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How can you tell a laying chicken's age?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DianeS, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2010
    Oregon
    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!
     
  2. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    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
     
  3. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    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.
     
  4. Keg

    Keg Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Melbourne
    Quote: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?
     
  5. Chickn chick 46

    Chickn chick 46 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2009
    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 [​IMG]
     
  6. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote: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
     
  7. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

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

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