Spent Hen – Definition
A spent hen is a commercial layer chicken which has over peaked its optimal egg laying potential.
When does a hen become spent?
In commercial egg production terms, this occurs when the batch of birds reaches a hen-day% of 79-81.
Beneath this level of egg production output, the hens are simply not profitable within a typical commercial layer farm.
Why hens become commercially nonviable?
They therefore attract the name, ‘spent hens.’ i.e. no longer commercially profitable – it cost more to feed and keep them than you earn for their eggs.
What happens after hens become spent?
Spent hens are often killed and processed for meat and sold cheaply on the open market by the farms.
Their meat offers much smaller yields and is less tender than the comparative commercially grown broiler chicken – and therefore fetches a much lower price.
It is often marketed as affordable alternative to the more popular broiler meat.