We get in our laying hens each spring at the ready to lay age which is 19 weeks. We feed them a mix of grain called lay mash, keep them safe in sheds and some we let run free range through the day. We enjoy the daily eggs they produce throughout the season but as winter comes and our farm closes at Christmas we reduce our flock to a dozen; a manageable number in the barn through the winter. The rest of our laying hens get processed and are available for sale as soup chickens. These birds are not as meaty or tender like our roasting chickens but boiled or slow cooked in a crock pot they make for a delicious soup or stew.