Age nof chooks/chickens

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8 years 4 weeks ago #37704 by gebeem
Hey there all, we new to the country paradise of lifestyle block living...we have inherited a few animals including some lovely chooks that are supplying a few eggs each day...however, we have absolutely NO idea how to work out which hens are laying and which aren't, and how old they may be.
We would really appreciate some advice if possible.
Cheers
G&B

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8 years 4 weeks ago #488001 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Age nof chooks/chickens
Hi and welcome.
A really good book for chicken beginners has been written by Sue Clark. She is currently on holiday overseas somewhere, but will hopefully be back soon.
Some chickens make a lot of clucking after they have laid their egg. If you hear one, rush out to see if an egg has been laid, and which chook is making the noise.
Hens that crow a bit like a rooster tend to be sterile, I think.

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8 years 4 weeks ago #488006 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Age nof chooks/chickens

LongRidge;492438 wrote:
Hens that crow a bit like a rooster tend to be sterile, I think.

Not necessarily LR. Sometimes hormone fluctuations such as at the end of or the beginning of laying can make a hen crow. Have a crossbred araucana/bantam that is now rising 10 and she always crows at start or end of her laying cycles. She's pretty good at it too and when we lived in town I used to think the council would be by any day to look for my non-existent rooster!

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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8 years 3 weeks ago #488017 by stephclark
Replied by stephclark on topic Age nof chooks/chickens
ha ha .. yes I have a crowing banty hen as well.. but shes pretty weird all round..

yes a lot of hens make a big racket when they lay an egg.. but I find that the minute you go out to see who it is... they stop...

for if a hen is on the lay.. check her comb, it should be bright red and enlarged.. when they are not laying it is much paler and shrunken...

remember that hens don't lay 24/7 365 days a year, only the commercial birds, under rigid feed and lighting conditions will manage that in their first year..

so if you have back yard specials who are just hanging out and getting scraps and pallets.. I would be pleased with about 4 a week..

also this time of year you are lucky anyone is laying at all.. they need to have a certain amount of daylight per day and the days are too short for them at the moment...productivity will increase as the days get longer..

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8 years 3 weeks ago #488055 by Andrea1
Replied by Andrea1 on topic Age nof chooks/chickens
I've got some older hens whose combs no longer go pale when they're off lay, but you can also check the distance between the pin bones They're the bones at the end of the rump, on either side of the vent, pretty much. If you can fit the width of two fingers in that space between the bones, it's a pretty good sign that they're laying. When they're off the lay, the bones go very close together, so you can barely get one finger between them.

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