how to tell age of full grown hens for sale?

cracked_egg

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
198
3
99
I'm looking into getting 2-3 australorps that are already laying.... They are in my area, have many for sale. She said they're either last spring's or last fall's chickens... I asked why they were selling (for only $5ea).

Well, I asked y they were selling and she said they sell every year so that they can keep production up...? Does this sound a little off to you? It kinda does to me but what do I know about chickens? So how do I know if they're about done laying??? Or if they really are only 9-12 months old?
 

Junkmanme

Songster
12 Years
Mar 11, 2007
2,202
12
201
Near Gallup, New Mexico
Just like horses. Look at their teeth.



(just kidding...)

-Junkmanme-
old.gif
 

briteday

Crowing
12 Years
Dec 16, 2008
1,223
134
266
Northern Nevada USA
You really can't easily tell the age. But you can tell if they are laying, at least some, by checking the pelvic bones.

If you have never done it...
Grab hen by feet and turn upside down so you are staring at the end with the vent (back end) pointed upward.
Find the vent.
On each side of the vent you should feel a pointy bone. Those are pelvic bones. If the hen is still laying you should be able to get 2 large fingers(or three small fingers) between the pelvic bones. In my experience with my own hens, if I can't easily fit two of my ladylike fingers between the pelvic bones I take a pass on a hen that I want for laying eggs.

Since I am doing the chicken thing to sell eggs I rotate my hens every 18 months. And I charge $5-12, depending on the breed. They still have at least 2 good years of laying, but probably not every day. Since I need an egg per day from most every hen, the ones who have gone through one winter and one molt are re-homed around 18 months.
 

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