How to Age a Chicken?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by americanchicks, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. americanchicks

    americanchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    81
    8
    89
    Jun 26, 2012
    Auburn, wa
    Hi all! So this Saturday was thinking about hitting up the Enumclaw Sales Pavilion and watch the auction. Might even sale my two 7 month old PR. They are just terrorized the younger members of my flock. Not planning on buying any more birds but it got me thinking...

    How do you know the age of a chicken when buying/adopting it?

    I know the owner can tell you but I also know people can be wrong or even lie about the age. So is there some tell tale signs on how old a adult chicken is when getting it?
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Sadly there aren't a lot of ways to tell! Once they reach 4-6 years they will start to develop noticeably more wrinkled faces and thicker, uglier leg scales; but between 6mo-4 years they basically look the same. Though, you have a slight advantage as it is also molting season; anyone molting this time of year (or obviously just coming out of/going into molt) is at least 1 - 1.5 years of age or older.

    I find the best way not to get swindled is to purchase pullets who are near but not in lay. They will show the smaller, paler comb of a bird who is not mature, and their vents should be dry and small. They will also likely be smaller as they are not fully grown yet.

    And as always, be sure to quarantine any birds you purchase for at least 2-3 and preferably 4 weeks! Ninety-nine times out of a hundred the birds are totally healthy, but it's always better safe than sorry.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by