Curious about her age and condition

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ND Sue, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. ND Sue

    ND Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2009
    I'm not sure what section this should go in... But I'd like to ask your opinions on this Cochin hen.

    A little background, late last August someone dropped 3 chickens at our farm. One rooster and 2 hens. I am curious if age can be told by the hen's looks? This is my favorite hen, big Pearl. She is sweet and tame and bigger than the other chickens, (except the rooster), but lowest on the pecking order. So far, she hasn't laid an egg since I got her. Can you tell her age?

    How about her condition? I'll post a pic of her when I got her. She was really white and held her tail up. Now she has been inside, so of course she is dirtier. But I notice her tail is held lower and her feathers seem ratty. Is she ok or is this just how winter feathers are? Maybe it's just her feathers have grown?

    When I got her, there were just the 3, like I mentioned and last month I got 6 others (3 black sex links and 3 Wyandottes) because my husband said if he was making a coop, he better get some eggs, and since these 2 weren't laying, I got some that were. She and her little red friend are the low men on the totem pole and I'm not sure if maybe she is depressed a little? Does that affect how they carry their tail?

    I also notice on her face around her eyes and nose, she has some black spots. I don't know if it's dirt or not, but it doesn't rub off. None of the others has it and it isn't raised or anything like the pics of those with Avian pox look like. I was wondering if that is how frostbite looks on chickens?

    So I am basically asking, approx. how old do you think she is? Does she look healthy? Thanks so much!

    Here is a pic when I got her. Note the tail set.


    Here she is from today warming her butt by the heater:

  2. ND Sue

    ND Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2009
    Should this be posted in another section?
    Can age or condition of a chicken be told just going by it's looks? If not, could someone let me know either way?
  3. buckbeak

    buckbeak Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2007
    Morgantown, PA
    Sorry, I don't know thing about cochins. She is pretty, though. Is there a problem with her eye, or is it just the picture?
  4. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    the only thing i know is extensive foot feathers and she's got it
  5. ND Sue

    ND Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2009
    It's the picture, nothing wrong with her eye. She does have a hooded eye. I'm not sure if you describe it like that with chickens, but we do with horses.
    I wish there was a way of telling the age somewhat... I'm just guessing she's older and quit laying and maybe that's why they dropped them off. Just curious I guess and was hoping there was a way to tell.

  6. kjk

    kjk Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2009
    zionsville, indiana
    try posting this in the 'what breed or gender is this?' section. there is usually some very good insight there on this sort of thing.

    on a side note, i'm new to chickens and have cochins and she looks very similar to mine. hope that eases your anxiety a bit. [​IMG]
  7. ve

    ve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Palmetto GA
    The red Leghorn and white Cochin look 5 to 7 months old in the first picture. Look at the bright yellow legs they have. Even after a long period of resting and not laying eggs - like molting older hens never recover this bright yellowness. Also the body shape and head shape makes me think young birds at point of laying. Look at the 2nd picture and see that the legs are not so yellow. That's because yellow pigment is used to color egg yokes. I am not a cochin breeder and can not comment on the quality of the bird. To me she seems to be a good hatchery bird.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  8. kennedyscochins

    kennedyscochins Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2009
    Big Clifty
    I have just started with cochins this year, but went to a show and was told that a pullet has very yellow feet and they are soft, not rough. The rougher and darker they are, the older she is. So, check the bottom of her feet. I noticed you said she didn't lay any eggs. Cochins are very late egg layers. Mine are 7-8 months old and no eggs yet (except from some older cochins I have). Even when they do lay, they don't lay as regularly as some breeds.

    If I am wrong on this, anyone feel free to correct me. Like I said, I'm fairly new to this too.

    Oh yeah, she looks healthy to me!
  9. ND Sue

    ND Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2009
    Thank you all for the insight. That's what I was hoping for, any way of telling age and I really appreciate the information about the leg color and how they draw the color from the legs to color yolks. I didn't know that! Interesting and good to know!

    They are both really sweet and the little red one has been faster than the rest and a little stand-offish until about a week ago when she started getting a lot tamer and seemed to enjoy being petted, scratched and even picked up. Now today, I saw her in action having (what I think is) her first egg! She had a small white one, so it will be easy to see how often she lays since the rest are brown! So I think you are right, she is younger than I thought.

    The cochin is my fav and started out tame. She just isn't laying (yet?) but that's ok!

    Thanks again, I really appreciate all of your input!
  10. SurprisingWoman

    SurprisingWoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    South Weber, UT

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