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How to tell age of chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Taryns mawmaw, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Taryns mawmaw

    Taryns mawmaw New Egg

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    I'm also new to raising chickens and was wondering if anyone can tell me a way to know how old your chickens are. We rescued these chickens from a production farm and was told they are 15 months old which should make them in the peak of their egg producing but out of 37 chickens I'm only getting some times 10 eggs a day. [​IMG] I was hoping for at least 2 dozen a day. Our temperatures have been inconsistent within the last month. We've had some cool days and then the next day it may be in the 90s so we have put fans in the coop to be sure they are cool. Any help to know how old they are would be greatly appreciated. [​IMG]
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    For almost a certainty, production hens are not over 2 years of age, as that is the age when they are typically culled. The production hen taken out of a laying farm needs a little time to recover. There may be no way to know whether they ever had a molt. Some producers force a molt a one year and keep the hens a second year. Some cull at the end of 12-14 months and don't fuss with molting. It just all depends. I might take that 15 months you were quoted as being fairly accurate. Remember, these hens were likely under forced lighting and driven hard. 15 months sounds right if the producer didn't fuss with molting. Their production was likely dropping for the producer as well, thus the cull.

    Clean water, a nice environment, happy companions, and great, great feed. There is considerable "life" left in such hens, but frankly, their breeding dictates that most of laying has been "used up" in the first year, with declines in the second year, and serious decline in out years.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  3. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    They may also be laying sporadically due to stress, mites, light conditions, feed change, etc.

    Mine NEVER lay on cloudy days, being desert chickens. A storm rolls in and they don't even roll outta bed.

    That all being said, I have 40+ adult chickens, and am getting abour 9 eggs a day in the 115 heat. Stress makes them shut down production, or slow waaaay down.
     
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Look in their beaks at their teeth. If you see none, they're real old.





    [​IMG]
     
  5. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    Quote:*giggles* [​IMG]
     
  6. Taryns mawmaw

    Taryns mawmaw New Egg

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    Thanks for the information. I thought that the stress of being in a production house and then unfortunately the week we brought them to our farm the temperatures spiked so I figured it was due to the heat. We have had some really cool days this past week and I have seen an increase in their laying but as of tomorrow we are suppose to have extreme heat so I was just trying to see what to expect. I think you are right on about the molt because that same week that we brought them home we noticed a lot of them losing their feathers and we were only getting maybe 5-6 eggs then. So between the stress of the production house, the extreme heat that first week to their new home and we were feeding them something different explains why now that they are use to their environment, the temperatures were cooler and we went back to feeding them the product they were getting plus letting them free range when we get home at night has increased their laying. Thanks again for the information.
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I would also treat for internal & external parasites with something like Ivermectin Eprinex; it's a cattle wormer, but many folks have been using it for years on chickens without issue. It's expensive, but it takes only .5 cc per hen (withhold eggs for 2 weeks after treatment...although no research has been done since treating chickens with it is "off label" use, better to be safe than sorry).
     

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