When to replenish the flock????????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wawa, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. wawa

    wawa Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 10 Buff Orpingtons that use to average about 8 eggs a day for the first two years of laying,they are starting their 4th year this year and I'm averaging about 3 eggs a day.My question is,Is it time for new layers and if so, what to do with the older ones? I'm not against butchering,but wont they be tough to eat at a older age???????????????????
     
  2. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

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    I plan to replace every year. I love raising the chicks plus I have egg customers to keep happy. Right now, my original flock is molting so not many eggs. Thank goodness for the new girls. They just started laying a few weeks ago. I plan to put the original flock up on Craigslist first and see if any wants them. You can also try poultry auctions.
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm admittedly a chicken addict, so I replenish my flock every spring....and summer......and fall [​IMG] you could keep the old girls, do they go broody? I butcher older birds here occasionally. They make the tastiest stews and chicken and dumplings. Lots of great flavor, just have to cook them slow and long.
     
  4. wawa

    wawa Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thats a good idea but I guess what I really want to know is can I butcher them and the meat be tender enough to enjoy.
     
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Some people just sell the whole batch at an auction. Makes things very simple. Then you start anew. If you butcher some, they would make great soup, I hear.
     
  6. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will not be too tough if cooked properly. Personally I like to brine the older hens a day or two before freezing. When looking for recipes look for "fowl recipes"


    One of our favorites is to cook ours for approx 2 hours at 350 in the oven with a little water added, then shred for chicken sandwiches. Main thing I think is to not boil the older birds or you'll end up with rubbery tough meat.

    Here's a place to start learning about cooking heritage chicken

    http://www.betterhensandgardens.com/2011/02/27/heritage-birds-for-real-chicken-flavor/
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  7. Karen09

    Karen09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually rotate the flock when they are between 2 to 3 for the ones I want eggs from (not the breeding chickens) and the older tougher chicken can be canned by a pressure canner. I boil the meat in a big pot of water with salt, pepper and garlic. then I put the meat in pint canning jars (about 1 pound of meat) and pour the juice in and put in it in the pressure-canner on 10 pounds of pressure for 1 hour 15 minutes. After about 3 months, the meat is tender and you can use it for all kinds of recipes. I also free-range mine so the legs are tougher but after the pressure canner process, they are nice. good luck deciding.
     

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