Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chickens: Out with the Old

After cracking my eggs into a hot pan beside some leftover steak, I did something I haven’t done in some time: I tossed the shells in the trash instead of putting them aside to feed back to the chickens. We raised this latest batch of leghorns from day-old chicks to full-grown, egg laying machines for the past 3 years. There were times when they didn’t lay eggs at all, and there were times when we had so many eggs that we gave them away or sold them for next to nothing.

Sometimes they had to take turns laying.

The girls have been getting tired over the last few months, however. We continued to feed them well, but production was way down. Mr. Farmer kept looking at the coop and thinking about ways to improve the setup for the next run. So, when we found an ad on Craigslist looking for older chickens, we decided to retire them to a farm where they will run free.

We aren’t very sentimental about chickens. Still, these girls have served us extremely well over the years, and leghorns aren’t very meaty anyway, so retirement just seemed like a better fit than slaughter. So stay tuned (do people these days even know what that means anymore?) for updates on the new brood, the new brooder, and the new chicken coop… all scheduled for Spring 2013!


  1. I'm glad you had a place to retire your girls. We have a backyard "farm" so our chickens are out pets. I hug them. Yep, (hangs head in shame) and they have names. Our son always says he loves to eat chicken.... as long as it isn't one of ours.

    1. As I mentioned, we aren't sentimental about chickens. There is a certain justice, however, to retiring the ones that gave us so very many eggs. If we get meat birds this year... well, that's a different story.

      And don't be embarrassed to have pet chickens. A few of ours went to my nephew's house and they became "house chickens". Seriously, they came inside for the kids to play with sometimes!