Topic Options
#99298 - 09/29/11 04:43 AM Combs & Wattles
1950 Offline
New Egg

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 2
Loc: Nebraska
I am starting a very small flock of laying hens that will be kept as pets. I just purchased a Buff Orpington and a Barred Plymouth Rock, both of whom are supposed to be 8 months old. However, neither hen has anything other than a very small (1/16 of an inch at its highest) comb and no wattles to speak of. They appear to be otherwise very healthy and normal. Is something wrong? Could these birds be much younger (or, gulp, older) than I was told? Neither are laying eggs but they are new to the coop and the days are growing shorter. Thanks!

Mike

Top
#99303 - 09/29/11 07:05 PM Re: Combs & Wattles [Re: 1950]
Maria Ricardo Offline
Past Moderator
Coop Keeper

Registered: 03/26/05
Posts: 434
Loc: Hawaii
Do you have a picture of them?

Some of my Orpingtons are crossed with shorter combed breeds. They develop much smaller combs but still look like pure Orpingtons otherwise. Maybe your birds aren't purebreds?

Top
#99304 - 09/29/11 07:42 PM Re: Combs & Wattles [Re: Maria Ricardo]
Marina Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/11/11
Posts: 91
Loc: New Zealand
Hi Mike,

if your pullets really are 8 months old already they would have hatched last January/early February which is VERY unlikely unless the person who bred your pullets uses artificial lighting.

I have bred Orpingtons for some 15 years now and there is very low fertility before the spring equinox at our latitude. Small wattles are an indicator for your birds to be younger than stated - not older. My spring hatched Orpingtons take up to 9 months before they start to lay.

Top
#99308 - 09/30/11 04:32 AM Re: Combs & Wattles [Re: Marina]
1950 Offline
New Egg

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 2
Loc: Nebraska
Thanks for your help! I really think both my Buff Orpington and Barred Plymouth Rock are younger than what I was told by the "broker" I got them from who was essentially guessing their age (even though the Orpington has established herself as the Alpha hen in my small "flock" of three).

Top


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Foehn