Guess my age?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jhitson, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. jhitson

    jhitson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2011
    I have 6 red star hens but only getting one egg a day. Hopefully someone can help me figure out how old these hens actually are.
    I know by the combs and waddles that several of them are not quite at laying age. I live in TN ( mild winters ). Will these hens start laying regardless of the season or might they wait until spring? I have heard that they may not lay until spring if they mature in fall/winter.
     
  2. jhitson

    jhitson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2011
    here are some pictures of the Red Stars



    [​IMG]
     
  3. jhitson

    jhitson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2011
    Above are the younger looking hens. They have the smaller combs and waddles and are noticeably lighter and smaller than a couple of my other hens.
    This hen below is the most mature of the 6 that I have and I would suspect that this is where my one egg a day is coming from.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. jhitson

    jhitson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a better pic of one of the younger looking hens. Any guess as to age? I was told that they were at or near laying age but they seem to have a ways to go on the combs and waddles.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you're right, and hen #2 is your layer. The others look to be about a month or so, maybe a bit longer, from starting. Ours had pretty decent sized combs when they began laying.....one was a bit more than 18 weeks and the other was nearly 20 weeks if I remember correctly.

    As for whether they will start with the shorter days, I don't know the answer to that. Are you supplementing the light? They do need 14 hours a day to lay eggs.

    Very pretty pullets, by the way. I like our Red Stars, they have nice personalities and lay beautiful eggs.

    Oh, and welcome to BYC!
     
  6. jhitson

    jhitson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2011
    Thanks for your response. I have been reading these forums for quite some time but just now registered to start posting.

    I do not have a light in the coop. Their feed and water is outside the coop and I shut the door to the coop at night and open it in the morning. If I added a light would I need to move their food and water into the coop as well? Pretty much anywhere I put the feed and water in the coop it would be under a roost pole as I have a them on both sides and that would lead to a mess... Is it just the light alone or do they need to be up and about?

    Are you guessing 16 weeks old or even younger? Thanks again for your help. I really enjoy keeping these hens. The person that sold them to me fudged their age a bit I think. I also noticed some lice on me after handling one of the hens. I wonder if that could slow their development down? I dusted them with a little diatomaceous earth dust. Hopefully that will help get rid of the lice.
     
  7. Manningjw

    Manningjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I would have to agree with you there.

    We also love the one Red Star we have. She started laying right around 18 weeks and lays very large eggs every day (around 48/49 days so far I think). Today she surprised us with what i assume is a double yolker, the thing is HUGE. It looks to be about double the size of a large or X-large egg, not joking either. I don't have a clue how she laid that thing, she isn't that big of a bird... It looks more like a turkey egg than a chicken egg.
     
  8. Manningjw

    Manningjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Are your hens all the same age? It is really hard to guesstimate the age of a hen as they mature differently. If they are the same age, I wouldn't put them any younger than 16-18 weeks based on your hen that is laying. By the comb and waddles I would agree with you that you have several weeks of not a month to go before you might see eggs from the younger looking hens. Our Red Star started laying around 18.5 weeks. It took nearly 4 weeks for any of our other chickens(nearly all different breeds) to start laying eggs with her, even though all 9 have the same hatch date.

    I would like to know more about the lighting issue myself. Is it better to have certain types of lights for instance. We use LEDs and that keeps the birds off their roost and eating longer than they otherwise would. Also there are some very creative DIY feeders listed here on the forums that would work perfect up against say a coop wall if you decided to move feed inside as well.
     
  9. chickchicks

    chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2011
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    ive just bought two look like that he called them "warrens" though im still learning all the name things

    he said they were about 19 weeks old ( but the reciept sayd 17 weeks!)

    [​IMG]

    they are supposed tobe near laying too
     
  10. jhitson

    jhitson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Manningjw
    They seem to be different ages. Three seem a little larger and the one with the large comb that is laying would be in that group. The other three are noticeably smaller and with smaller combs and waddles. Could they develop that differently? It sure looks they are from different hatches. Also, the three larger hens are a little more friendly and all seem to squat. The three younger hens are more flighty.

    I should probably arrange the coop a little different. I set it up mainly just for roosting and almost all the ground space is underneath a roost pole.
    I have the feeder set up underneath the coop, so they have to come out to get to the feed and water. I should have made the coop a bit larger with an open area if they need to spend a couple extra hours a day in there. I'm always learning something new. Thanks again.

    chickchicks
    Your hen looks to be right about the same age as some of mine. That helps.
    Your "warren" hen is similar to my Red Stars in that it is a production cross of a RIR. From what I found I believe the Warren is a cross between a Rhode Island Red Rooster and Rhode Island White hen. My Red Stars are most likely a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Delaware hen.
     

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