What does Freezer Camp mean?

I was discussing chickens with a friend other day and I made a comment about a few extra roosters that need to go to freezer camp. Well, even though this person has been around chickens quite a while, she was baffled by what I had said and she asked me...

Chicken going to freezer camp

What is freezer camp?

That's a legitimate question. I mean, I hadn't heard of it for most of my life! I think we sometimes use certain phrases to either be funny or to soften the blow of what they really mean. In this case freezer camp sounds a whole lot better than what I had to tell her I was going to do with these chickens.

You see freezer camp is not a nice little vacation like kids go to in the summer. Oh no! It's just a roundabout way to say I'm butchering them to put them in the freezer.

Not what you expected me to say?

I had that reaction the first time I heard it too. I had read the term in a chicken forum back when I was first learning about chickens. I don't recommend the chicken forums as a sole means of information, as I got a lot of bad advice in the beginning, but you can learn a bit there. 

One of the things I learned about was freezer camp for chickens. 

Why do chickens go to freezer camp?

Freezer camp is usually used as a solution for problem chickens. Hens that are big bullies, older hens that are past their laying age and excess or problem roosters.

It's not said so much in reference to meat birds, though I'm not quite sure why. Maybe because the whole point of meat birds is to butcher them? Or maybe because many people send their meat birds to a butcher to process? 

Other funny chicken terms

There are actually a bunch of strange sounding or funny meaning terms that we use when raising chickens.

My pet poops breakfast: meaning

There's a saying that hens poop breakfast. That is in reference to the fact that the egg and feces all come out of the same place on a chicken. If you ever seen a pullet do the squat and lay an egg while she's mid walk, you'll totally understand this saying! New layers usually catch on and use the nest box by about the third egg.

I personally prefer to say that my hens make me breakfast, it just makes it sound a little nicer! Lol Still means the same thing though.

Chickens poop eggs

What is Chicken jail?

There's also chicken jail, where bad chickens go into solitary confinement for a few days to try to reset their bad behavior. It's usually just a smaller cage inside the chicken coop so they can see, but not interact much with their flock mates.

Sometimes the chicken jail is moved to another area if their behavior is so bad that you want to separate them and return them to the flock so they have to re-establish the pecking order. Often you're hoping they'll lose rank and not be as aggressive upon return. I use a cage in my garage for this situation. 

Chicken jail is not to be confused with quarantine, which is when a sick or new chicken is caged separately to avoid spreading anything to the flock. Although it is pretty much the same, quarantine is always carried out away from the coop...never inside it!

Chicken in a jail, aka cage

Related reading: 45 Of the funniest chicken jokes you'll read!

What is chicken math?

Chicken math describes how people start out with one goal number of how many chickens they are going to have and a few years (okay, sometimes months!) later they have a completely different number.

It usually starts something like: I built a chicken coop big enough for 10 chickens. I start out with 10 chicks, but 3 end up being boys and I can't have roosters. I get rid of the three roosters but then I decide to get six more chickens because half of them might also be boys and I need to end up with 10 hens.

Of course this is when only one of those is a boy and now you've got 12! Obviously you can't get rid of them because you raised them all and If something happens to some of your hens then you'll have less than 10!

Or maybe after your first set of 10 chicks with three being roosters, you decide to add bantam size chickens to your flock. You have enough room for three full size hens but banties are smaller so shouldn't they count at...like...maybe, a third of a hen...size wise? So if a banty is only a third of a standard hen size then you can have nine banties and seven regular hens. Right?

See? Chicken math! 😂

Chicken math is how I started out with 3 guinea fowl and 6 chickens and ended up with over 80 poultry including the ducks and geese. There were quail in there somewhere too, but I digress!

Chicken math will get you every time!

There are actually a lot more funny sounding chicken terms, but these are the ones I see used most often. What's your favorite chicken saying?

If you want to learn more about training chickens to be friendly, come when called and more check out this collection of posts I've written on training chickens, guineas and more!


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  1. I can so relate to chicken jail. I never thought of that. I'll get jail do today!
    Last time I got chickens, they were all hens (family emergency made it necessary to rehome them). This time, same thing you talked about. Ordered 8; three didn't make it. Reordered - put in extra "just in case". Some did not make it. However, I have too many and some are roosters! Need re-homing. My favorite hen started crowing a couple of weeks ago and pecks me when I pick "her" up. "She" wants to be held, but has to peck me first! Maybe I now have four roosters..... If I send to chicken freezer, they are so little (Silkies and Polish Hens), won't be worth the stress I go through. I had a very ill one and it took me forever to "send" the chicken. My grandson was horrified when I told him. He will do "the dirty deed" now! Never a dull minute!!!

    1. Oh no...I hate when the favorite hen turns out to be a rooster! Isn't that how it always goes though? I've never butchered silkies because of their small size, but I hear they make great soup!