So what happens when your old chickens stop laying eggs? Is it time for the pot, or do you let them retire gracefully and let them continue to be of service in the garden?
Well my girls just retire gracefully, and I add in new point of lay chickens to the flock. The older ones have been such good service to our family, we have let the four of them become matriarchs, and guide a new generations.
This is exactly what I did today on my day off!
Ben and I drove up to the Macedon Emu Farm to pick up four point-of-lay hens. Yes, they sell chickens at the Emu Farm.
Luckily we didn’t take home one of these birds! Big bloody chooks those ones.
Anyway, we paid Penny for the chickens, boxed them up, and put them in the boot for the drive home. Ben poked in lots of air holes before we left home, so there was plenty of air for them.
We safely arrived, but when we did, we were greeted by this look from Teddy, our pound rescue West Highland Terrier!
I’m not sure but I would probably say that Teddy is wondering what is in the box. Well Mr Ted, there are four ISA Brown hens that are about 20 weeks old. Here they are, have a good sniff.
Good looking girls, aren’t they. From the look of their combs, they are only about three weeks from laying, maybe four. Kim can then enjoy our Saturday morning Omelette again. Yum.
As a matter of keeping the peace at the moment, I have kept them separate from the old girls by shutting the hatch between the two chicken runs. Both flocks can see each other through the wire that separates the pens and once they discovered each other late this afternoon, they all squawked up a huge commotion! I had to go outside to make sure one of neighbourhood cats hadn’t gotten into the run.
They will stay separate for a day or two, then I will open up the hatch one evening and let them figure it all out in the morning. I dare say the my oldest girl Bunty will rule the roost with an iron wing.
Anyway, they seem to be settling in now. Two of them were a bit confused at dusk because they couldn’t figure out the sleeping arrangements in the little house. I had to put an extra perch up high in the pen so they could roost. I will check on them before I go to bed to make sure everything is okay for the night.
So what do you do when your old chickens stop laying? Do you let them retire in your very own Cluckingham Palace like I do, or do you take other measures?