Newbie question - Pullet turns in to a "hen" at what age?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by idispatch4911, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. idispatch4911

    idispatch4911 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2011
    Southern Utah
    I've read a few places (while looking to buy my first hatching eggs) that sellers say things like "no pullet eggs included" and "all eggs are from hens who have been laying for months". So knowing that it's not ideal to hatch eggs from newly laying girls, my question is : how long does a pullet have to be laying before she's considered a "hen" that would lay good hatching eggs?

  2. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    A pullet is usually under a year old.
    I have had pullets go broody on me and hatch out chicks, so don't think that pullet eggs are unhatchable. I think the fertility depends on the rooster- if he is new at "loving", he might be missing the mark.
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    Like lilBizzy says, a "pulllet is a female chicken under one year old" according to my Storey's Guide to Raisisng Chickens by Gail Damerow. -- One reason I think that pullet eggs are considered less desirable for hatching is that they are smaller..... A roomier egg may give the chick a beter environment to develop.

    Once my pullets started laying, I started calling them hens..... thinking pullets are pre-laying and hens are laying.... but I guess that wouldn't apply at all the the 'no pullet eggs' advertisement.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  4. idispatch4911

    idispatch4911 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2011
    Southern Utah
    Thanks for the opinions. That does make sense. Like a baby is an infant for how long exactly? Kinda the same thing. Good to know.
  5. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 29, 2011
    I call my girls hens as soon as they start laying, Though I believe a hen is really a female chicken older then one year.
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Yeah for APA and show purposes, a pullet is a female under one year of age. Most do call theirs hens once they start laying though.
  7. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your pullets first eggs may be 1/2 to 1/3 the size of a normal egg. After they reach "normal" size, I don't know how in the world anyone could tell the difference. In marketing, you are taught to differentiate yourself. "No Pullet eggs" might be one of these marketing ideas.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by