Growing chicks to chickens is hard work but is quite fulfilling, especially when you’re about to benefit from it. Chickens do change so quickly. Within just a month, you could notice development. On the beginning of life they are just little slimy egg contents and the next thing you know they can now chirp their way to the coop starting a whole new life – a life that’s self-sufficient and nevertheless, independent.
Jumping off from three to six weeks old, a chicken sheds off its fluffiness and replaces it with feathers that will become more mature. Combs and wattles will grow and turn to a deep red hue. If you are raising cockerels, what you call a young rooster, they will attempt to crow. At the age of 21-25 weeks, pullets will lay their very first eggs. Pullets are the young hens. One characteristic of a pullet’s egg is that its shell is weak and small. As they lay frequently, their eggs become harder and larger.
The fun part of pecking one another is then established by six months. Their wattles and combs will be completely formed by then. No sleeping on the job for these fine-feathered friends.
Although, after six months, their world will start to be put on a due, it will all slow down. Production of eggs will decline at a time but their eggs are definitely large. Molting will continue once a year and refuse to lay eggs at that period.
Aside from that, there are still several issues to be very assertive of like their physical attributes and behavioral patterns.
Molting is the process of shedding feather and then re-growing it. Like that of a snake’s skin shedding but totally on a different angle. Molting usually occurs during summertime. They will not lay eggs during this time and they may look “diseased”. But that shouldn’t worry you because it’s all-natural. You don’t have to drag all your chickens to an animal doctor for them to be checked. Wait till the feathers grow back because they will look better and healthier as compared before.
Be on the lookout though, because if it takes quite some time for the feathers to grow, there could be a problem. Illness or parasites could be the main cause for this feature. This is noticeable because they will behave in an awkward manner.
One very irritating behavior that poultry owners have to be on the lookout for is the hens going “broody”. Broodiness is a chicken’s attitude, most specifically the hens, to be stubborn and insist on sitting down on her eggs all the time. This is a good thing if you want those eggs to hatch fast. What you don’t know is that when a hen turns broody, she will sit on anything that’s similar with real eggs, like golf balls!
You wouldn’t want to experience being caught up with your desire to communicate with a hen’s broodiness because of three reasons:
a. They get grumpy and will, at any circumstance, try to peck you if you go nearer. It will be very difficult for you to get those eggs because of this kind of attitude.
b.Decomposing of the eggs will hasten because of the heat that regulates from the hen to the unfertilized egg.
c. When a hen gets broody, she doesn’t want to get out of her nest and forcing her to do so will get you into one peck fight with your hen. If this stubbornness happens, they therefore refuse to drink or eat thus depriving her of the needed nutrients.