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Thread: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

  
  1. #1
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    What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Do u follow Narragansett Frank Shy style that he stop breeding the hens when it reach four (4) years old?

    Does it really matter w/ their produced if hens are already more than 4yrs old?

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    A hens productivity definently drops with age hatch rates fertility,but as long as they are still producing good fowl breed them. I have a few hens 7,8,9 yrs old that are still good producers as far as throwing good roosters but their hatch rates are only half that of the younger hens. It is also good to breed them to younger roosters. It really depends on the hens. Some hens will not throw good roosters with age they might be game as ever but lack the vigor of the fowl breed from younger hens.

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    Senior Member Kakahna671's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Dunn View Post
    A hens productivity definently drops with age hatch rates fertility,but as long as they are still producing good fowl breed them. I have a few hens 7,8,9 yrs old that are still good producers as far as throwing good roosters but their hatch rates are only half that of the younger hens. It is also good to breed them to younger roosters. It really depends on the hens. Some hens will not throw good roosters with age they might be game as ever but lack the vigor of the fowl breed from younger hens.
    I agree, hens productivity drops with age, and I believe it is best to give those hens a broodstag for as long as they're producing good offspring.

    Good Luck

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    Member ABGF's Avatar
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    3 years is more than enough, with today's competition it's best to have well oiled hens. I have over five years on the side, squeezing them to the last drop is a struggle....keep it fresh and young is the rule of thumb...

    Namaste

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    Senior Member jemm65's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    i agree that hens over 5 yrs. in general start to deteriorate but there are always exceptions. as what david dunn said ,some are still good producers at 7-12 yrs. at one time i even had an 11yr. old that would lay up to 40+ eggs in succession as long as she was free to roam. as soon as i penned her she would stop laying. by the way she still produced excelent offsprings until that time.

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    Member SS Gamefowl's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    I keep mine till around 5 unless they are still going strong

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    Senior Member Mike Everett's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Hens are born with every egg they will ever lay within their body, age can effect those embryonic eggs, along with the environment, mutations can occur. Older women have greater chance of producing malformed children, fowl are no different.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    I am 50 years old and I still breed all the hens I want. Well, actually, my roosters do. :-)

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Everett View Post
    Hens are born with every egg they will ever lay within their body, age can effect those embryonic eggs, along with the environment, mutations can occur. Older women have greater chance of producing malformed children, fowl are no different.
    Very true......but you know if you have a hen that was producing 90% kick butt roosters, you would be trying her again on her 12th birthday with hope in your heart. :-) Best thing to do is keep breeding them until they stop producing good chickens or until you have other hens that are producing better chickens.
    Last edited by Cossatot; July 26th, 2012 at 05:26 AM.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    I raised chicks out of a 15 year old Grove Whithackle. I'M planning to use her next season too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mike Everett's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cossatot View Post
    Very true......but you know if you have a hen that was producing 90% kick butt roosters, you would be trying her again on her 12th birthday with hope in your heart. :-) Best thing to do is keep breeding them until they stop producing good chickens or until you have other hens that are producing better chickens.
    Of course there are exceptions, but to be honest, in 50 yrs of breeding, I've never had one to produced 90% winners at 11yrs.....I like Shy's general rule...LOL

  12. #12
    Senior Member FIRE-RITE's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Everett View Post
    Hens are born with every egg they will ever lay within their body, age can effect those embryonic eggs, along with the environment, mutations can occur. Older women have greater chance of producing malformed children, fowl are no different.
    What would make you think that Mr Everett,the part you said about hens are born with every egg they can lay. You don't think every spring they develop new ones? I've cut open hens in the spring-early winter and found what looked like a very small compact area that looked like a wad of small grapes,which were actually new eggs ready to go into development,just haven't yet.(too early) In the fall cut open hens that laid alot during breeding season and there wasn't any small "tree" if you will of any eggs in their body. Would like for you to elaborate on this a liitle more please. Thanks YFIS.

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    Senior Member Mike Everett's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by FIRE-RITE View Post
    What would make you think that Mr Everett,the part you said about hens are born with every egg they can lay. You don't think every spring they develop new ones? I've cut open hens in the spring-early winter and found what looked like a very small compact area that looked like a wad of small grapes,which were actually new eggs ready to go into development,just haven't yet.(too early) In the fall cut open hens that laid alot during breeding season and there wasn't any small "tree" if you will of any eggs in their body. Would like for you to elaborate on this a liitle more please. Thanks YFIS.
    The unfertized eggs are microscopic, you are seeing them as they begin to develope, they get a shell after fertilization. She will not produce new eggs, when they are layed out they are out....It may seem crazy, but it's true also I always felt if your replacements weren't as good as your breeders, you are backing up. I know we look for the Golden Hen, but I'll settle for better generations.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    let her offspring determine when to stop breedin her simple as that...

