Blamo'sBestBuddy--- My chickens and my fish!

Blamo'sBestBuddy

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I have a pen of 9 Easter Egger hens that are molting. This is their second molt, I will slaughter them. I have about a dozen EE pullets to take their place. I have found that at 3 years old they still eat as much, but they don't lay as much.

Is that same with Buff Orpington's?
 

Baymule

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That's the same with most chickens. I used to buy 6 chicks from the feed store each spring. I bought a different breed or color each time. In the fall, I slaughtered the oldest hens, 2 years old, when they went into a molt. The following spring they would be 3 years old and that seemed to be the point where their laying fell off. The 1 year old hens went into a molt and quit laying. The new pullets started laying. I gave the 1 year old hens time off to regrow their feathers. That was how I rotated the hens so that I always had eggs through the winter. Some became pets and I didn't slaughter them. Old laying hens make the best chicken and dumplings. That is what worked for me, it's not for everybody.

There is nothing wrong with keeping chickens until they die of old age. They slow down on laying as they age. You can buy more chicks in the spring to keep active laying hens.

I have a pen of 5 hens and 1 rooster that I gather eggs from to incubate. They are 3 years old now and I get 2-3 eggs a day from them. There are 3 Easter Eggers, 1 Cream Legbar, 1 Wellsummer and a EE rooster. They are going into a molt. If I kept them, they would be 4 years old in the spring and I would get even less eggs. This is where the replacement pullets came from. One of them got her toes chopped off on one foot by the fan blade in the incubator. Her name is Rose, she is a pet. She may get to stick around, but the others are on their way to the canning jar. I will order chicks in the spring and pick another breed. That's the fun part of having chickens, there are so many breeds and colors.

I hope none of this has hurt your feelings. It can be hard to realize that animals you love and care for diminish as they age.
 

Baymule

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Thank you for all the info.
Thats a good way if you want eggs all year round. But, my chickens are pets and that won't be happening. :cool:
I totally understand that. We do get attached to our animals. I have my special ones that get to live out their old age. I have 2 old senior horses, ages 30 and 32. One has Cushings, one has heaves, both are sickly. They are unridable and have been retired for about 5 years. They also eat a lot more than an old hen. LOL LOL They will never go to auction and be put on a truck to Mexico. They will die with me.
 

Blamo'sBestBuddy

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I totally understand that. We do get attached to our animals. I have my special ones that get to live out their old age. I have 2 old senior horses, ages 30 and 32. One has Cushings, one has heaves, both are sickly. They are unridable and have been retired for about 5 years. They also eat a lot more than an old hen. LOL LOL They will never go to auction and be put on a truck to Mexico. They will die with me.
Thats nice of you to keep them.
 
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