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muck

I just bought 25 chickens

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When do chickens stop producing eggs? What do you do at that point? I find this interesting

 

When they die. You have a little service & then cremate it in the fryer.

 

ETA: I think it's like most other females. It just depends on the chicken itself and their lifespan. Chickens tend to live quite a while (5+ years) if I remember correctly, provided they're kept healthy. I would imagine you can average about that many years before they stop producing eggs.

 

 

...and then it's time for the fryer. ;)

 

From what I gather, they slow way down production wise long before they die, which I also understand to often be much older than 5 years. I've been told that the prime laying years are 1-2 years old, after that, it starts to drop off.

 

With that in mind, those in my position (that being, not keeping many hens nor having room for many, if any, more) do have to figure something out after a few years. After all, with only four, once they slow down enough, that's not going to be many eggs per day. The good news is, new peeps are only $6, the bad news is that you then have to go through the whole hassle of raising them under a lamp and what not until they're old enough and/or it is warm enough day and night for them to be outside. For us, the first time around, that meant 6 weeks of them living in a box in my office. If we can time getting the peeps later in the season (we got them in early April last year) then we won't have to go through that as long because nighttime temps won't be as low and we'll be able to put them out in the coop earlier.

 

What I think we're going to do is introduce 2 new birds next spring or the year after, then the following year, "retire" whatever two birds had their production fall off the most and introduce two more. Then, retire the remaining two from the original batch the next year.

 

Further, I don't know if we could eat our hens at this point. That, likely comes with having few enough that they become pets. I know for a fact that my wife could not and it wouldn't be entirely easy for me either. Sure, it's a double standard given that I'll eat the hell out of some chicken, just not mine, but whatever. We have friends who have a bigger plot of land with goats and lammas and plenty of chickens, they said they'd take ours once they slowed down. Sort of a chicken retirement home. Sounds silly, I know, but whatever. And, who knows, maybe by the time this whole thing goes down, we'll harden the cuff up and just eat 'em.

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From what I gather, they slow way down production wise long before they die, which I also understand to often be much older than 5 years. I've been told that the prime laying years are 1-2 years old, after that, it starts to drop off.

 

With that in mind, those in my position (that being, not keeping many hens nor having room for many, if any, more) do have to figure something out after a few years. After all, with only four, once they slow down enough, that's not going to be many eggs per day. The good news is, new peeps are only $6, the bad news is that you then have to go through the whole hassle of raising them under a lamp and what not until they're old enough and/or it is warm enough day and night for them to be outside. For us, the first time around, that meant 6 weeks of them living in a box in my office. If we can time getting the peeps later in the season (we got them in early April last year) then we won't have to go through that as long because nighttime temps won't be as low and we'll be able to put them out in the coop earlier.

 

What I think we're going to do is introduce 2 new birds next spring or the year after, then the following year, "retire" whatever two birds had their production fall off the most and introduce two more. Then, retire the remaining two from the original batch the next year.

 

Further, I don't know if we could eat our hens at this point. That, likely comes with having few enough that they become pets. I know for a fact that my wife could not and it wouldn't be entirely easy for me either. Sure, it's a double standard given that I'll eat the hell out of some chicken, just not mine, but whatever. We have friends who have a bigger plot of land with goats and lammas and plenty of chickens, they said they'd take ours once they slowed down. Sort of a chicken retirement home. Sounds silly, I know, but whatever. And, who knows, maybe by the time this whole thing goes down, we'll harden the cuff up and just eat 'em.

 

From what I gather, they slow way down production wise long before they die, which I also understand to often be much older than 5 years. I've been told that the prime laying years are 1-2 years old, after that, it starts to drop off.

 

With that in mind, those in my position (that being, not keeping many hens nor having room for many, if any, more) do have to figure something out after a few years. After all, with only four, once they slow down enough, that's not going to be many eggs per day. The good news is, new peeps are only $6, the bad news is that you then have to go through the whole hassle of raising them under a lamp and what not until they're old enough and/or it is warm enough day and night for them to be outside. For us, the first time around, that meant 6 weeks of them living in a box in my office. If we can time getting the peeps later in the season (we got them in early April last year) then we won't have to go through that as long because nighttime temps won't be as low and we'll be able to put them out in the coop earlier.

 

What I think we're going to do is introduce 2 new birds next spring or the year after, then the following year, "retire" whatever two birds had their production fall off the most and introduce two more. Then, retire the remaining two from the original batch the next year.

