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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChicknsRock, Oct 20, 2013.
How can you tell the age of a chicken? Is there any way?
You usually can't tell the exact age of a chicken. Up to about five months or so, it can be relatively easy to roughly guess the age. Chickens less than 12 weeks old or so often look gangly and scruffy, and often are not completetly feathered. As a chicken ages, it fills out and gets more feathers (to a certain point). As pullets get older, their comb and wattles will begin to redden and become larger. If a pullet's comb is still pale and small, it is likely less than four months old or so. A pullet at point of lay, or about five months, will have a larger, redder comb. Roosters develop larger spurs as they age. When they are younger than seven months old or so, you won't see much spur developement (just some small spur nubs). Once they are older than that, the spurs will slowly grow. Very old roosters have long, curved spurs, unless their spurs have been trimmed.
With some you can estimate age based on feathers and spurs. Chicks you can guess by down which disappears last from head and neck at about 5 weeks. Juveniles starting at about 5 weeks have feathered over heads and secondary wing feathers have bars and lateral tail feathers end in points. As birds start to acquire the first set of adult feathers at about 12 weeks with process usually complete by time bird is about 24 weeks. When only adult feathers are visible but many are still in blood, if spurs are rounded (males always, females relatively rarely) then individual is not quite adult. Voice can also be informative with final adult voice in my games not realized until about 18 months.
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I am not quite sure what your question is really about?
But old hens look and walk like old ladies. They are not as spry. And the combs and legs look old. Any hen older than 2 years of age, will definitely look old.
Specifically, I have adopted a Easter Egger and don't know how young/old she is. How old you think she is from the picture?
Could you post a picture of her legs? Judging from feather condition and overall appearance, I'd say that she's at least a year old, and has molted at least once.