My six “teenage” chickens are just over 3 months old now. I’m still working on figuring out the sex of each of them. I read that at 3 months you can start to tell by the saddle feathers whether they are male or female – males should have pointed / longer saddle feathers, and hens should have rounded ones. (Saddle feathers come down the sides in front of their tail feathers). It would probably be easier to tell if my chickens were all the same breed, but they are not. That complicates things quite a bit. For awhile I thought I had 5 roosters and a hen. But there are two that seem to have rounded saddle feathers, and they aren’t that long. But one of those crowed at me awhile back (which I’ve heard is actually not a very reliable indicator – hens can crow too). And like I said, they are all different kinds of chickens. Here are some updated pictures of my teenagers. (Sorry for the quality of some of these).
On another note, we haven’t been getting that many eggs lately – we went from about 6-8 a day to 3-4 a day on most days. I figured it’s been stress from the combining of chicken groups. Last week I found one of my white adult hens was getting broody – every time we go in the coop, she’s laying in the same nest box. At first I thought “oh, cool!” and figured she could raise some chicks if she gets them to hatch. Then I realized that we haven’t had an adult rooster in a few weeks, so those eggs are not fertile. A day or two after I realized that, she got up and I found a few eggs under her, so I took them out, and tossed them since they may have not been very fresh. (When in doubt I toss them rather than risk it).
I hadn’t looked under her all this week, since each time I go to try to move her she pecks at me. I keep forgetting to bring gloves into the coop. I figured she probably had a couple eggs under there, so I would just wait for her to get up and toss them – well, today, I was in there taking pictures for this post and saw that she had gotten up. I went to check the nest box and she had TWELVE eggs under her! That is at least part of the reason we have not been getting so many eggs. She’s been in one of the ladies’ favorite nest boxes, so I bet that when she gets up to eat, they go in and lay an egg, and then she sits on them. I’m going to toss a pair of gloves into the coop, in my supply bin that the chickens can’t get into, and then I can check daily for eggs if she stays broody.