Ok, so no one really told me, nor have I read, exactly how long chickens live. I have no idea. Also, no one ever really told me, or did I read, how long chickens lay eggs. Let me explain why I am bringing this up, and later I will give you my conclusion.
My chickens haven't given me eggs in weeks. They are 2 years old. Once I heard someone say the phrase "chicken period" and I understood that chickens were born with all the eggs they would ever have, just like a human. And their lifespan is substantially shorter, of course. Even though I don't know how long to expect my girls to live, I do expect that they will go through "chicken menopause" and stop laying eggs.
So, this prompted the discussion of "What do we do with the chickens?" We don't have room to keep them and get new chickens, so the old ones would have to go. I can't do it. I named them. They would have to go somewhere to get their heads chopped. But where? The only kill shop/private butcher I know of is almost 3 hours away. Do I want to drive that far for 3 chickens? No. So what to do?? No eggs means those girls are not earning their keep.
UNTIL........ I discovered a pecked at egg, with the yolk spilled out, and Dorothy looking at me like, What? Don't you cannibalize your eggs???? Those little bitches are eating the eggs! So I tossed a golf ball into each laying box in hopes that when they try to peck them, they will discover that the balls are not edible, and they will stop eating eggs.
And if they do keep eating the eggs, I may just kill them myself anyways!