When Chickens Can Lay Eggs

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Watch a naturalist from the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Drumlin Farm explain how to tell if a chicken is mature enough to lay eggs in this free online video.

Part of the Video Series: Understanding Chickens & Eggs
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Video Transcript

Chickens mature at a relatively slow rate in terms of egg laying. They need to be anywhere between 5 and 6 months old usually before they are ready to lay eggs. It is not always possible to tell by age however, but it is able to tell by the development of their features. If you look at the bird in my right hand, she is an active egg laying bird. She has a very bright red waddle and comb and is very distinctive. You can actually see it. If you look at the bird in my left hand, her comb is almost non-existent, she has no waddle yet and her face and features are very pale pink. As she matures and gets ready to lay eggs, those features will become more extinct, the waddle and the comb and they will darken and get redder and redder until she is actually ready to lay eggs. The other features is harder to show but the distance between the points of their pelvic bones is another characteristic. If you can get three fingers in between the points of their pelvic bones, then you know they are actively laying eggs.


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