How do you know how old a chicken is?? ***PICTURES ADDED***

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by *GEL*, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. *GEL*

    *GEL* Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Indiana
    I recently bought 2 golden comet hens at a traders fair and the kid who had them said they were just over a year old. When I asked about egg laying the adult with him said that they were just coming out of molting and with the move and all it would be probably around 2 weeks before I could expect any eggs.

    Then later here on the forum, I read that they don't molt until they are 18 mos or older. I just wondered if there was anyway to know how old they actually are?? Thanks for any help as I am totally new at this and want to know if I was 'taken'. If I was I'll chaulk it up to learning a lesson and go get some Chicks....lol......so then I know they aren't past prime laying age (not that 18 mos is over the hill - but they could be 18 Years old for all I know....lol). [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  2. barnyardmom

    barnyardmom Out Of The Brooder

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    wish I could answer this question with facts but,..... I feel of the bird to see if she is "plump" older hens tend to get a not so plump breast (happened to me at 40 lol) also where the spurs grow, look for small nubs kinda soft compared to older hard areas. also look at the toes, see if the nails are really long and grown out maybe curving to the side a little (sign of an older bird) hens that are laying good are going to lose some color in their faces, my young RIR's have pink, blush color in their faces, the older ones ate pale. again this is just my opinion I too would like to hear what others think
    dk
     
  3. When you hear them in the barn singing happy hatch day, then you will know how old your hen is.

    You have to be very quiet and sneak up on them. They really do not want you to know they sing.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. *GEL*

    *GEL* Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Indiana
    I will take some pictures today of there faces and feet and try to post them on here so maybe someone can help me figure it out........thanks for the replys!
     
  5. *GEL*

    *GEL* Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Indiana
    Ok - I couldn't figure out how to post the pics on here, but the longest nail on any of their feet is about 1/2". Not curving at all yet. Their faces and combs are kind of washed out looking......I have had them just over a week now and no eggs as of yet.......I am not rushing them though as I am still trying to keep them out of the nests at night...lol.....DH is going to add slider doors to them so I can close them at night and then open in the morning.

    Still would love to know how old they are??!! [​IMG]
     
  6. newchickmom

    newchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Yes, they can have a partial molt before 18 months old. A few of my 1yr-olds are having a small molt right now. About half of my 2 year olds are just growing back feathers from a BIG molt that lasted about 3 months.
    This means, out of 26 total hens, I'm still only getting about 12 eggs a day! [​IMG]
     
  7. *GEL*

    *GEL* Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Indiana
    Okay - I am trying with the pics again (after reading the directions [​IMG] ).......hopefullly you'll be able to see how washed out their combs are.......still no eggs, 2 weeks in. Now they seem to be picking out alot of feathers (their own) does that happen when they molt? I am just ignorant with these things still......thanks in advance for any opinions on how old they are....I apologize for the bad pics, but they wouldn't stand still.....lol!! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They do seem to be more energetic and happy now then when I got them. But I just have to wonder about their age. What age are production chickens when they quit laying or slow down a LOT? These birds have the beak that looks to have been cut - the bottom is longer than the top and squared off - I'm just trying to do all I can think of to make their adjustment to living here go smoothly - they acted like they had never been outside before... [​IMG] Nor had any treats. They already come to me when they see me coming, as I have been treating them alot! lol. Any advice/opinions welcome!!
    THANKS!
     
  8. countrygirlatheart

    countrygirlatheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
    Huffman Texas
    don't feel bad, we have two production hens that are suppose to be 6 months old, one is laying fine, the other isnt (get a fart egg or soft shell regurarly, and an occcasional double yoker). their beaks were cut as well (meanies), seemed kinda "skittish" when it came to their "run", wasnt sure how to react to "treats" (other than snakes or worms) but now run to the fence whenever they see me [​IMG] Because of all the treats i bring [​IMG] From what i've read, it may jsut take a little bit of time. I would just give them some TLC and treats!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  9. *GEL*

    *GEL* Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Indiana
    Thank CountryGirl! Yes, I do give them TLC and lots of treats! [​IMG] They are really starting to be like - OK! What does she have now!! LOL......used to be I'd give them something and they were VERY wary......now they are just happy to see me coming with something in my hands. [​IMG] They are very sweet!
     
  10. countrygirlatheart

    countrygirlatheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Huffman Texas
    [​IMG] that's exactly it!!! used to be very very wary, now they (and the "teenagers") fight over whatever it is before i even put it down!! [​IMG] And OMG help me if i dont have "enough" or put it in separate piles!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] YES MY QUEENS, I WILL BRING MORE NEXT TIME!!! [​IMG]
     

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