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by msei View Post
    let her offspring determine when to stop breedin her simple as that...
    Nothing else to be said. That was PERFECT

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Well first I dont use pullets to breed. So she is 18 months or better before she sees a brood pen. I then like to show her offspring to see if she is a good enough hen to continue breeding from. By now your looking at a fowl that is 36 months old at the very least. If she proves to be a good producer I will breed her as long as her health is good. Good care fresh water green grass and clean food she will produce for many years. The trick with older brood hens is you want to set her first string of eggs. Like say from January or February to May. Even an 8-10 year old hen will produce good strong fowl providing she is kept in the best of health. Now once a hen stops laying and then starts up again in late spring I have found these eggs are not as strong as the first batch with any age hen. Just my experience.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Now once a hen stops laying and then starts up again in late spring I have found these eggs are not as strong as the first batch with any age hen. Just my experience.[/QUOTE]

    Me too. Why is that?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Mike Everett's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Hens are born with a finite number of eggs she will lay in her lifetime. Most will lay 200-400 eggs, that's why the egg industry makes Campbell Soup out of the leghorns that lay every day or almost and are burned out...It's just numbers why keep a old hen that only produces a limited number because she is layed out..she can produce 100% winners but only produce 3 of them, but that is only the way I look at it....like I said there are exceptions.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Everett View Post
    Hens are born with a finite number of eggs she will lay in her lifetime. Most will lay 200-400 eggs, that's why the egg industry makes Campbell Soup out of the leghorns that lay every day or almost and are burned out...It's just numbers why keep a old hen that only produces a limited number because she is layed out..she can produce 100% winners but only produce 3 of them, but that is only the way I look at it....like I said there are exceptions.
    Because she is special to me. I will keep her even after she's leaves the brood pens. Just because I know what she's done for me.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Mike Everett's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    I guess I'm just not that sentimental, I don't run a hospital or an old age home....my one goal is to improve my fowl.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    [QUOTE=Mike Everett; I don't run a hospital or an old age home....my one goal is to improve my fowl.[/QUOTE]

    I hope not. Sick fowl are different from old fowl.

    All my fowl are true Spartans. You just haven't found a Real Golden Hen. Once you do you won't even want people to look at her.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    not only is she born with a certain amount,but two overies and as she gets older and starts use on the other alot of times will start to crow because of the test to est. levels

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    Senior Member Mike Everett's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autkast View Post
    I hope not. Sick fowl are different from old fowl.

    All my fowl are true Spartans. You just haven't found a Real Golden Hen. Once you do you won't even want people to look at her.
    Friend, don't presume what I have and haven't done or had....

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Everett View Post
    Friend, don't presume what I have and haven't done or had....
    I hope your not saying you got rid of your golden hen because she was old.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    i have a question...what is the best gestation period for your to turn your rooster on your hens?...my domestic chickens stay with eachother year round the rooster never leaves the hens and i use them only for the eggs and meat but now that im tryin to break into the game chicken world and i need to know when and how long do i leave my rooster of choice with that set of hens and how many hens can i leave with any one rooster?

  26. #26
    Senior Member Mike Everett's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autkast View Post
    I hope your not saying you got rid of your golden hen because she was old.
    You know I could care less of what you are hoping....I respect my fowl, I reserve my love for my family, and friends.

  27. #27
    Member claretking's Avatar
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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    i ask this question when i visit norman rockwiel farm he told me that he is using hen until 8 years old and the broodcock at the age of 5years old.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Everett View Post
    You know I could care less of what you are hoping....I respect my fowl, I reserve my love for my family, and friends.
    You should reserve your love for god. It might relax your mind enough to have a conversation. Anyway....

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    Quote Originally Posted by claretking View Post
    i ask this question when i visit norman rockwiel farm he told me that he is using hen until 8 years old and the broodcock at the age of 5years old.
    That's about average for them on my yard too. There's only a few exceptions. And that will be your decision to make. But as Frank Shy said keep youth on one side.

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    Re: What age you stop breeding ur hens?

    I guess I'm just not that sentimental, I don't run a hospital or an old age home....my one goal is to improve my fowl. (excellent statement)


    i breed them to 4 years old, i do breed pullets. my records show as a hen ages the offsprings win % goes down. every year i end up with 700 to 1000 pullets, i select appr 50 to 100 pullets for myself, cull the rest. occasionally i do breed an older hen if the offspring are outstanding, but normally i cull the majority of my 4 yr old hens.

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