I usually slaughter layer hens at 3 years old when they go into their second molt. I have tried to keep them longer, but they never seem to lay as well, but they still eat the same.When/how do you "decide" it's time for the old layers to go to freezer camp, or in this case soup pantry?
I have a layer hen that doesn't lay, hasn't been for at least 3 years. She's not even that old, we got her when we first moved in to our house, that was in 2015. She laid eggs for 1 year or so...then after her first molting, she had stopped. I kept her around as a companion back when I had only 2 hens. Now that I have 5 more laying hens, I wonder if I should still keep her around or send her to freezer camp...
I don't think I have any old home canned goods in the pantry now, but I have had before.Ok I don't want to hijack @MtViking 's journal to talk more about canning, so I'll do it here in my journal.
@Baymule @Mike CHS @Mini Horses @Bruce and anyone else who'd like to share your input on this:
- Do you have home canned goods that are older than 12-18 months in your pantry?
- In your experience have you eaten any home canned goods that are older than 2 years?
The "when to send them packing" question has a lot of "it depends" I don't send any packing because they are a hobby not a business. If I'm feeding a hen I've had for years that isn't laying anymore I'm OK with that.
I have 4 that are 7 years old. Yue isn't laying anymore and looks to be aging but she still gets out in mid pack for morning treats. Anais and Zorra seem to lay only when they want to go broody which is 2 or 3 times a year. Persephone has never gone broody and is still laying about 3 eggs a week non winter.
I have 4 that are 4 years old. 3 still lay, Mellori has been doing really soft shelled eggs this year so I'm not counting her.
Looking at it a slightly different way, DD2 costs a lot more to feed and I get nothing out of her so the chickens are cheap by comparison. At least they all used to give me something