Daily Prep

Hundreds of Unwanted Backyard Chickens Are Ending Up at Animal Shelters

Have a plan in place for proper management of your flock
Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 2:15 PM

An interesting article about the increase of backyard chickens being housed at animal shelters and rescue groups.  Its a good idea to have a plan in place and the community connections to help manage your flock for both the short term and long term aspects of raising chickens. Do you know what you will do with your chickens once they stop laying?


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Woodman's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
unwanted chickens

I'm not sure on a relative basis how big a problem this is; there isn't much data in the article.

I recently got 8 cockerals from somebody who didn't realize they had bought straight run chicks that would not all grow up to be hens.  I'll keep the best one for breeding and put the others in the freezer, so none are going to waste.   

Amanda Witman's picture
Amanda Witman
Status: Peak Prosperity Team (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 409
I do think the freezer or soup pot offer good solutions here

I'd say, if you have hens, be prepared to deal with processing them if necessary.  Many backyard chicken owners either don't know how or can't bring themselves to consider this.  Someone in my family buried a rooster rather than processing it.  (I offered my freezer, but the whole situation was too traumatic for them to consider.)  It brings up the issue of where the line is between "pets" and "food source."

I'd encourage anyone who doesn't feel they could process an unwanted bird to at least have a backup plan with a friend or neighbor or local farmer who could.

Nervous Nelly's picture
Nervous Nelly
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2011
Posts: 209
If you read the article you

If you read the article you can't slaughter(eat) the feathered friend. It's funny how the rules vary. Industrial chicken farming has nothing to do with pet care. But an individual is accountable to the chicken as a pet til he dies ...11-14 years. Double standards. Go figure !


Amanda Witman's picture
Amanda Witman
Status: Peak Prosperity Team (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 409
Those are some pretty extreme double standards there

There is no question in my mind that CAFO treatment of hens falls under "extreme abuse."  But pledging to provide an individual hen with lifelong retirement care, well, that is the other extreme.

I wonder where those hen shelters get their resources?  I also wonder if they have many adopters.

A friend with a similarly soft heart has a flock of geriatric sheep.  But at least they keep her grass mowed, which is something.  I suppose aging hens could be advertised as investments in small-scale manure manufacture...

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