Breeding and growing chickens today is a popular activity of many people, like a few decades ago. But not all breeders and farmers want to grow chickens.
Many people want to immediately profit from their farm, so they already acquire adult hens. But how to determine the age of a chicken, in order to buy not old individuals, but young and productive ones?
There are several popular methods for determining, but a minus is that they do not give an accurate result. The following methods help to find out about the age of the laying hen, and only the seller provides accurate information. Of course, many of them can lie for their own purposes.
Chickens rush well and show the highest productivity in the first years of life (1-2). After the natural process of decline in egg production begins. Therefore, farmers who are interested in the production of eggs, keep some chickens for a year and replace them with a new generation.
Domestic chickens live in good conditions for 10-15 years. But, many breeds cease to carry eggs after five years.
Tip 1 - the presence of subcutaneous folds and abdomen
The main indicator of the age of the hen is her belly. If it is hard and a layer of fat is palpable on it, then the chicken is already “elderly”. Over the years, they gradually gain weight, become more passive, acquire a large layer of subcutaneous fat.
If you want to buy young chickens, feel their belly and sternum. If they are soft but resilient, these layers have not yet reached the critical level of reduced egg production. Do not forget that fat chicken perfectly fit on the "soup". As a rule, the owners first keep young birds for eggs, and then leave them for meat.
Tip 2 - Scallop Color
Another good and reliable way to check age is combing and bird earrings. In young individuals up to 2-3 years, they have a bright red color and warm to the touch. Young active laying hens have good blood supply, which is the reason for this fact. In old chickens, scallops are dull, dull in color and cold to the touch.
Tip 3 - weight
Weight is a possible sign of age. Today, this fact is considered less reliable, since young chickens of different breeds per year may have different weights. Some breeds are characterized by rapid mass gain, others are not. Therefore, to consider this fact infallible, difficult. But within the same breed, according to the norms of weight, it is possible to approximately know the age of the layer.
Tip 4 - Beak Color and Paw Condition
Like the color of the scallop, the shade of the beak can be a good indicator of the maturity of the chicken. In older birds, it has a bright light tone and a yellowish tinge; in the “old” layers, the horny layer is dull in color and gray in color.
Paws rough with growths and large corns - another feature of the considerable age of the chicken. In young birds up to 2 years old, their paws are clean, without scales and keratinous parts. Smooth and uniform in color.
Experienced bird owners can unmistakably understand how old a chicken is. A few simple moments will help to choose the right chickens in your backyard.