When a Pullet Becomes a Hen ...

in #homesteading3 years ago (edited)

We have been keeping laying hens ever since we first came to this little farm back in January of 2003. What a joy it is to have fresh eggs nearly year round. I'm sure you have all heard this before, but there is no comparison between farm fresh and store bought eggs.

Certainly there have been times when we were down to just two or three old hens. Old hens who rarely if ever layed eggs, but because they live on this farm they will die on this farm of natural causes as payment for their service. Besides any one who has kept a layer until she is an old bird knows that there really isn't anything to throw into the pot.

This past winter was one of those times where we were down to just a couple of old geriatric hens. It was time to bring in a fresh workforce. As I was planning on what birds I wanted to order, scouring the catalogues, hemming and hawing over what breeds to get, etc., I received a phone call from my niece. She is a real go getter, a brilliant Phd., and a foodie with a penchant for super healthy foods. She was placing an order for some laying hens and wanted to know if I would like to jump on the bandwagon to help with minimum orders and shipping costs....or something along this lines. I agreed and asked her to order 10 or so Buff Orpington hens for me. She ordered a mix of Buffs, Barred Rocks, White Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds for herself. I think the order came to around 15 birds in all.

Well, shortly before the order was to arrive....I received a second call from niece. This call had a somewhat frantic tone to it , though. In her zeal to raise home grown eggs for the health of her family, she came to the realization that D.C. suburb she lived in frowns on back yard chickens. Ordinances and town laws kinda got in the way. So she asked if I would be able to take all of the girls....to which I said sure.

2 Buff Orpingtons and a Barred Rock ...


A couple of weeks later while walking with my family through TSC, my son saw a brooder box with Black Australorp peeps and he just had to have some..... add 10 more chicks.

Some of my son's Black Australorps...


The flock is growing... The chickens my niece ordered are just over 5 months old and have started laying what we call "pullet eggs", little eggs about half the size of a large chicken egg and mostly all yolk. Notice the large egg in the center and the two pullet eggs on either side in the photo below.


Just a few weeks after getting my niece's chicks, I was with my wife on a trip to TSC and noticed that they had Indian Runner ducks for sale.....had to have them ....add six ducks to the flock....they haven't started laying yet but should within the next few weeks I believe. Below are some of our Indian Runner ducks....


So when does a pullet become a hen ??? well.... depends on who you ask. Some folks say a pullet becomes a hen when she reaches one year in age. Others would say a pullet becomes a hen when she lays her first egg, I kinda land in this camp. What do you think? Bonus question when does a cockerel become a rooster ???
Let me know in the comments below!!

Bonus pics of a double yolker I had for breakfast yesterday morning.....



As always, thanks for stopping by and do come back again !!!



Nice post @beyondmountains! Are the chickens and ducks segregated or do they play nice?

I guess there are also duck egg omelets in the near future! Up-voted and re-steemed.

Thanks @cognoscere... at the present time, the chickens and the ducks are together. But this week I am building a duck house and a separate fenced in area for the ducks. Duck eggs make awesome omelettes, and are even better than chicken eggs for baking. Well guys it up coffee for about a year or any bud for the com duck eggs make awesome omelettes, and are even better than chicken eggs for baking.

Love this post and your growing flock!! Way to go and keep it growing!! Seems like your birds have a happy home at beyond mountains :) Resteemed!

Thanks for the re-steem and for stopping by @jaymorebeet

Congratulations on the newcomers - you will be getting quite a few eggs soon.

We've so far relied on getting hens from commercial egg producers. They sell their hens off here after 72 weeks very cheaply (c $1) as they are past "commercial viability".

They usually keep laying well for at least another 3 years when they go free range.

The eggs are starting to come now, if I can only keep the ducks out of the henhouse... whenever a chicken goes into the henhouse to lay one of the ducks will follow and in their excitement stomp all over the eggs. This is why they're being separated this week. Thanks so much for stopping by

I have never ate a duck egg. I am debating on getting some and trying them. Any help with this would help.

If you have chickens I think it is better to keep them separate from the ducks. Ducks are really fun to keep ..... The eggs are a third bigger or more than chicken eggs and are very tasty.

I never knew what a pullet was until now. When we were kids my great uncle Charlie used to point to your forehead and say "a rooster lives here" then he'd point to your nose and say "a pullet lives here" and point to your chin and say "a hen lives here". Then he'd go back to your nose and say "What'd I say lived here?" of course on the small children would say pull it, but he always did it to us. lol

That's awesome 🤣 I am definitely going to try that on my kids.

Haha, a little bit of history revived. He passed in 1979 so it is a very old joke/prank

It'll still work on my kids ....thanks for sharing !!!

I love having my own chickens and collecting my own eggs every day. Unfortunately we are at a place right now with several recent losses to racoons that we only have 1 old hen left, but like you she will live out her remaining days here. We are saddened but we shall overcome. Upvote and resteemed by your fellow #thl member!

Thank you very much @hewetthomestead !!! It's a privilege and an honor to be part of the #thl community👨🏻‍🌾👍🏻