5 Roads a Chicken will Cross to get to Adultville
We have all heard the old stand by, “How did the chicken cross the road?,” so we wanted to pave the path from infancy to geriatrics of your chicks. Ok, I’m wearing out the already exhausted reference, but here are the stages that your chickens will go through in their lifetime – with a few pointers thrown in for good measure.
How long does it take for a chicken to grow?: Life stages of a chicken.
Stage #1: Baby Bird Boulevard: Weeks 1-4
Aww! Aren’t they the cutest! Your fluffy little loves have arrived! Start your babies in a 95 degree enclosed area, a storage tote, our 12 1/2 foot cardboard brooder is all you need, or there are other versions for sale out there. Add our chick starter kit, a bail of pine shavings and some feed, and you will have everything that you will need to give them a solid start. Vigorous birds are the best at this age, so give them lots of fresh water, electrolytes, feed crumbles, and clean bedding. Keeping your chicks toasty is key to their health and happiness, so don’t try to skimp by. Get the good heat lamp made specifically for these little guys and gals. Hint: A good red bulb is the best to control the natural cannibalistic instincts of your litter.
Stage #2: Teenager Terrace: Weeks 5-15
These little guys will grow so fast. Much like your social-media-loving, pizza-eating teenagers your chicks will go from babies to adult look-alikes right before your very eyes. Watch closely, or you might miss it. Your fuzzy babies will turn into fully-feathered teenagers. In fact, in the same way that we refer to our juveniles as “teens,” a female juvenile chicken is referred to as a “pullet,” while a male is a “cockerel.” Feel free to introduce “treats” to your chickens at this stage, as they love the protein and treats make for easy training of your flock. Don’t forget to keep them toasty with the heat lamp until they are fully feathered between 6 and 8 weeks!
Stage #3: Young Adult Avenue: Weeks 16-24
College, buying a house, getting married… Your chicks are not chicks anymore. They are ready to slowly transition from crumble to layer crumbles and then to pellets. You might find a pullet egg toward the end of this stage, but the real laying is just getting underway. You can pass time in this stage by getting your egg supplies ready, you will definitely need them!
Stage #4: Grown Up Lane: 6 months- 5+ years
Adulthood is the long stage where your roosters are beautiful, and you are all stocked up with eggs. The hens and roos will go through a molting stage at about 18 months old and then annually after that, much the same as a dog shedding his coat for the summer. Your hens may hatch some of her own little chicks, and the entire life cycle will start again. Your birds will love you back during these years by supplying you with meat, feathers, entertainment, eggs, and pest control. Do not forget to stop by Purely Poultry during this stage for all of your supplies, including feed, health supplies, coop plans, and more!
Stage #5: Seniority Street
Depending on the breed, purpose, or even the temperament of your flock, your chicken may live to see his or her great-grandchildren. Your hen may not need layer feed anymore, and you’ve long since grown accustomed to your Rooster’s crow. Your elder-bird is still a beloved part of your flock, and they probably rule the roost in their retirement. We love these ole’ barnyard birds and hate to see them go. However, go they must. When your ladies slow their laying habits and your rooster has woken many a neighbor with his pre-dawn crows, it’s just as good of a time as any to come on back to Purely Poultry and get yourself some little, yellow, fuzzy chicks to fill that hole that is most certainly left in your heart. For your convenience, Purely Poultry ships chicks year-round and will be happy to help you pick just the right little ones to share your coop with.
So, here we are, on the other side! We’ve learned all about the journey a chicken takes from hatch to farewell. If you want to learn more, sign up for our Newsletter or check out our Resources Page for additional articles.