What do you do with your chickens????

dandydoodle

Songster
9 Years
Sep 21, 2010
1,964
10
151
georgia
I was reading a book last night about having a small farm, it had a part in it about chickens. It said the best laying years for a chickens are in the first two years of a chickens life. The book suggested to process your chicken at that point and start with new chickens. I mean I know a day is gonna come when my chickens don't lay that well and all that. Just curious what do you do with your chickens???? Do you keep your chickens until they are old and grey, do you process your after a couple years (if you process when) or do you sell or give them away at some point? After reading that I was just wondering what most people do.

Thanks,
MIchelle;)
 

NYRIR

Crowing
9 Years
May 13, 2010
3,080
27
256
Petersburg,NY
Hi
Mine are in their second season and molting so right now it's slow on eggs, but...I am just going to wait and see how much the egg laying decreases. Some are here for life since they are "pets" and some are for eggs, and still some are for meat. I plan on trying to keep them as long as possible before doing any culling of "stew" hens.I had a friend who's flock of 28 with 3 roos still gave him 10-15 eggs a day after 4 years, and he treats his chickens well but not fantastic....
 

brghtii

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 18, 2011
22
0
22
I am probably going to put an ad in the local online site and send them away. Once they are in their new home I will have no idea what happened. The thought of killing them at this time is something I can't handle. I'm a sucker!
 

Illia

Crazy for Colors
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
16,240
212
336
Forks, WA
Most of my girls are almost 3 years old and still laying strong. When someone says 2 years and that's all or 3 years and that's all, they mainly mean production bred chickens.
Sadly more than half the chickens in America are indeed bred solely for egg production, which actually pushes the production to their first few years, after that, it either dies off or the bird may possibly die from eggbound issues.

When mine get too old, I might butcher them for the dogs, who knows. . . I might sell them, too, so that someone can enjoy them as pets. But I don't see that happening very soon.
 

dandydoodle

Songster
9 Years
Sep 21, 2010
1,964
10
151
georgia
I am not sure what to do at this moment. I hate the thought of processing them, the thought makes me feel horrible. Then again when I think about it we buy chicken from the store, I guess at least I know these chickens have had a good life. Would it be better to process our own that have had a good life then to buy from the store from chickens that I have no idea what quality of life they had. Would it be better in the long run not to support those people. I am just a little conflicted right now. Thanks for the help.
 

Scooter&Suzie

Songster
8 Years
Jun 23, 2011
2,512
50
221
Pennsylvania
Some people keep them for their compost pile when they aren't really good for eggs anymore. Someone had once said on here, that since the hens feed them when they were in their egg laying stage, they would now feed them, instead of using them for stew.

If you are getting them as pets, I would keep them for their whole life, but if you are getting them for eggs, I would then keep them a couple years then use them for stew. You could sell them when they are one year old, and then let someone else deal with them in another year or so, and you could get fresh chickens. Remember, if you don't want them 'cause they are 2 or 3 years old, prob no one else will either...
 

dandydoodle

Songster
9 Years
Sep 21, 2010
1,964
10
151
georgia
Hmmm, well thats good to know. Do you have any idea at what age there egg production really starts dropping off?

Quote:
 

Nicole01

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
5,492
95
268
MN
We are keeping ours for life.
I've heard some never stop laying, that they only slow down. Our girls are our pets and I will miss them when they are gone.
 

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