Need help identifying age of these girls...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wm8c, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. wm8c

    wm8c Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi group, I recently bought 13 new girls to replace a spent 3+ year old flock. They are Rhode Island Reds that I bought from a local farm. I actually feel like I "rescued" them after seeing the conditions they lived in, but that's a whole other story. They had 1800 young birds in a relatively small area (no pens though) and it was quite the setup and not very clean. Most had no tail feathers and were quite bald in places. They are feathering out quite nicely now although most still don't have any tail feathers to speak of yet but a few are showing up as you can see in the pictures. Normally I raise my own from chicks when I replace a flock but this time decided to do it this way.

    Anyway, I've had them for 2 weeks, no real signs of worms but I'm giving them a few weeks treatment with Rooster Booster 3 way wormer anyway. I've been getting a couple eggs sporadically but the place I bought them couldn't tell me exactly how old they are. I'm guessing them to around 16 - 20 weeks. The first day I had them here I got 4 eggs, and the following 3 - 4 days was 2 -3. Now some days there have been none. I'm hoping it's just them re-adjusting to their new home. Days are shorter so I'm adding a few extra hours of light now too as of this week. Some have redder combs than others (the ones I suspect might be already laying) but most are more pink than red yet. I never had RIR's before so don't know their normal path. I usually had ISA Browns.

    Anyone want to throw an opinion out about age? Hoping eggs production will pick up quickly but slow going so far. What is normal for RIR's as far laying age? I've heard it's a little later than ISA browns.
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  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    i am a little curious as to why you would get rid of your 3yr. olds for a flock of unknown age? any way, this is what i think. have you checked them for mites? the feather loss is normally one of two things. they have a heavy mite infestation or they are older then you think and what you see is damage from roosters.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    My gut tells me that they are yearling or older birds - they just don't look like pullets to me. I would guess that the missing feathers are due to over crowding and feather plucking/eating.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To answer your question, my RIR girls were laying at around 24 weeks, and have been good solid layers giving me about 6 eggs per week each - that is, until 2 went broody! (Yes, I know, how unlikely.....)

    The feather loss in your chickens I suspect is due to other birds plucking them - probably out of boredom rather than anything else.

    As far as age goes.....when I look at them I feel they are a little older than mine. I don't know why I think that, or even how to tell the age of a chicken, but it's just a quality they have. Mine are around 11 months old. I'm guessing yours are maybe a year and a half?

    Whatever happens with them down the track, I wish you all the best. Well done on offering them a better life.

    Krista
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
  5. wm8c

    wm8c Out Of The Brooder

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    To Granny Hatchet: down to 2 - 4 eggs a day with old flock of 13 birds, not earning their keep anymore...not pets, except the rooster I ended up with by accident who is a pet, he got to stay :)
    To Sourland: you may be correct on the feathers as where they were, overcrowding was definitely an issue. I would disagree on age as most of them still have very pink combs and are getting redder by the day. They are also only about half the size of my roo (Barred Rock) and I believe Rhodes are decent sized birds or am I wrong about that?
    To Krista: thanks and I know they will be happier, as long as they start laying soon anyway :) according to the ad I responded to by the farmer, these birds will be laying age in October so I have trust him for now but we'll see within a few weeks I'm sure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  6. wm8c

    wm8c Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2009
    Middleville
    Here's another picture of the Barred Rock Roo I have (he's going on 4) or comparison of size to the new girls. Don't know if that helps or even means anything but as you can see they are much smaller than he is. Yes I know roos are larger, but he wasn't that much bigger than my previous girls but currently about twice the size of these.
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  7. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    will he choice door #1-#2-or door #3 ? and he choices door #3 !!! stay tuned next week folks when we find out if wm8c picked the right door with the grand prize !! LOL, Im sorry, i have been watching too much tv. that is a big roo
     
  8. wm8c

    wm8c Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2009
    Middleville
    He's a big baby too lol! He came with our 6 "pullets" 3 years ago and until he started trying to crow, we expected to have 6 new girls :) I told my wife as long as he didn't get mean he could live and he never did. He loves to be picked up and petted and unfortunately I never had the heart to "axe" him from the flock after that. I guess he provides some protection for the girls too. He's showing his age though as he's not as attentive as he once was.
     

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