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what to do with hens who stop laying.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by abhaya, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    when my hens stop laying I am thinking I will butcher them. Are they gonna be tough as nails? are they worth the trouble?

  2. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    How done laying are they?

    I have 6 birds that are being terrible and not laying at all! I'm so mad... but most of them just started laying this year... the rest are only 2 1/2 years old. I didn't think they'd stop at 2?
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    first - are they going to be tough, this depends on age but also on cooking style - almost nothing is tough in a slow simmered stew.
    2nd your birds are just taking the winter off, it's part of nature. If you want them to lay in winter you need to give supplemental light.
    3rd if you are looking for meat, butchering is always worth the trouble [​IMG]
  4. luvchicks8

    luvchicks8 Songster

    Jul 1, 2009
    new Hampshire
    I have a retired hen house [​IMG]
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    They are never too old to cook, but you have know how to cook them. The secret to cooking older chickens is to cook them long, slow, and moist. If you Google Coq Au Vin you see how to cook a very old rooster. There are plenty of other methods, but recipes that call for a crock pots or ovens set at 325 usually work very well.
  6. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    Quote:I have none that are not laying But I am planing on renewing the flock every couple years and was thinking what to do with the ones who are not laying.
  7. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    I had an old hen that quit laying. I was planning on keeping her just because I didn't want to kill her. BUT, she started pecking the younger birds to the point they were badly bleeding. I culled the ol' hen and fed her to scavengers in the area.

  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    All meat becomes tender when it is canned! Old hens make the best chicken soup stock. I usually can mine but my freezer is full of meaties right now, so I will probably kill one a day, remove the breasts, and feed the rest to my dog. My layers are 3-4 years old now and it is getting about time to let the new gals take over.
  9. pringle

    pringle Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Quote:They are gonna be very tough!The only way to cook old hens is for soup.But the main problem is is that you will probably get attached and wont even butcher them.Ive seen countless people saying there gonna renew there flock of chickens and then the chickens befriend them and they wont butcher them.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  10. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    beekissed suggestion of canning is a great one, I haven't done it yet but I can't imagine the meat being anything less than tender. One of my goals for next year.

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