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GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Randor 4-May-20 17:17
professional Randor 4-May-20 17:17 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
W Balboos, GHB5-May-20 1:40
mveW Balboos, GHB5-May-20 1:40 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Jörgen Andersson4-May-20 20:00
professionalJörgen Andersson4-May-20 20:00 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Member 79891224-May-20 22:16
MemberMember 79891224-May-20 22:16 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Jörgen Andersson4-May-20 23:59
professionalJörgen Andersson4-May-20 23:59 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Member 79891225-May-20 1:54
MemberMember 79891225-May-20 1:54 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Jörgen Andersson5-May-20 3:46
professionalJörgen Andersson5-May-20 3:46 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Member 79891225-May-20 8:29
MemberMember 79891225-May-20 8:29 
Jörgen Andersson wrote:
So that's five months of unproductive eating the first year. So the egg laying frequency must basically drop to half after the first productive year for it to make sense to exchange them that early. I'm having some doubts.
That's what they told in this TV series. It might be of some importance that in this one hen house, all the hens were of the same age; they renewed all 7500 hens once a year, killing them all (with CO2) in a single operation. I guess that saves a lot of management, where they do not have to keep track of the age of each individal hen. If they had chosen to keep them longer (but still same age), their delivery volume would not be stable, but gradually decline, and the buyers wouldn't get the expected volume of eggs. Then, suddenly, when you renew the flock, you have more eggs than the customers are prepared to buy. By keeping a steady production volume, customers have a steady supply, and you can be sure to sell what you produce.

You could, of course, set up three separate hen houses of 2500 each, and divide the outdoors area into three separate ones, with fences, and make sure that no hen can ever sneak over to another age group. Then you could have stocks of, say, 7-18, 19-30 and 31-42 months of age. But three henhouses are more expensive than one henhouse (even if they are each much smaller). Taking care of three flocks requires more work that taking care of one. And your total production would go down.

I guess analysts may have differing opinions of the economics of letting the hens live longer, and of age stratification. If you know each hen by name and hacking date, it is probably different from having 7500 hens. And having 50,000 hens in six henhouses, with a dozen people employed, makes age stratification far easier than if you have a family farm where you do all the work yourself. So "Your Medaian-hen-age May Vary", as they say in other businesses...

I've got a lot of old books. This 80 page booklet "Poultry farming at home" from 1905 states that "With rational treatment, a hen will probably not be worth keeping for more than three years, many hens no more than two. We can estimate the life time of a hen to around 30 months." So even back then, they did not recommend keeping the hens very much past their high season!
I'm surprised, I thought the problem with weak legs was in the old times when the hens were caged and couldn't move, but todays hens are free roaming with stronger legs. How old was this program?
They experienced some problems and delays: The Swedish slaughter house didn't satisfy all the requirements of the food chain that was going to sell products, and they didn't find a new one until the first flock of hens had to be killed off in the "traditional" way, to make room for the next generation. It ended up with the Norwegian slaughter house adapting one production line for the next batch, in the fall of 2016. So the filming that started in the fall of 2015 was not completed until the fall of 2016, and the series was put on the air in January 2017.

These hens were most certainly free-roaming! You can see the program host chasing hens in the birch forest and under bushes.

The people at the slaughterhouse told that hens that have been into high intensity egg production often suffer form osteoporosis. My guess is that there are limits to how much calcium a hen can absorb from the food (whether found in the green grass or it comes as fodder). Laying one egg a day drains the hen for so much calcium that its skeleton suffers. In the old days, with half as many eggs or less, the calcium drain was significantly less; this may have been just as significant as giving the hens physical exercize!
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Member 79891225-May-20 2:07
MemberMember 79891225-May-20 2:07 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Jörgen Andersson5-May-20 4:15
professionalJörgen Andersson5-May-20 4:15 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
W Balboos, GHB5-May-20 1:49
mveW Balboos, GHB5-May-20 1:49 
GeneralRe: Groceries Pin
Jalapeno Bob4-May-20 23:07
professionalJalapeno Bob4-May-20 23:07 
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MarkTJohnson5-May-20 2:02
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dandy725-May-20 9:03
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John R. Shaw6-May-20 6:23
MemberJohn R. Shaw6-May-20 6:23 
JokeVirus update Pin
Mike Hankey4-May-20 13:21
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John R. Shaw4-May-20 13:35
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Mike Hankey4-May-20 13:41
professionalMike Hankey4-May-20 13:41 
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John R. Shaw4-May-20 13:58
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Gerry Schmitz4-May-20 15:12
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dandy725-May-20 8:59
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GeneralUsed Car Pin
ZurdoDev4-May-20 10:16
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David Crow4-May-20 10:24
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