Where to get your chicken from
Chickens can be bought from a variety of places such as, specialist suppliers, agricultural shows and rescue centres. It is perhaps best that auctions and markets are avoided as it is not always possible to determine the chicken’s health and history.
From hatching until they are 8 weeks old, they are known as chicks. From 8 - 18 weeks females are known as ‘growers’ or ‘pullets’ until they start to lay eggs. POL means ‘point of lay’ which happens at around 18 weeks old when a chicken lays its first egg. Chickens at this age will produce the most eggs. There are benefits and downsides for having birds at these ages but it is also very rewarding to have mature chickens, 12 months old or more as they make ideal pets after their egg production falls.
Rearing chicks can be very rewarding, although they need to be housed indoors. Determining the sex of chicks can be difficult, and can sometimes result in unwanted cockerels.
Ex-battery hens also make great pets when they are no longer wanted by commercial farms. If you would like to find out more about re-homing ex-battery hens, The Battery Hen Welfare Trust's website contains lots of useful information. Visit www.bhwt.org.uk.