Old Hens and Rejected Roosters

Homesteading

Last week we took in 3 old hens that were no longer laying. Someone wanted to get rid of them..like most people..and we saw free food, so we took them in. 2 are Americanas and one is a Barred Rock. Well the plan was to put them in the freezer that day but when the person dropped them off she said she wasn’t sure if they weren’t laying anymore especially the Barred Rock. Now, we don’t want to kill hens that are laying valuable eggs so we decided to give them a week to see if we got anything.

Sure thing that first day the Barred Rock dropped an egg for us. So we waited and waited and she gives us an egg every other day or so but the others not so much. Their eggs are easy to distinguish, they lay easter eggs, or colored eggs. So we were all set to take care of them but decided they are still giving us valuable poo, and our garden area for next Spring just isn’t getting enough work done by the other members of the flock. These girls are BIG and prior to us they were completely free range…so they are now working in our garden area to scratch it up and make compost for it. The time will come…just not yet.

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^That’s me…rounding up the Barred Rock hen. ^

So yes…we will take your old hens if you are in the area. Just know…they are designated for the crock pot..or into Darci and Bill’s stomachs.

Well Sunday we found someone wanting to get rid of roosters. That’s pretty common…you can’t have more than one unless you have the flock size for it..that is even an issue sometimes and they eat valuable food but give you nothing in return. Well we already have our Rooster..but once again we saw the opportunity for free meat. So I drove into Idaho and picked them up. This particular person has a lot, like A LOT of chickens and handed 4 of her roosters over. 3 of them were grown but one is smaller than my younger hens in the flock. So I trucked them back to the homestead where we decided the little wasn’t old enough for the crock pot or the dog’s stomachs. He is young enough it will not cause and issue with our resident rooster.

We did however process the other 3. By we I mean Chris of course. He did the dirty work and I was left to remove the innards and butcher the whole chicken into pieces. Now we have some meat for ourselves, the 2 younger ones and the dogs have the giant older rooster to share.

We will be getting more roosters from her next week.

I know it seems cruel…or crazy but plenty of people have older hens or roosters and simply don’t want to process them themselves. We see that as an opportunity. They are going to end up with someone, might as well be us…at least we know it is done humanely and quickly.

Want to see a picture of my adorable hubby rounding up our 2 younger Rhode Island Reds? Of course you do..

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Those are 1 and 2. We number them…the higher the number the closer the chicken is to being processed. These girls are as you can see nowhere close to being ready.

*S

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