 

Further, I don't know if we could eat our hens at this point. That, likely comes with having few enough that they become pets. I know for a fact that my wife could not and it wouldn't be entirely easy for me either. Sure, it's a double standard given that I'll eat the hell out of some chicken, just not mine, but whatever. We have friends who have a bigger plot of land with goats and lammas and plenty of chickens, they said they'd take ours once they slowed down. Sort of a chicken retirement home. Sounds silly, I know, but whatever. And, who knows, maybe by the time this whole thing goes down, we'll harden the cuff up and just eat 'em.

 

 

Sound like the perfect opportunity to have the Dos Perros Annual Especial... El Polo Det... It's two orders of 1/2 chicken for $325. Bottle of wine included.

 

ETA: Good god, Det, you're long winded.... Almost seems like I quoted you twice.... :D

Edited by SEC=UGA

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Because we're effing idiots and don't know what the hell we're doing/care too effing much...

 

OK, so a bit more than a week ago, one of our hens started "brooding". Basically, she started camping out in one of the laying boxes and sitting on any egg she could find, trying to hatch it. It's apparently rather common for hens her age. Of course, she could sit on that thing for a month and it ain't happening because it's not a fertle egg. None the less, some said it's no big deal and she'll get over it an move on. Others said some hens have been known to starve themselves waiting for an egg to hatch. Anyone want to guess which story my wife latched onto?

 

So, what do you do to get a hen to stop brooding?

1) You keep kicking her out of the nest and take the eggs. Tried that, no dice. She'd just go back in there and wait for another hen to come in, lay an egg in the other box, and go sit on it.

2) You slide a fertile egg under her and let her hatch it. Nobody we called had any fertile eggs at the moment (which seemed odd to me, but w..t..h)

3) You get some newborn chicks, go into the coop in the middle of the night, lift her up, take away the eggs, and place the babies in there.

 

We went with 3, last night. Of course, spring has been super warm and early, with the exception of last night when we got a frost advisory. Great timing. At any rate, they should be warm under "momma's" belly. So, we did this and, of course, were up at sunrise to see what happened. Vesper was still in the nest, and not a peep to from the babies. About an hour or so ago, I was about to hop in the shower when I see Vesper walking around the yard. I throw some clothes back on and run out to find the babies, alive and kicking, but running all over the yard. OK, now these chicks are like 3 days old and barely larger than an egg. They've got no effing idea what they're doing and I have no idea how they got down the ramp from the coop where they were last night.

 

The other hens are either ignoring them or sort of pecking at them without actually pecking them. Vesper, their alleged adopted mother, wants nothing to do with them. So, for now, I've brought them back inside and set up the same box and heat lamp that we had working for the original four. I'm assuming Vespter as refused them (which we were told was a possibility) and we're just going to have to keep them in my office until it's warm enough/they're big enough to be outside. Unless someone at backyard chickens forum answers my post and has a better idea.

 

What a freaking hassle. Mind you, this just sort of speeds up our plan of introducing new hens, but...

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Vesper under glass...

Vesper a l'orange...

Smoked 1/2 Vesper with slaw and hushpuppies...

Versper with apple chutny...

Vesper tossed with stiry fried vegetables...

Edited by SEC=UGA

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When we were kids we used to hypnotize the chickens... maybe you should try that with Vesper!

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Two days ago, our miniature dachshund pulled the heads off of two chickens. Later than night, the handsome dog in my avatar squished two more when he tried to "play" with them.

 

We're down to 24 now.

 

The chicken coop is nearly finished. Hopefully the roof will be on by bedtime Sunday...

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So, update:

 

We spoke to the guy who got us the chicks and he said to try again last night. So we did. This morning, she was still on the nest, a bit later, she was out and about and, unfortunately, one of the chicks was dead. The other was running around in the coop, very cold. So, seems like Vesper has no intention of being a mom, she's just acting like she wants babies. We're getting a buddy for the surviiving chick and are just going to raise them inside and put them out when they're old enough to survive on their own.

 

We've been told how to break Vesper of her brooding, by putting her in an isolated area without anything comfy to make a bed with and will try that if she keeps this up much longer.

 

Effing hell.

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We've been told how to break Vesper of her brooding, by putting her in an isolated area without anything comfy to make a bed with and will try that if she keeps this up much longer.

 

 

Or, you could eat her.

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Update part 2: We just kept throwing her out of the nesting box and she's finally figured it out. All is good in chicken land but now I've got to build another roost to make room for the two new ones.

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Sounds like she just needs to get laid.

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Sounds like she just needs to get laid.

