When to re-home??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by topeka, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. topeka

    topeka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    I will be celebrating my 2nd anniversary (to owning chickens ) in April. I still have a few Speckled Sussex hens from my first chicks.
    Very docile, friendly, productive (egglaying) birds which I enjoy.

    That being said the only reason I keep chickens is for eggs. Out of my 44 birds I really have no idea who is laying at any one time.

    Should I just assume that when a bird reaches 2 years she is spent and sell her (as a 2 year old ) on CL?

    I really don't want to eat my old faithful hens [​IMG]............but I don't need pets
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Chickens can lay eggs for years. They just slow down more every year.
     
  3. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I re-home my hens after their second summer, as soon as the new chicks from that Spring start to lay. So I over-winter the newest pullets from that Spring who are now laying, and the hens from the previous year that will have their second winter with us.
     
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I too sell mine when they are 2 years old, during their second season, only because after 2 years old, not many people want to buy them & I don't eat them. They will definitely produce longer than that.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Exactly how and when you do it is up to you. I do eat my own chickens so how I do it will probably be different than the best way for you. My space and set-up is different too. As you are trying to do, you need to figure out the right answer for you.

    I know there are exceptions, but on average, a hen lays about 15% fewer eggs after the molt her second year, then about 15% less after each following molt.

    What I do is raise half my laying flock of replacement layers each year, then remove the hens about the time they start to molt when they are about 2-1/2 years old. It takes a couple of years once you start to get the rotation going. I'll try to explain.

    In year one, I raise a group of pullets I'll call group A. Each group is half my laying flock.

    In year two, I'll raise a group of pullets I'll call group B. Group A stays around and lays.

    In year three, I'll raise a group of pullets I'll call group C. Group A stays around and lays until they start their molt. By that time Group C should be laying. Then group A is removed from the equation.

    Often, the first year pullets will continue to lay during their first winter. They don't seem to realize they are not supposed to, although production will drop in the cold weather and I get the most out of the Group A hens until I have to start feeding them when they are molting and not laying. If you are trying to sell them on CL, you may not want to wait that late in the season. As I said, your correct answer might be different from mine.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. topeka

    topeka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    Quote:That is a very helpful post!
     
  7. topeka

    topeka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    I know there are exceptions, but on average, a hen lays about 15% fewer eggs after the molt her second year, then about 15% less after each following molt.


    Am i understanding this correctly?

    After 4th year the egg production would still be around 60%??
     
  8. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    Mississippi
    I would say you understand correctly. [​IMG]
    And so I would say yes by the 4th laying year average would be about 60% (give or take a little).
    I think this would cover the entire flock of hens assuming you have no free loaders.
    I think Ridgerunner has a great system going, definitely having a large flock. [​IMG]
     

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