Five year old chickens, not laying : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I bought these chickens, thinking they would still be good layers. One chicken is laying now. We have had them for over a month and fed them a 50 lb sack of layer mash. I read the archives to see what to do, only thing I found was to feed crushed red peppers in corn meal mush. Had anyone found a successful method to use on older birds? Thanks for your help.....Joanne

-- Joanne (, April 29, 2001


Five year old birds are too old. You will get some eggs, but not worth the feed. Get rid of them and buy some day old chicks and you will be having more eggs then you can eat in six months.

-- David in NH (, April 29, 2001.

I agree at 5 years old chickens are over the hill for egg laying. Mine go to the market or the stew pot at 3 years old,I do have one that is 4 years old but she is a good setter.I keep her around for the pleasure of watching her raise her babys. For some reason chicks raised by a hen seem to do better. Daryll

-- Daryll (, April 29, 2001.

David and Daryll are exactly right. Ditch the 5 year olds. Their food costs far and away more than they are worth. Go to any of the many reputable hatcheries and get day old pullets (won't cost much). The chicks will have the shots, they need so you don't bring in some disease, paracites etc and you can look at their catalog and get any color and breed that suits you. In 6 months, you'll have more eggs than you, your neighbors and your dog can eat. Hope this helps. Eagle

-- eagle (, May 02, 2001.

Another point of view is that 1 month is not anywhere near long enough for the birds to relax to start laying again. Buying 5 year old hens is probably pretty risky, but having 5 year old hens that where raised from chicks doesn't mean they won't still be laying. If you can afford it purchase some chicks now, it is actually great having chicks late spring, when (though you do need to brood them) it isn't some critical or they will freeze to death type thing. I no longer replace my birds as often as I used to, with less kids around we certainly don't need as many eggs, but hens get used to the place, learn simple things like where I throw the feed from cleaning feeders. I also am not a fan of mash, it is wasteful on older birds, preferring pellets, to keep their eggs up and hard, but the mainstay of their diet is house scraps, extra milk and bugs. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, May 02, 2001.

Thanks to all that responded,it's May now and they didn't start laying. One of my friends took them for chicken dinners. Hope to get chicks when we get back from vacation.

-- Joanne (, May 22, 2001.

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