 

Maybe Spain snuck into my coop the other night and took care of that.
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Maybe Spain snuck into my coop the other night and took care of that.

 

He's more of a sheep man.

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Or, you could eat her.

 

 

This whole idea of naming chickens and worrying about their psychological condition is beyond the edges of my reality. I've never heard anything like this?

 

They KFC with legs people!!!! Do you know why commercial chicken houses are made at certain widths? Because they have to be wide enough that when they get spooked that there isn't a stampede and they all get smothered out. They don't have to be super big because after a chicken runs like 30 feet they forget what they were scared of.

 

And we're worried about personality disorders?????????

 

It's like the Big Lebowski around here these days HAHAHAHAHAHA. Im rolling here!!

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This whole idea of naming chickens and worrying about their psychological condition is beyond the edges of my reality. I've never heard anything like this?

 

They KFC with legs people!!!! Do you know why commercial chicken houses are made at certain widths? Because they have to be wide enough that when they get spooked that there isn't a stampede and they all get smothered out. They don't have to be super big because after a chicken runs like 30 feet they forget what they were scared of.

 

And we're worried about personality disorders?????????

 

It's like the Big Lebowski around here these days HAHAHAHAHAHA. Im rolling here!!

 

What can I say, we see them as pets that give us eggs. Also, given how few we have, it's actually not really that cost effective to kill them. It's like $6 for a baby chick if you want a laying breed. Then you feed the thing for several months and such. If you've got 20+, sure, it makes sense, but if you've got 4 or so like we started with (and only really have room for 2 more at a time), then it doesn't make much sense. Not when you factor in the cost of the coop and time spent dealing with them. I've also been told that, by the time they're old enough that their production goes down, they don't really making very good eating.

 

As far as dealing with their "personality disorders", same story. We don't have many and one brooding hen messes with the program. She takes herself out of comission and makes collecting eggs a hassle. Not to mention, she's in her prime laying period, so if she starves herself to death trying to hatch a chick, then we've raised a peep until she was old enough to lay, just in time for winter when production goes down, only to have her die in her first spring when she starts paying off. So, even before you get to the bummer of having a "pet" die, which I can assure you my wife would be beside herself about, there's a practical angle to trying to figure out how to get her to stop brooding.

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What can I say, we see them as pets that give us eggs. Also, given how few we have, it's actually not really that cost effective to kill them. It's like $6 for a baby chick if you want a laying breed. Then you feed the thing for several months and such. If you've got 20+, sure, it makes sense, but if you've got 4 or so like we started with (and only really have room for 2 more at a time), then it doesn't make much sense. Not when you factor in the cost of the coop and time spent dealing with them. I've also been told that, by the time they're old enough that their production goes down, they don't really making very good eating.

 

As far as dealing with their "personality disorders", same story. We don't have many and one brooding hen messes with the program. She takes herself out of comission and makes collecting eggs a hassle. Not to mention, she's in her prime laying period, so if she starves herself to death trying to hatch a chick, then we've raised a peep until she was old enough to lay, just in time for winter when production goes down, only to have her die in her first spring when she starts paying off. So, even before you get to the bummer of having a "pet" die, which I can assure you my wife would be beside herself about, there's a practical angle to trying to figure out how to get her to stop brooding.

 

 

I've honestly never herd of white person refer to chickens as pets. I know several Hispanics that keep them as pets and even pet and play with them. It was always our policy that they have to earn their keep. If they don't lay then they got eaten. When they get too old and big to lay they becoming what we call a "boilin' hen". That's what my granny always called them anyway. Say boilin' hen in your best drawl and you'll have it.

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I've honestly never herd of white person refer to chickens as pets.

 

Well, now you have. There's a first for everything.

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I've honestly never herd of white person refer to chickens as pets. I know several Hispanics that keep them as pets and even pet and play with them. It was always our policy that they have to earn their keep. If they don't lay then they got eaten. When they get too old and big to lay they becoming what we call a "boilin' hen". That's what my granny always called them anyway. Say boilin' hen in your best drawl and you'll have it.

 

Well, now you have. There's a first for everything.

 

 

I have a friend who's pet chicken just died. It lived outside and would peck on the back door in the morning. They would let it in the house for a while until school/work and put it back outside. It had a name (can't remember).

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I have a friend who's pet chicken just died. It lived outside and would peck on the back door in the morning. They would let it in the house for a while until school/work and put it back outside. It had a name (can't remember).

 

 

Was its name "extra crispy"?

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Was its name "extra crispy"?

