Age questions...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Equest94, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I know the answer to these questions are different based on the chickens' breed, maturity level, possibly diet, etc...

    but if it is possible, would some one answer my questions, at least on a "general bases"?


    * when do chickens reach maturity?

    * at what age do hens start to lay eggs?

    * at what age do roosters begin to crow? and once they start, does it take a while to get the "cock-a-doodle-do" sound, like do they have to "practice" it or one day they just find the sound one day?

    * how old are roosters when they begin to develop long tail feathers?

    * I know that chickens have a pecking order... so when they are establishing this...do hens only "fight" with hens, and roosters only with other roosters? Or do all genders fight each other to establish a full dominate position?



    I'm asking this because it's been months and I still have no idea what gender my chickens are! I posted picks on here last time and I got many answers and thoughts, but now it seems like my thought to be roosters are acting more laid back and my thought to be hens are the ones causing up-roar... such as playing "jump at, stare down" the thought to be roosters...

    I'm not sure if that's usual...I just figure that answers to the above questions would help me know for sure what kind of flock I have and what to look for and expect.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2007
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    4-6 months before they start producing. This depends on breeds. I have found some bantams that are closer to a year old before producing.

    Most of my roosters (LF) have have made first attempts at crowing by 8 weeks. Mostly squeeks and noisies like they are being strangled at that point. From there it really depends on the birds.

    Your question about tail feathers can only be answered on a very broad range. Some breeds start to show at a few weeks and others will not be obvious for months.

    Hens establish with hens and will fight at times. Usually not as bad as roosters. But I have had exceptions to that. I have also seen hens that are dominant over roosters.

    Not a lot of help for you without specifics. But this has been my experience along the way.
     
  3. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    * when do chickens reach maturity?
    * at what age do hens start to lay eggs?
    4-6 months is the general time to start seeing eggs.

    * at what age do roosters begin to crow? and once they start, does it take a while to get the "cock-a-doodle-do" sound, like do they have to "practice" it or one day they just find the sound one day?
    My Ameracaunas started crowing at about 3, 3 1/2 months. One started crowing just recently, however, at 4 months. They definetely do not sound like the nice cock-a-doodle-doo. Kinda sounds like they're being strangled or hung upside down. [​IMG] I don't think they've quite got the hang of it yet. *sigh*

    * I know that chickens have a pecking order... so when they are establishing this...do hens only "fight" with hens, and roosters only with other roosters? Or do all genders fight each other to establish a full dominate position?
    I don't know about 'fighting', but everybody will squabble with everybody else. You might see roos drill a hen in the head, but the same goes for a hen to another hen, or a rooster to a rooster.
     
  4. kybukabu

    kybukabu Out Of The Brooder

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    * when do chickens reach maturity?
    On average, 5-6 months, depending on breed.

    * at what age do hens start to lay eggs?
    The same. Mine started at 21-22 weeks.

    * at what age do roosters begin to crow? etc.
    Our roosters starting making noise around 16-18 weeks old, and man! did they have to practice. I sure wish I'd recorded the sounds 'cause they offered some mighty fine entertainment. [​IMG] It took them a few weeks to get their acts ready for the stage. At first it almost sounded like they were choking, and it took so much more hullaballo to get any sound out.

    * how old are roosters when they begin to develop long tail feathers?
    The one who grew long tails feathers, got them after he started crowing.

    * I know that chickens have a pecking order... so when they are establishing this...do hens only "fight" with hens, and roosters only with other roosters? Or do all genders fight each other to establish a full dominate position?
    For this I have only uneducated guesses from my own experience, but it seems like they only care about their own genders for actual dominance. But they seem to squabble with whomever they happen trip over.
     
  5. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok. Thank you for all your answers. I really appreciate it.
     
  6. kybukabu

    kybukabu Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you have any better idea who's who yet? I'm surely having that kind of trouble with my silly duckies. I have three Mallard babies, and every day they each look and sound like both genders. God help me if they're hermaphrodites!
     
  7. hensnchix

    hensnchix Out Of The Brooder

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    I would just like to report, for the Annals of Amazing Chicken Behavior, that my little rooster, Angus, started crowing at 3 weeks. I'm not kidding. It started like a very loud creaking floor board ("ERRR") and developed into a full-fledged cock-a-doodle doo within two weeks.

    Now, I advertised this cockerel on this website, hoping someone, surely, would take a New Hampshire Red prodigy...but alas no one took him and he went to a local farm where I'm not sure his brilliance will be appreciated (although the hens, I think, will find him very handsome).

    Our Brahma rooster started crowing at 10 weeks and he needed no practice. Woke up one morning at 7 AM and belted out a full-bodied cock-a-doodle-doo and then just stood there, staring at us. We all nearly fell over!

    Perhaps it's the fact that my children sing songs to the chicks that make them such early bloomers!

    Susan
     
  8. hensnchix

    hensnchix Out Of The Brooder

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    Amendment: my prodigy NH Red was FOUR weeks old, not three. [​IMG]

    Susan
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2007

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