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How can you tell a laying chicken's age?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am looking at postings on Craigslist from people who want to sell their chickens. Everyone seems to be selling hens that have "just started laying" or that are "less than a year old". And it made me wonder - is there a way to tell if the chickens are really that age? Could they be trying to pass off a two or three year old chicken (one that's laying much less than before) as a younger one? If they could be trying to do that, is there a way a beginner can avoid getting suckered?

I appreciate any guidance! Thanks!

Living the good life in Oregon with my husband, dog, two-and-a-half cats, 18-ish rabbits, and 4-ish chickens.

You can visit my blog at www.rantingaboutrectangles.com

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Living the good life in Oregon with my husband, dog, two-and-a-half cats, 18-ish rabbits, and 4-ish chickens.

You can visit my blog at www.rantingaboutrectangles.com

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post #2 of 7

I'm not really sure if there is a way to tell the age of a chicken once their completly grown but I could definetly be wrong!! I'm giving you a bump and maybe someone with more knowledge can help you out!!

Missi

Great hubby, 2 kids, 3 furry babies, lots of chickens!!

Blue, Black & Splash Marans. Blue Slate, Narragansett, & Rio Grand Turkeys, 

Guineas & Bob White Quail! NPIP Certified #851

 

 

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Great hubby, 2 kids, 3 furry babies, lots of chickens!!

Blue, Black & Splash Marans. Blue Slate, Narragansett, & Rio Grand Turkeys, 

Guineas & Bob White Quail! NPIP Certified #851

 

 

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post #3 of 7

You can tell if the hen is currently laying by checking the spread of the pelvic bones.  It's difficult to describe in writing, but...

Find the vent.  Then using your index and middle fingers find the two pointy bones below and to each side of the vent.  If you can put your two fingers between those pointy bones the hens are laying, but you still don't know the actual age.

2 papillons, 1 giant pomeranian, 1 cat... 
2011 Flock = out of the egg business for now, just 1silkie, 1 JG, 1 OEGB, and 1 RSL
Be the change you want to see in the world...Ghandi
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2 papillons, 1 giant pomeranian, 1 cat... 
2011 Flock = out of the egg business for now, just 1silkie, 1 JG, 1 OEGB, and 1 RSL
Be the change you want to see in the world...Ghandi
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by briteday 

You can tell if the hen is currently laying by checking the spread of the pelvic bones.  It's difficult to describe in writing, but...

Find the vent.  Then using your index and middle fingers find the two pointy bones below and to each side of the vent.  If you can put your two fingers between those pointy bones the hens are laying, but you still don't know the actual age.


My understanding is that this is only an indicator of if the hen is old enough to lay - i.e once those bones have separated enough, the hen is at laying age. The bones don't move back closer together when the hen is old, do they?

post #5 of 7

This may be totally false and without merit but I thought the legs and beaks of older hens were paler than younger hens. My younger hens have a yellowish-ness to their legs and beak my older hens have paler beaks and legs idunno

We have an healthy happy mix of critters in our family, rescue mutt Emma- a lab/sheltie mix. Rescue cat named Jack, a gold fish and 7 hens of mix variety. Autrolorps, BR and 1 EE. Nine one year old layers- BR, RIR, GLW, and RSL.  A patient DH and 3 kids, ages 13(ACK!) 9 and 5

My life is filled w/ Murphys law
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We have an healthy happy mix of critters in our family, rescue mutt Emma- a lab/sheltie mix. Rescue cat named Jack, a gold fish and 7 hens of mix variety. Autrolorps, BR and 1 EE. Nine one year old layers- BR, RIR, GLW, and RSL.  A patient DH and 3 kids, ages 13(ACK!) 9 and 5

My life is filled w/ Murphys law
Reply
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keg 
Quote:
Originally Posted by briteday 

You can tell if the hen is currently laying by checking the spread of the pelvic bones.  It's difficult to describe in writing, but...

Find the vent.  Then using your index and middle fingers find the two pointy bones below and to each side of the vent.  If you can put your two fingers between those pointy bones the hens are laying, but you still don't know the actual age.


My understanding is that this is only an indicator of if the hen is old enough to lay - i.e once those bones have separated enough, the hen is at laying age. The bones don't move back closer together when the hen is old, do they?


The bones do move closer  when the hen stops laying. Hens that lay large eggs will have room for 3 fingertips between the bones, but this is not the threads original question.

There`s not much to indicate the age of a hen. Condition of the legs, comb, weight by comparison, are subtle ways, but not completely accurate. Color of the beak and legs is not related to age in most breeds.......Pop

In God We Trust

Siyah Rampuri Asil, White Chinese, Emden, and African Geese, Guineas, a Rottweiler (Bella), and a Yellow Lab (Booger). Fifty five years with chickens and still learning.

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In God We Trust

Siyah Rampuri Asil, White Chinese, Emden, and African Geese, Guineas, a Rottweiler (Bella), and a Yellow Lab (Booger). Fifty five years with chickens and still learning.

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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Wow, I'm glad I asked. I'll look for some seller I have reason to trust.

Living the good life in Oregon with my husband, dog, two-and-a-half cats, 18-ish rabbits, and 4-ish chickens.

You can visit my blog at www.rantingaboutrectangles.com

Reply

Living the good life in Oregon with my husband, dog, two-and-a-half cats, 18-ish rabbits, and 4-ish chickens.

You can visit my blog at www.rantingaboutrectangles.com

Reply
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