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Digital Subscriptions > Chickens > Sept/Oct 19 > Golden GIRLS

Golden GIRLS

When your older hen’s heart is true, she’s a pal and a confidant.
BONGIOZZO/SHUTTERSTOCK

When chickens get older, chickenkeepers often face difficult choices about the birds’ future around the farm or backyard. Many elect to cull their laying hens around 2 to 3 years of age once egg production decreases. Often, the hens are prepped for the stew pot or turned into homemade stock.

Other keepers, however, decide to rehome their older birds to other chicken enthusiasts. While both are valid options, there is a third choice: Allow older chickens to simply retire on the farm and find a new part-time job.

Chickens have so much more to offer around the farm than laying eggs. As with any animal, each chicken has its own personality and can help in different ways. Here are a few jobs they might take on.

Natural Pest Control

Chickens and other fowl love bugs. Therefore, if a mosquito, flea, tick, fly or ant infestation is a problem where you live, chickens are great commodities to keep around. It seems like they can eat their body weight in bugs daily, if given the opportunity.

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