Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    299
    Location
    Allenton, Wis.
    Tractor
    kubota 7510 hst

    Default how to tell old chickens from young ones.

    Here's my problem, the coons killed all my laying hens so I went on Craigslist and got 6. The guy said they were 1 yr old. I only got them yesterday but in 24 hrs they have not layed an egg. I'm wondering if I was shnookered into buying a bunch of old hens. Anyone here know how to tell an old hen from a young one?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Tororider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,683
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Tractor
    JD 4310

    Default

    I wouldn't worry too much yet, they could be stressed out. If not laying consistently after a week start to worry. About aging chickens I am no help.
    Tororider
    John Deere 4310
    Frontier Finish Mower, Wallenstein Bx62 Chipper, front end pallet forks, KK 5' Rototiller

    Check out my homestead blog at www.homesteaddad.com

  3. #3
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3,694
    Location
    Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X500

    Default Re: how to tell old chickens from young ones.

    Check the chicken's lower legs (aka shanks). Older birds tend to have larger and rougher shanks than younger ones. A younger chicken's shanks are smooth.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    94
    Location
    Foothills of NC
    Tractor
    94 Craftsman GT6000

    Default Re: how to tell old chickens from young ones.

    Chickens don't like change and any move upsets them for a few days.

    rekees4300 is right about the shanks, too.

  5. #5
    Elite Member RobertBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,903
    Location
    Florida
    Tractor
    Bolens G192/TS1910 Ford/New Holland 1920

    Default Re: how to tell old chickens from young ones.

    Old chickens are tough and chewy. Young chickens are tender and juicy.
    Hope this helps

  6. #6
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2,856
    Location
    out
    Tractor
    kioti ck30

    Default Re: how to tell old chickens from young ones.

    they may have finished their first egg cycle and it will be a while before they get going again

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: how to tell old chickens from young ones.

    I believe the combs of young birds are redder than on old birds. The more eggs they lay the more faded they become.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member NHmitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    933
    Location
    SW New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Bolens G154/IsekiTX1300F

    Default Re: how to tell old chickens from young ones.

    I agree about the stress. They need some time to get adjusted, and rehydrated. Chickens need lots of water and calcium. Their waddles, ear lobes, legs, and comb fade when they do not have enough, so they look pretty good right now, but I think that stress is most likely the cause. Chickens learn from the example, so you can put an egg, or even a fake egg in their nesting box to help teach them. I would also keep an eye out for signs of broken eggs. If they have been eating their eggs, they have developed a very bad habit that is almost impossible to break them of. I would just give it some time, and make sure that they are also getting enough sunlight each day, or they will molt, and you will have to wait even longer. Fresh water, sunlight, a good layer feed with calcium, and time to adjust should take care of the issue. I hope they work out well. We have had hens for years on our farm, and we have also had to recently replace our flock, thanks to a hungry fox. You could invest in electric poultry netting, but it usually runs about $180+, so it is not cheap. We just took chicken wire, and lined the bottom of their run, covered it with sand, lined the sides, and the top, so it is completely enclosed, with no room for anything to get it, or out. We had to do this, after we had two hens pulled under the wire. I hope they work out for you!
    Mitch

  9. #9
    Super Member MossflowerWoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,888
    Location
    Ladysmith, VA
    Tractor
    Kioti DK50SE HST w/FEL, John Deere LX266 & STX38 Mowers. Stihl MS290 20" bar (For Sale), CS261, & FS190 + Echo CS400 & rusty old Ranger snowplow truck

    Default Re: how to tell old chickens from young ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertBrown View Post
    Old chickens are tough and chewy. Young chickens are tender and juicy.
    Hope this helps
    You are SO BAD!

    I don't have an answer, but i got suckered like this last year, and of the 6 I have left which we call "grannys" 4 are still laying almost every day NOW. It took months, but good living and they got healthy again and they are laying.

    One is so Old looking I suspect to find her dead any day now... but she's been like that for many months.

    Best of luck.

    I HATE Racoons (and foxes).

    David
    Former Submariner & Army SGT
    2011 Kioti DK50SE HST, KL-401 FEL w/72" bucket, tooth bar, & Ratchet Rake, 2 rear remotes, canopy, WR Long RBG72 Grapple, Woods BB72X cutter & TSG-50 stump grinder, TSC PHD, & more to come. Mowers 2003 JD LX266 42" deck mower, & old JD STX-38 (12.5 hp).

    Managing 51 Acres of Virginia hills with ponds & streams, Freshly Clear Cut!, riding trails, empty pasture, long gravel drive, veggie garden, & yard.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    106
    Location
    Siskiyou Co., California
    Tractor
    Massey 135 Multipower / Z145

    Default Re: how to tell old chickens from young ones.

    Our hens are from three sources, 4 that we raised and six others that we've had passed to us by people who couldn't or no longer wanted to keep them. They are all nearly 3 years old. I find that the summer eat negatively effects egg production. We get more than we need. Funny how we expect the sickliest to die any day but I've been surprised to occasionally find dead birds that appear in rude health. So far the coons haven't got any but a barn owl popped one's head off. I'll be happy when our flock is down to 6-8. I've passed some rescues on that were good layers. Backyard poultry is pretty popular and free youngish hens pop up constantly around here.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Never too young.
    By Pete Judd in forum Yanmar
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 08-28-2011, 03:46 PM
  2. Young Operators - How young is too young?
    By dholly in forum Safety
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 04-15-2005, 05:26 PM
  3. Chickens
    By chucko in forum Related Topics
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-08-2005, 10:52 AM
  4. chickens
    By ebeacham in forum Related Topics
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 09-13-2003, 06:24 PM
  5. Chickens
    By ejb in forum Rural Living
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 04-23-2002, 07:49 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.