What do I do with chickens that stop laying eggs or become too old to lay?

Keeping chickens can be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby, providing a source of fresh eggs and entertainment in your backyard. However, as chickens age, they may stop laying eggs or produce fewer eggs than before. When this happens, it can be challenging to decide what to do with your birds. In this article, we will explore some options for dealing with chickens that stop laying eggs or become too old to lay.

Understanding Why Chickens Stop Laying Eggs

Firstly, it’s important to understand why chickens stop laying eggs. Hens are born with a finite number of eggs, and as they age, their egg production declines. The average lifespan of a chicken is around six to eight years, with egg production peaking in the first two years of life. After this, egg production will gradually decrease, and some hens may stop laying eggs altogether.

Keeping Non-Laying Hens as Pets

One option for dealing with non-laying hens is to keep them as pets. Chickens can be affectionate and entertaining pets, and many people enjoy having them in their backyard even if they are not producing eggs. However, it’s important to note that chickens require ongoing care, including feeding, watering, and regular cleaning of their coop. Keeping chickens as pets can also be expensive, as they may require veterinary care and special diets.

Selling or Giving Away Non-Laying Hens

Another option is to sell or give away your non-laying hens. There are many people who are interested in keeping chickens as pets, and you may be able to find a local community of backyard chicken enthusiasts who would be happy to take your birds. You could also consider selling your hens to someone who is interested in using them for meat or for breeding purposes.

If you decide to sell or give away your hens, it’s important to ensure that they go to a good home. Make sure that the new owner has the knowledge and resources to care for the birds properly. You may also want to consider asking for a small adoption fee to ensure that the new owner is serious about taking care of the hens.

Rehoming Non-Laying Hens at an Animal Sanctuary or Rescue Organization

Another option for non-laying hens is to consider rehoming them at an animal sanctuary or rescue organization. Many animal sanctuaries are interested in taking in non-laying hens and providing them with a safe and comfortable home for the rest of their lives. If you choose this option, be sure to research the sanctuary thoroughly and ensure that they have the resources and experience to care for your birds.

Humane Euthanasia for Non-Productive Chickens

For chickens that are too old to lay or are no longer productive, another option is to consider humane euthanasia. This option can be a difficult decision, but it may be necessary to prevent the bird from suffering. It’s important to remember that euthanasia should only be considered as a last resort and should be carried out in a humane and ethical manner.

There are many options for dealing with chickens that stop laying eggs or become too old to lay. Whether you decide to keep them as pets, sell or give them away, rehome them at a sanctuary, or consider euthanasia, it’s important to ensure that the birds are treated with kindness and respect. By taking the time to consider your options carefully, you can make the best decision for both you and your chickens.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *