what do you do when your chickens stop laying eggs?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Nov 22, 2008
I mean when they stop laying due to age. My rhode island reds stopped right before three years and am sure some of it is due to days shortening and some were molting. but i really feel they are done. they were doing the lay one egg every other day trick before stopping. I really enjoyed the experience but do not want to kill them for meat. They aren't exactly the most expensive creature to keep. lol. You might of thought i won a million dollars the first day i got an egg from them. in fact it was on veterans day. i am bummed out how fast this went. I was wondering what everyone here does. i am sure there is a wide mixture of answers and was wondering if you could give me your ideas. thanks, margaret


Tartan Terror
11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
I usually sell mine at around 2 years old when they are still laying enough that someone wants to buy them, but production has dropped enough for me to want them replaced. I have no problem eating my extra boys but I really would have a hard time processing the hens I think so this works for me.


8 Years
May 17, 2011
My RIR is about 3 years old and because of the horrible heat this summer and rapid weather change, she must have locked up. She didnt lay for almost a year. Well I always keep mine because I feel that they have served me well for their stay by supplying eggs that the least I can do to repay is to let them live out their lives happily with the flock mates they were raised with. I love my chickens and they are just as much a pet as my doggies. Heres the kicker though... for a time the weather was perfect for about 2 weeks (about mid-Oct) and my RIR laid quite a clutch of eggs during that time. I think maybe they are just a funny breed or we have twin chickens LOL.


8 Years
Sep 5, 2011
myne just live as long as they can 1 or 2 die or get killed each year so there will always be layers i have 3 non laying hens and 3 layers and 3 to lay so next year i will have 6 layers and the other 3 do lay the odd one every few days when the weather is good


11 Years
Dec 24, 2008
New Hampshire
I usually either sell or process them when they are around 2 years old (when there is a noticeable drop in production) If I only had a small handful, I would keep them, but when you are dealing with 30+ birds, it's just not reasonable to keep them until the die. I do have a few "life time" birds that will stay here until they pass from old age, but that usually only happens if something traumatic happens that they live through (dog/fox attack ect) or they are incredibly cool birds that have a lot of personality.

Really what it comes down to is how much you care about getting an egg per bird every day/every other day, and how attached you are. I raise mine with the knowledge that they are working animals, and will be completely useful to the farm (eggs and meat) instead of raising them as a pet.


10 Years
Mar 29, 2009
Mid Michigan
Sometimes they stay until they die or sometimes I put an ad on Craiglist. They are free to anybody who wants them. Some people like to have them to run around the yard and some people like them for soup. : )

sunny & the 5 egg layers

8 Years
Mar 29, 2011
My hens are only 9 months old, but when the time comes where their production starts slacking off my plan is to keep taking care of them as if they were still laying and keep them until they pass away. And I will get some new younger hens to feed our family eggs (But still keep the "old" ones too). I could never eat them, they are already my pets.

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