When to get rid of older chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kakayona, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. kakayona

    kakayona Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Stratford
    I have three 14/month old's and eight 2+/year old's. The three are a non issue but some of the eight are not laying. How do I tell which one's aren't laying?
    I don't want any that aren't laying because I have fourteen 6/week old's too. Is getting rid of one at a time a bad thing for morale? Soon I will have 25 chickens in an 8X8 coop. Is that to small?

    1. How do I tell which one's aren't laying?
    2. Is getting rid of one at a time a bad thing for morale?
    3. Soon I will have 25 chickens in an 8X8 coop with 7' ceiling. Is that to small?

    Thanks
     
  2. DonnaBelle

    DonnaBelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2009
    McIntosh County, OK
    That's an EXCELLENT question, I'm also wondering about that.

    I've got 3 hens that are about 3 years old, shouldn't they be in the pot??

    DonnaBelle
     
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    1. How to tell who isn't laying. Hard to say - they have nest traps that will keep a hen in until you let her out - that is a way to tell which hen lays which egg, but I'm not sure how to tell who isn't laying.

    2.Getting rid of one bad for morale? They are chickens - the can't count - if one bird is gone they won't have any idea. If 5 birds are gone, they wont have any idea. Really.

    3. Chickens need 3sq ft each inside the coop for cold snowy days when they don't go outside. 8x8 = 64sq ft 64/3 = 21 chickens.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Quote:1. If you can tell them apart, you might just spend a few days paying lots of attention to who's going in the nest box to lay during the day. I have read about folks using different colors of lipstick on their hens' vents so they could tell who laid what. But i'm not sure i'd be up for that. Talk about bad for morale! [​IMG]

    2. They really don't identify with as much human-like emotion as we tend to give them credit for. I have butchered right in front of my flock, and they forget about it about 30 seconds later.

    3. If you are able to free range during the day, and your chickens are generally docile, you will probably be fine with that size. But if they are too aggressive toward one another and they have to stay in for a significant period, that could end up being too crowded. You have to use your own judgment on the personality of your birds. The guidelines are great, but they're guidelines, and the chickens haven't read them.

    I have had close to 40 in a space that size without problems, but mine are fairly docile, and they free range from dawn 'til dusk.
     
  5. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm on a three year rotation. From what I have read egg production tapers off after the 2nd molt. So from a cost stand point you dont want to feed them while they molt and get no eggs and then get less eggs after.

    Group A (Born March 2009)
    Group B (Born March 2010)
    Group C (to be born March 2011)

    Once group C starts laying. Group A will be retired.


    Looks good on paper. [​IMG]

    I have the same size coop. 8X8= 64 sq ft/ 4 feet per bird =16 birds.

    Looks like you need to thin the flock.
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    When their dead bodies are cold and stiff. That's when I'll get rid of mine. Not before then.

    But, of course, I'm not trying to run an egg business.

    Y'see, I feed my dogs and take care of them, but they don't give me any eggs.

    I feed my cats and care for them, and they don't lay any eggs.

    So I'll feed and care for my chickens whether or not they continue to lay eggs. They can still provide great garden fertilizer, catch & eat bugs, and make me smile with their antics.
     
  7. LindseyM12

    LindseyM12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2009
    North Carolina
    Quote:I like the way you think [​IMG]
     
  8. kittyacid

    kittyacid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2009
    Clayton, NC
    LindseyM12 wrote:

    I like the way you think

    ME TOO!!!!!​
     
  9. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Me too. mine are egg layers, but pets too. I want to build a retirement coop for the older birds though, so i have room for new layers in the big coop

    Quote:
     
  10. MakNugget

    MakNugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Quote:I can (have) watch them for hours every day... [​IMG]
     

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