Our City is researching the possibility of allowing urban chickens. However, one of the most difficult problems I have seen with other programs is what to do with hens when they “retire.” Hens stop laying eggs as often or sometimes totally after 2 – 3 years. Many ordinances do not allow the sale of hens from backyard stock. They also do not allow butchering of the hens. Some owners indicate they would donate their hens after they are no longer productive, but egg farmers do not want or need hens that do not produce.
Some cities that have had a program in place for a couple of years have seen an increase in “feral” chickens roaming the streets as people discard their unproductive chickens so they can buy younger, more productive hens.
Has anyone come up with an innovative way to “discard” of those hens that are no longer productive if people want to continue to have egg laying hens as opposed to pets> Some chickens can live as long as dogs or cats.