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Chicken Ladies of a Certain Age
zingkotori wrote in pdx_chickens
Those of you who've been keeping chickens for a while, what do you do when they get older? From what I've heard, domestic chickens can live 15 years but only lay well in the first 18 months. After that, the only economical thing to do is eat them.

Is it legal to kill your own chickens within city limits? Can you really make yourself do it after a year or more of knowing/feeding/raising/laughing at her? Is there a chicken-killing service somewhere in town? Or a place where you can donate a stewing-age hen and have her killed and fed to homeless people?

I don't have chickens yet --love the idea but still working out several logistical details, and this is a big one...

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a health hen will lay for 4-5 years. yes, that still gives you many non-productive years.

i'm severely pragmatic. if i lived in the country, and had space, i would keep a flock of 5, and add 5 more every 4 years or so. as it is, i can only have 3 chickens. i have chickens to get eggs. i will likely butcher my girls when they stop laying. of course, nothing but stew can come of that. no chicken over 8 months should be eaten as anything but stew. i will butcher them because i will need 3 more laying hens, and i can't have more.

the animals i keep are not pets. i chose them, and they have a specific purpose/function in the household. i provide for them, they do their 'job', and they are not my children or babies. now, if i got them for companionship, and that is what i deem their job to be, fine, but that is not the reason i get animals.

oh yes, i'm a bad bad person, but you asked.

Edited at 2009-08-31 09:48 pm (UTC)

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