When to cull out older hens...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WyoChickenMamma, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    I now have a nice flock of 27 hens...of them, at least 5 are old, at least 4-5 by my guessing. None of them lay anymore, or if they do it has been so sporadic that I have not noticed them ever in a laying box. I was talking to a lady who has raised chickens for many years and talking to her about processing them. She told me not to do it now, but to wait until spring, so I could basically use them as heaters in my coop. She said the five of them would be that much more body heat in the dead of winter. We live in Wyoming and have very cold winters here, so that does make sense. However, I will still be feeding them for the rest of the summer, fall and then through the winter. What do you do with your older hens? They are BO, a BSL, and a few white hens that I not sure of the breed, but I believe all are dual purpose birds. Will their meat still be good after all these years? Should I bother with processing them or just cull them...and now or spring time?
  2. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could try re-homing.
  3. macdoogle2

    macdoogle2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2011
    San Diego
    I've only had 1 older hen so far. Bought her thinking she would lay and she never did. My husband's favorite chicken. One day she just died. I burried her and planted a rose bush over her. Finnigan's rose bush (that was her name) I dont expect I'll be doing that with all my older hens once they stop laying. I wish I could have gotten myself to the point of processing her. I'm sure she would have made good soup. Just couldn't do it.
  4. txreddirtgirl

    txreddirtgirl Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    Decatur, Tx
  5. knjinnm

    knjinnm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2010
    Sandia Park, NM
    What type of hen do you have?
    After three years most hens are through laying on a regular basis. I've kept a couple of EE hens for ten years as pets but always rotated a few out for eggs.
  6. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    Quote:Buff Orpingtons, a BSL, some white rocks(I believe) and perhaps a few RIRs.
  7. Lucysmom002

    Lucysmom002 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    I have 23 chickens. I know a couple of them are roosters. I'm dreading the day that I have to do something with them.
    I admire the courage some people have to put them in the freezer, same with the older hens.
    I know I can never do it.
    We've had a few chickens killed to predators and buried them too. I love them too much. I have goofy hens that don't lay or lay sporadically. I still love them, they are my babies.
    I hope you found the information you were looking for.
    I better stop collecting chickens and I'll never get a cow either! HAHA
  8. SebrightLuver

    SebrightLuver Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    They would make good soup chickens
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    There are several options.

    If you need the body heat for winter survival, you can keep the older hens or get replacements. As there are four months until December weather hits, replacements would be quite large and well feathered in. You can keep the older girls, rehome them, stew them, sell to a variety of ethnic groups that stew older hens(if any live in your area). You can do what works for you.GL
  10. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    We offer them free at Craig's List at about 4 years old... Helps get some folks started with already laying hens, some eat them, and some become pets I guess. Younger birds or those not given away are eaten. Yum chicken and dumplings....

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