Where to retire old hens? (GA)

Feb 28, 2018
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I've got 3 remaining girls of what was a 5 girl flock (lost 2 this year) and 2 of them don't lay at all any more and 1 lays maybe every other day. They're still healthy, sweet girls but I can't keep them around if they're not producing - I live in downtown atlanta and just don't have the space.

I've heard of farms where you can "retire" spent chickens to live out their remaining days. Does anyone know of one of these around the Atlanta area or is there a way to look this up? My attempts at google searches didn't show anything.

Thanks for any help!
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,284
38,641
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southern Michigan
This is part of owning birds; you can eat them, retire them at home, or possibly find that 'wonderful retirement home' where some kind person takes care of YOUR birds for, possibly, years.
Will you fund their retirement home? Or, to be crude, pass the buck?
This is reality, similar in many ways to 'what do I do with unexpected roosters'?
Traditionally, and still today, spent hens turn into dinner, or sometimes have permanent homes where they live, in return for the nice eggs they produced.
Mary
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,926
707
Cleveland OH
Agreed with Folly's place - this is the consequence of owning chickens and I find it inappropriate to just hand them off to someone else to bear the financial and working burden of owning productionless chickens.
If you can't keep them around I strongly suggest processing them or finding someone who will. It's not a pleasant process but it's also not extremely challenging. If you don't eat meat you could always donate the processed birds to the local food bank or to a family you know who's down on their luck who do. Many people on places like craigslist will take in free old hens to process them for their own food so you don't even have to have a hand in it. You could also simply build a system that would allow your chickens to live out their lives on your property, though you'd end up with a lot of older birds long term that way and it may be a strain on your finances. There's a lot of options out there for managing an aging flock that don't pass the responsibility for the animals onto someone else without compensation.
Having said that I do know the type of place you're speaking of. However, those recuses usually specialize not in serving the public but buying trucks of retired battery hens that would otherwise be processed for canned meats or dog food and giving them a retirement home instead. They're not usually in the business of taking in peoples privately owned chickens because that would build an expectation that people can get chickens then just give them away when they're done laying. Occasionally some places like farm parks will take in hens but only sometimes as their capacity is low. Most rescues are not equipped to handle chickens in general.
When you choose to purchase or bring into your home a life it's your responsibility now - including it's end. So I suggest looking into options that aren't rescues.
 

Sequel

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Feb 17, 2015
4,547
24,232
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Kitsap County, Western Washington
I've got 3 remaining girls of what was a 5 girl flock (lost 2 this year) and 2 of them don't lay at all any more and 1 lays maybe every other day. They're still healthy, sweet girls but I can't keep them around if they're not producing - I live in downtown atlanta and just don't have the space.

I've heard of farms where you can "retire" spent chickens to live out their remaining days. Does anyone know of one of these around the Atlanta area or is there a way to look this up? My attempts at google searches didn't show anything.

Thanks for any help!
Lot of people rehome them on Craigslist. I got some nice pullets this year from a Craigslist ad. We have a wildlife rehab center here where lots of unwanted chickens end up, mostly extra cockerels. Good luck!
 

Chelsa'sChicks

Songster
Aug 16, 2017
629
872
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I recently took in 2 roosters and 3 hens from someone that couldn't take care of them. They were living in a small cement 12x10 pad that had no access to outside. Me getting to see them enjoy the grass and sunshine everyday is enough for me. They're so old they don't lay, so they will live out their days with me and my other chickens. Point being places/people do exist that would take them. Was I thrilled? No, I would rather have young chicks I picked myself that run to me, instead of away from me because of the neglect they experienced.. but I feel bad because they are living things too, that just want what we all want in life.
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,464
5,580
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David, Chiriquí, Panama
If you don't eat meat you could always donate the processed birds to the local food bank or to a family you know who's down on their luck who do.
Many places that feed the homeless could use her, and some churches also accept donations of food. They may be old, but that's how you want them for the best soup! Hens spend their lives feeding us, eggs when they're young, and meat when they're old.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
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Western Ohio
Many places that feed the homeless could use her, and some churches also accept donations of food. They may be old, but that's how you want them for the best soup! Hens spend their lives feeding us, eggs when they're young, and meat when they're old.

In the US, this would not be a viable option. A food pantry would not be able to accept live or dead birds, nor home-processed birds. A food kitchen in a homeless shelter or similar would also not be able to accept live, dead, or home processed chickens. However, an individual could take the chickens and process them for their own use or for their friends/neighbors.
 

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