 

 

I kept asking her when it would become dinner.After it died of old age/natural causes, it didn't sound so appealing anymore.

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I have a friend who's pet chicken just died. It lived outside and would peck on the back door in the morning. They would let it in the house for a while until school/work and put it back outside. It had a name (can't remember).

 

we had a Guinea like that. on of 30 that lived to about 5 years old. smart sucker.

edit to : the kids named it drum sticks.

Edited by Yukon Cornelius

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Update, we lost a hen last week and have no idea how she died. She was barely a year old and there were no signs of trauma, so we don't think it was attacked, unless a small snake bit it. Just found it under the Jasmine bush they liked to hang out under.

 

She was my wife's favorite and she was crushed. But, here's the issue, and I think it's one of the problems with keeping a very small flock. OK, of the four we got, two ended up being Roos so we swapped them out when they were young. The one that died was one of the original ones and her "litter mate" is now freaking out. She's going back to brooding, though not as badly as before, and when she's not doing that, she just basically stands in the middle of the yard screaming. The other two, the two that were replacements for the roosters, seem entirely unphased.

 

I can't help but imagine that this would be easier on so many levels if you had at least a dozen or more. Certainly my wife wouldn't get so bummed out over one dying and it would seem like it would take less of a toll on the flock. Another thing is that, between losing a producer and having another freak out at the loss of her "friend", we've gone from 3-4 eggs a day to 1-2.

 

If the freaked out one doesn't get her chight together soon, I'm thinking we need to make soup out of her and find two new ones. She's annoying as hell, so I'm guessing I could sell my wife on the notion.

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Update, we lost a hen last week and have no idea how she died. She was barely a year old and there were no signs of trauma, so we don't think it was attacked, unless a small snake bit it. Just found it under the Jasmine bush they liked to hang out under.

 

She was my wife's favorite and she was crushed. But, here's the issue, and I think it's one of the problems with keeping a very small flock. OK, of the four we got, two ended up being Roos so we swapped them out when they were young. The one that died was one of the original ones and her "litter mate" is now freaking out. She's going back to brooding, though not as badly as before, and when she's not doing that, she just basically stands in the middle of the yard screaming. The other two, the two that were replacements for the roosters, seem entirely unphased.

 

I can't help but imagine that this would be easier on so many levels if you had at least a dozen or more. Certainly my wife wouldn't get so bummed out over one dying and it would seem like it would take less of a toll on the flock. Another thing is that, between losing a producer and having another freak out at the loss of her "friend", we've gone from 3-4 eggs a day to 1-2.

 

If the freaked out one doesn't get her chight together soon, I'm thinking we need to make soup out of her and find two new ones. She's annoying as hell, so I'm guessing I could sell my wife on the notion.

 

 

Fatten her up first (The chicken.)

 

I do think that more chickens would be the way to go in an attempt to defray some of the attachment "issues". But, that being said I would have a tough time killing any of my "pets" regardless of their species.

 

I guess you need to go into this whole chicken thingy as kind of a working relationship. It is the Hen's job to produce eggs for your sustenance. At the point that they cease serving this purpose, like in any employee/employer relationship, they must be terminated. Tasty, tasty, termination...

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Fatten her up first (The chicken.)

 

I do think that more chickens would be the way to go in an attempt to defray some of the attachment "issues". But, that being said I would have a tough time killing any of my "pets" regardless of their species.

 

I guess you need to go into this whole chicken thingy as kind of a working relationship. It is the Hen's job to produce eggs for your sustenance. At the point that they cease serving this purpose, like in any employee/employer relationship, they must be terminated. Tasty, tasty, termination...

 

The thing is, for the most part, they're not going to be really tasty by the time they cease to be good producers. For starters, there's laying breeds and meat breeds. Some are decent at both, but we've got laying breeds. Secondly, for good eating, you'd want to kill them younger than what they're typically going to be once they stop producing.

 

Nonetheless, I did bridge the subject with my wife this morning about the fact that we may want to "get rid" of that chicken. We'll see where that discussion goes.

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The thing is, for the most part, they're not going to be really tasty by the time they cease to be good producers. For starters, there's laying breeds and meat breeds. Some are decent at both, but we've got laying breeds. Secondly, for good eating, you'd want to kill them younger than what they're typically going to be once they stop producing.

 

Nonetheless, I did bridge the subject with my wife this morning about the fact that we may want to "get rid" of that chicken. We'll see where that discussion goes.

 

 

You should not discriminate based on age.

 

But, i understand what you are saying.

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