr mark at the same time? If you have a lot, you would probably have to cull them. If it is only 1 or 2 that are hitting at the same time, I would let them retire, and just be pets, and replace them. Depending on predators, if you free range, and an occasional sickness, you should expect to lose a few early too.
     
  3. llaaadyel

    llaaadyel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a few that are older, but the lion share will be aging together which means they will be slowing down at the same time.
     
  4. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have/had 5 that are "over the hill" and are basically retired. They will normally lay an egg 1-2 times a week. One just died though, so we replaced her with 2 chicks. We have 20 chickens total now. You can't really give away non-laying hens, so you'll just have to either keep them all, or only keep a couple you are attached to, and kill off the rest.
     
  5. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    I list my low-non laying hens on craigstlist - noting their age and decreased productivity. Sometimes I'm able to get $5-10 or so per hen from people who don't need many eggs and want 'yard decoration'.

    Even though I love them, and enjoy their company - I can't justify keeping older hens on the feed bill. Actually just sold my favorite Easter Egger (swore I never would) when I realized she'd slowed down to 4-5 eggs a month. Sold her with some other older hens to a nice family with young kids who wanted lap birds more than eggs.

    Sometimes you get lucky.
     
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I was talking to the guy who runs the local feed store and many people post notes at the store that they have spent hens for sale; he says once the word gets out they go fast. We live near a small city with a high number of ethnic families wanting older hens. It's a traditional meal.He said $10 per hen. Hope he's right!
     
  7. Two Creeks Farm

    Two Creeks Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, stew pot
     
  8. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    If it is only a few I say keep them till they are gone from natural causes.
     
  9. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Tamales.
     
  10. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    May 13, 2008
    yes I would put them to good use as food, or sell them to those who do. many ethnic cultures prefer old used up tough meated birds, they make some of their traditional dishes more flavorful. Tamales are one example, and strong soup stock is another. $10.00 for an Ole used up bird is high so if you can get it, Do it and restock with fresh chicks or hen's.
     

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