What to do with the chickens after the 3 years of egg laying

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jiggykgcltcs, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. jiggykgcltcs

    jiggykgcltcs New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 22, 2010
    I have just begun an interest in raising chickens for eggs and as pets, but I was wondering what I am supposed to do with the chickens after they become older and stop laying eggs as much. I know that they lay eggs for 2-3 years, but then they go on to live for 13 years. I dont want to keep useless chickens for anothor 10 years! But, I could never kill them! Is there a solution to this. Please someone help!
    Thank You
     
  2. NurseELB

    NurseELB Chillin' With My Peeps

    507
    3
    141
    Oct 16, 2008
    Lacey, WA
    We have an arrangement with a co-worker/ chicken owner. We can bring him our "used" chickens and he will process them with his group of "used" chickens. We get different, fully processed chickens back in return. That way we don't feel guilty about eating OUR girls.

    ETA: Where are my manners? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  3. jiggykgcltcs

    jiggykgcltcs New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 22, 2010
    Quote:thanks for the welcome! But, I still think I would feel guilty if I were to do that.
     
  4. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    [​IMG]

    Short of giving them away or becoming a chicken hoarder, I think having someone process them is probably the only solution. You may have favorites that you'll hang onto regardless, but most chickens that you're keeping for eggs are not particularly wanted by anyone after they slow down or stop laying. You may be able to give some away to people, but they're out of your control at that point.

    Basically, you'll have to decide how many birds you're willing to feed for little return. [​IMG]
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Ahh, but hens do continue to lay, just not as regularly. Plus, they continue to eat bugs and produce great fertilizer for the garden!

    I simply KNOW I'm going to be running a home for Elderly Hens eventually.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  6. jiggykgcltcs

    jiggykgcltcs New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 22, 2010
    Quote:Good point, but how frequently do they lay at the age of lets say, around 10 years?
     
  7. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:Good point, but how frequently do they lay at the age of lets say, around 10 years?

    I doubt you'd get much of anything at 10 years. While many will speak up and say that they've had chickens live way past 10, from what I've read the average lifespan of a chicken is about 8. You're probably looking at an egg every month, maybe? [​IMG]
     
  8. jiggykgcltcs

    jiggykgcltcs New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 22, 2010
    Quote:Alot of websites say the chickens live to be up to 15, but I'm sure you've had more experience. Thanks Alot For your help
     
  9. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    2,084
    204
    271
    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I had a Barred Rock from my first group many years ago, that lived until 8 and gave me about 3 eggs per week until she died. I normally get rid of hens during their 2nd season, as that is when people might still want them. I used to give them to some old guys who would process them, but the last two times I sold them to a real nice guy that sort of takes in unwanted chickens. He keeps them for many years. I have his number for the next time (found him by putting an ad in the weekly merchandiser the first time & the same guy on Craigslist last time), so hopefully I will just call him & he will take them!
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    95
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:There is no "supposed to". Do whatever seems right to you, whatever you want to. (Note that there is a lot of variation in when their laying slows down or quits -- it is not necessarily at 3 years -- and it also is a matter of personal taste what you consider so little laying that a chicken is "useless")

    I dont want to keep useless chickens for anothor 10 years! But, I could never kill them! Is there a solution to this. Please someone help!

    I'm not sure what you're looking for -- a magic wand? Someone to say "here, phone this number and they will take your chickens for free to retire for the rest of their natural lives?"

    Animals get older; if they are lucky, they get *old*. At some point in that process, they typically become inconvenient, and if they were a "utilitarian" animal (a laying hen, a riding horse, a working dog) they typically lose the ability to do their job considerably before they actually expire of old age. It is up to you, the animal owner, to decide whatcha want to do about it. You KNOW what the options are [​IMG], and you know that none of them is magically free of downsides. It's not always an easy decision, but unavoidable if you're going to own animals.

    Best of luck,

    Pat, who retires some and eats some others.​
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by