What do you do with your hens when they stop laying??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LindsaySinai, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. LindsaySinai

    LindsaySinai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2011
    San Diego
    It's a long way off for mine but I'm curious. I only have four and I got them for fresh eggs so what do people normally do with their hens stop laying?? Do you keep them as pets?? I'd have a hard time getting rid of them but I have them for a purpose and would like to get new ones when they stop but I feel like thats totally inhumane...although they are just chickens so I don't see it quit like getting rid of a dog. I already had one chicken that I got from my aunt, so I wasn't sure how old she was, and never laid the 2 months I had her and I was considering just giving her back but she suddenly died...made it a lot easier then getting rid of her.
     
  2. nobodyherebutuschickens

    nobodyherebutuschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 20, 2010
    Erie, Colorado
    It might sound a little rude, but if the chicken doesn't have a job anymore you could always eat it. If you have a favorite or two you could keep them as pets if they were friendly. When you think of the big factories spewing out eggs from the hens, they probably "get rid of them" as soon as (if not before) they stop producing like crazy. As your backyard chicken, the hen has had a happy life and will serve you well even after she's gone.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Process for eating.
     
  4. pinkwindsong

    pinkwindsong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2011
    Laurens SC
    Ive seen many a post from people who have older hens like up about 6 or 7 and as long as they are happy and healthy they are still laying.. maybe not as much as a young'en but enough to keep feeding her.. I think a lot of it comes down to how long you've had them and how much of a pet they have become.[​IMG]. i would think it would be much easier to consume your extra roosters before one of your laying hens.. besides their meat would be so tough .. I guess you could use her as stock meat? hummm ..

    good luck and cross that bridge when you come to it..

    )O(
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  5. LindsaySinai

    LindsaySinai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2011
    San Diego
    Next question then...is there a certain age you have to eat chickens by??? I know with age sometimes the meat gets tough...is that true with chickens...or by the time they stop laying are they still plenty young??? I didn't know why my one chicken died so I didn't want to chance it by eating her.
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    They can lay for several years past the usual peak age of 2 years but their laying might become sporadic, depending on the breed and general health of the bird. You can eat a chicken at any age but they are pretty well tough and chewy past 4-6 mo. of age. Best to pressure cook an older hen for optimal tenderness. Some folks can them to use for soups and this will tenderize as well. Some just use them for raw protein for their dogs.
     
  7. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    I knew someone that had a hen that was eight. She would still lay an egg about every third day. Don't think I'd be looking to eat something that "old". LOL!!!
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Until a chicken stops eating bugs AND providing me with enjoyment at his/her antics, it's got a home with me. I plan on living past my retirement age and my chickens have the same option. As for hens, it would be the reward for having gifted me with her eggs however long she does.

    But that's just me - I'm a chicken-KEEPER not a chicken farmer.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Kane

    Kane Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2011
    South Haven
    I heard of a 12 year old hen laying an egg a week.[​IMG]
     
  10. pinkwindsong

    pinkwindsong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2011
    Laurens SC
    Quote:wow who ever had her needs to be commended and a big pat on the back.. 12 yrs.. great job.. and still laying.. heck yea no w that is someone who knows how to take care of their animals.. [​IMG]

    )O(
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