Can you estimate a chickens age?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NYboy, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. NYboy

    NYboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    White plains
    I know with mammals you can estimate their age by teeth and how clear the eyes are. Is there any way of estimating a chickens age?
  2. lclough1998

    lclough1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am curious too, so I will tag along on this thread! We got some layers last year that the gal said were just over a year, they have some strange laying habits and I think I got snookered, but we like them, just not as productive.....
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I have noticed in my own birds, the ones that I have raised and know how old they are, and I know this sounds vague, but they look old, a little more knobby, more hobbly in their walk.... I am watching this thread too.
  4. ARPipChic

    ARPipChic New Egg

    Apr 15, 2012
    Hi! I found this thread and figured I could lend a helping hand. :)

    Usually you can tell what stage a chicken is in by feather development. Usually it's hard to estimate the exact age just by looking at it, but you can tell if it's a child, a teen, young adult, adult, or old fart of a chicken. With my roosters, it's easy to tell that they are about mid young adult to adult because of their tail feathers. There tail feathers are pretty long and silk like, the longer the tail feathers are the more developed they are. Also roosters have a claw ( it's called a spur.) on there foot. It should be a little above where the ankle should be. My roosters have not yet fully developed the spur, a fully developed spur would indicate the age of the rooster of being a year in a half to two years of age. The same goes for female chickens (hens). Except they don't have spurs! The tail feathers on a hen are shorter but fully developed in a wedged form.

    Something I didn't mention above is the cone and waddle size. (Cone is on top waddle is on bottom) The bigger the cone and the more droopy the waddle is the older they are!

    I really hope this answers your questions, my dad and I have been raising chickens for two years now, and we have learned a lot about them.
  5. SouthDakotan

    SouthDakotan Chillin' With My Peeps

    My aunts always said you could tell by the "condition" of the combs. The younger birds having more erect combs. But I'm not sure this old wise tail is true of all breeds.
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    As hens get older, their beaks become somewhat more rounded, not as sharp and/or pointed as when they were younger. Also the scales on their legs are larger than on a younger hen. Of course, older hens dont lay eggs as often. Even then, it's still difficult to tell the age.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  7. Reurra

    Reurra Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2012
    Nova Scotia
    I talked to someone about this today, the lady I spoke to said you can tell an older chicken by how dark yellow the legs are. The younger the bird, the lighter the legs. I dont know if thats true or not.

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