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  Aging a bird
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  Post new topic   Reply to topic The United Peafowl Association - www.peafowl.org Forum Index » Breeding and Genetics     
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featherhead
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 869
Location: Louisville KY
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:20 am Reply with quote

Is there any way to examine a bird and tell about how old it is? I know that peafowl often live into their twenties. How long will a hen lay eggs? Maybe this last question belongs under the health topic, but are there any specific illnesses to watch for once a bird reaches its teens and beyond?

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mspeacockman
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Joined: 31 Jan 2008
Posts: 24
Location: Northeast Mississippi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:58 pm Reply with quote

I had a cameo hen that was 13 years old and if I hadn't known her age I would have been unable to tell her from my three year old hens. The only difference in her breeding was that she would only lay 2-3 eggs and become broody. She was also impossible to break from being broody. I would move her to another pen and she would find an egg and set on it! She was never sick. I retired her to a friend who just wanted some peafowl in a large aviary in her backyard this last fall after I let her hatch some spalding babies. (my last eggs of the season) I know this doesn't really answer your question but just thought I would share what little knowledge I had gained from my experience.

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Kevin
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Joined: 01 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, CA
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:11 pm Reply with quote

I observed the same- a bird in teens looks the same as a 4 year old bird. I have several hens in 8-10 year age range, they still look "young" and lay well.

My oldest bird is a Blue, he was fully mature in 1989 making him at least 22. Health wise he has always been great, no illnesses. However last few years, his tail started to get thick and wide.. his feathers seem to have gotten "softer"- he doesn't have exactly a sleek outline anymore. Two or three years ago his tail started to drag on the ground when it was fully grown, which became a serious problem when it rained as it would get completely soaked and formed dirt and mud balls on it. So I had to put him in a pen with a solid top so his tail is no longer exposed to wet soil.

As of last few months he has started to look "old".. he is also a gentleman with the hens, often bows his head to court the hens. This caused a problem recently as the hens started to pick off the feathers from top of his head, including his crest and from back of his neck so I had to separate the hens from him. He was fertile last year and will let the hens back in with him once they are laying.
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SueNH



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:21 am Reply with quote

With chickens the scales on the legs and claws get more lizardy as they age. No sure fire aging there just that one is older than that one and so on. Same with the turkeys and guineas. I can't imagine peas would be all that much different.
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