Growing chicks into chickens is hard work but can be quite fulfilling – especially when you’re about to benefit from it. Chickens do change quickly; within just a month, you could notice development. Sooner or later, your chicken will grow up and start a coop that is self-sufficient and independent.
The Beginning Stages
From three to six weeks old, a chicken sheds 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, or what you would call a young rooster, they will attempt to crow. At the age of 21-25 weeks, pullets (the young hens) will lay their very first eggs. 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. Although, after six months, things will start to slow down. Production of eggs will decline, but their eggs are still large. Molting will continue once a year and a refusal to lay eggs at that period.
Physical Attributes and Behavioural Patterns
Aside from that, there are still several issues to be aware of like their physical attributes and behavioural patterns. Molting is the process of shedding feather and then re-growing it. Similar to that of a snake’s skin shedding but from a different angle. Molting usually occurs during summer time – they will not lay eggs during this time and the eggs may look diseased. However, don’t fret – all of this is natural. You donít have to drag all your chickens to a vet to get checked out. Wait until the feathers grow back because they will look better and healthier as compared to 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 behaviour that poultry owners have to be on the lookout for is the hen’s broody behaviour. 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:
- They get grumpy and will, at any circumstance, try to peck you if you get near them. It will be very difficult for you to get those eggs because of this kind of attitude.
- Decomposing of the eggs will hasten because of the heat that regulates from the hen to the unfertilized egg.
- 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.