What do you do with your chickens when they are done laying?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by blueheaven, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    Not that I am ready to do anything yet, but people have asked me if I will keep my hens around after they stop laying.

    My answer: YES.

    However, starting to think it through more...I will get new pullets every other year and so my hen house will be full.

    So...what do you with 'OLD' hens???
  2. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Chillin' With My Peeps

    It depends, if they are good mamas and go broody easily I might keep her to raise chicks. If she is one I have grown fond of then she gets to live in retirement, otherwise I will give them away or butcher them for food. Really it depends on the hen.
  3. Delilah1337

    Delilah1337 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2011
    Spirit Lake, Idaho
    I have 7 hens right now and they are just barely 7 months. We have decided that we are going to keep our girls as they are until they die of old age. It may sound a little weird but I have them more for the pet side of the scale rather than the egg layer side. Its great getting fresh eggs everyday but I love having them around for their personalities more. We probably wont be getting any more birds until our group now moves on, maybe you could find someone that is in my boat and just wants the entertainment of the hens rather than the eggs.
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I have heritage breeds, so at three years old they are still laying plenty for us, but then I don't sell my eggs. We even built our roosters a bachelor coop, so maybe I am not the one to answer the question. [​IMG]
  5. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    i know...i NEVER thought i would get rid of them. i would just let them die of old age.
    we do not sell the eggs, just eat them and give them away to family/friends.

    just getting ideas...
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    They are my kids and we have discussed this already and both feel they are our kids and will keep them around as long as they are not sick.
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Our either go into our breeding program or to the dinner table.
  8. coonhoundmama87

    coonhoundmama87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2011
    I just recently sold my older hens that were still laying but slowly. If they had stopped completely and I hadn't sold them they would have met the dinner table.
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I am operating the Olmstead Homestead, where retired layers will live out their days entertaining me, providing free fertilizer and keeping the bug population under control. Roosters don't retire, per se, but they will also have a home for as long as they live.

    I didn't get them for their eggs in the first place. Those are their gifts to me, a bonus. (But I do sell some eggs and plan to develop a bit of business behind that wonderful trait.)
  10. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    Depends on the chicken.....but if I have a good broody, she'll be a keeper long-term. Otherwise dinner or give away (we haven't found a processor yet, so it depends on that too).

    I know a lady that has lots of chickens and they are there for egg laying......she tells me when her's get olders she just leaves them outside the coop when the others get locked up and let's nature take it's course. They become food for something else.

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