Friday, May 27, 2011

I Need An Answer

I have a question for you...
something that has me worried.

Here it is.....

At what point does one qualify to be labeled a chicken hoarder?

Seriously, I know I am not a hoarder,
but my flock seems to be growing as the years pass.

My problem is this....

after several years of laying, chickens eventually stop laying.
Because I have chickens of varying ages,
I never know exactly which chickens are laying and which are not.
So amongst my layers are quite a few retirees, I am assuming.

Even if I knew which gals were no longer productive,
I don't think I would have the heart to stew them.

So as the years pass, I start more chicks so that I have
plenty of eggs for my ever growing flock of customers.

This summer I have started 25 (the Cuckoo Marans and Henri).
And because my old layers are just not up to speed in egg production,
 I have ordered another 25 assorted brown layers to be delivered in July.

As for room in the henhouse....there is plenty with 4 henhouses.
And because the hens are free ranging, they basically only sleep and 
lay eggs in their houses.
The rest of the time they are galavanting around the farm.

I assure you I have happy chickens...
very happy chickens.

Each of the coops gets cleaned every morning.
They always have access to fresh food and plenty of water.
Table scraps are a common treat
(they eat as well as we do!),
and their days are filled with dust baths, insect hunting, pasture grazing,
and communing with all manner of farm critters...peacefully....
making for a well fed, non-stressed life.

So I ask you.....
do I need to worry?
Or better yet....
do my chickens need to worry?


I wanted to show you this sweet iris.
It is called a black iris, and it came in the mail
early this spring from a sweet friend.
I am so happy it bloomed!
Just lovely....thanks Linda!!


  1. LOL..naw...your fine. But then look who is saying this!!! I am guessing your thinking of just how many chickens your going to end up having in a few more Hey worry about it then....You may have to get another pen called the Retirement Home!!! LOL.. Better than sending them away!!
    Gee are you getting the rain also. OMG..we are floating. Think I will bring the horses in for awhile to give them a break..ugh..mud again.
    Have a good day..Judi

  2. You only need to worry if it bothers you to have many chickens roaming the property that are no longer productive. If you're OK with that, then life is good! Especially for those

  3. I think we're both chicken boarders. I seem to have the same problem.. My kids told me just the other day they were beginning to think I was a bird hoarder and thought I needed help! Lol
    Have a blessed holiday weekend.... Enjoy your chicks!

  4. Chickens are so delightful and entertaining. I could NEVER eat one of mine. They have personalities, after all. I'm sure your chickens are very very happy.

  5. You may be a chicken hoarder, but not in a bad way! LOL! Your chickens have wonderful life on your farm. I just love to see them pecking around. Have great weekend! We are leaving tomorrow for Texas, our anniversary vacation.Can't wait, but I'll miss our little farm.

  6. everyone looks happy to me. What better answer? Have a good day. Lisa

  7. " DON'T WORRY...BE HAPPY!!!"...I'm sure if you think that the time has come to do something about your excess chickens,you'll figure it out...You could always stop taking orders...You passed the chicken hoarder stage long ago..:)

  8. Beverly,
    You are right about the hens as they get older they stop laying. I need to get more I think. Chickens sometimes only live to be about 4 or 5. I have lost 2 older ones last year and one this year. One of our friends found a game hen (in the bantam family I think)running around down in the city and brought her here to the farm.
    She was not accepted too well at first by the other hens. They had to start the pecking order again. But she sure does lay eggs. She keeps flying out of the pen to lay her eggs in the dog house. I think the other hens don't want her in the coop. I keep putting her back in the pen at night and she has to wait until the others have gone in before she can go in. She has found a spot in the coop under the roosting board to lay her eggs. They are hard for me to reach. I think if I left them there she would sit on them and let them hatch. We have to keep our chickens
    in a pen because of the coyotes and coons. I really don't have time to raise baby chicks inside like we use to every spring. But maybe next year we will have to replenish the flock.
    Have a nice day
    Country at heart
    So no, you can never have too many.

  9. I sure don't want to be put
    'out to pasture' at my age so those girls just deserve all the wonderful life you provide for them...they worked hard. lol

  10. Hey, I have the same questions and do not have any answers. We don't have the heart to eat any of our chickens, even the ones I bought as "meat chicks". they are big, fat and happily free ranging with the banties and the big chickens. I will have to build more chicken homes at some point....but right now we are just living and let living... chicken wise.

  11. Hi beverly,
    I would do the same as you, i dont think i would be able to give them away of the other either. But tell me this......with that many chicken, how do you keep them out the flower beds?? That was my post this week. Mine are free ranging for the first time, and i love watching them, but my poor flower beds are in a disarray but bug free....LOL..... Sheryl

  12. Hmmm! I've had chickens 13 years old that didn't stop laying ~ they were Austrolorps and don't take many molting breaks! I have an odd assortment now, in age and variety, the oldest are 8 years or more and seem to be laying as well as the other girls.
    If you've got the space, don't mind them scratching everything out (in my garden!) and can afford the feed (I feed mine organic and it's getting really expensive!) I say hoard away! (I never have the heart to eat my own chickens either!) It's all good clean fun!

  13. Luckily Sheryl....we don't have the chickens on an area of the farm where I have flower beds. They are a pretty far piece from the house, and the vege garden is inside a tall fence. Chicken proof!!

  14. They look wonderfully content and are now drawing their old age pension, very nice! A chicken retirement community. I love it and wish that I could have chickens too.

  15. LOL! I'd say your chickens are happy indeed! Wish I could send you a few of my old girls. I now have 21 chicks but several (the two new little roosters!) and a few of the old girls are being rehomed tomorrow. If they're going to be stewpot, I don't want to know about it, but I don't have room for more than about a dozen. With abundant wildlife here (cougars, bobcats, bear, etc.), my chickens can't "freerange". They just be appetizers if I did that!

  16. Oh Bev, I would NEVER, EVER call you a Chicken Horder....but I do want to remind you that there is a "Seat Belt" Law,,,and I think it even applies to chickens! hahaha!
    Oh I do crack myself up sometimes! lol!

  17. As long as you are happy and everyone is healthy, who cares! Your chickens are obviously healthy and happy!

  18. I can't believe you clean the coop everyday! That makes me feel like a bad chicken momma.

  19. I do, I swear, Kim. I open up the coops each morning, clean their water buckets and pick up the night's worth of droppings. I hand pick (gloved, of course) the nesting boxes from any little doodies left behind and scrape the surfaces that they roost on. Then every few weeks I strip out all the bedding (I use pine bedding)....sweeping it out into their yard and replace it with fresh bedding. I hate stinky chicken I am a bit of a fanatic about it. We all have our quirks, right?

  20. I just found your blog from The Blue Ridge Gal and I love it! I've signed up to Follow but don't know if you'll see it since Blogger is having 'issues' at the moment!

    You're fine on the chickens! They look happy, healthy and well-loved! I was the same way with my retired chickens! I just let them enjoy themselves since they served me well!

  21. I find this post very interesting.I don't have chickens but I always wondered what you do with them after they stop laying eggs. I, too would not be able to have them 'snuffed out' just because they are not laying. I would be attached to them.


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