What is a Pullet Chicken? (Pullet vs. Hen, Choosing Guide)

Do you know what is pullet chicken? Is it different from a hen? If so, how? In this definitive guide, you will know all about pullets.

This includes the meaning of a pullet chicken, tips for choosing a good one, egg laying, characteristics and appearance, and the common differences between pullets and hens.

What is a Pullet Chicken?

A Grey Pullet Chicken
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A young hen, usually less than a year old, is called a pullet. In the beginning, pullets have fewer and less shiny feathers. Male chicks under the age of one year are called cockerel.

Pullets are young female chickens which start laying eggs after 8 to 12 weeks. Some people also sell them for meat when they reach 1-1.5 lbs.

When baby chickens start foraging on their own and their mother has left them, then you can consider them as pullets.

The best time to call chickens pullet is when they start laying eggs. When pullet chickens turn one year old, they are called mature hens.

Pullet vs. Hen Chart

PulletMature Hen
Pullet is a female chicken that is less than a year old.A matured hen is a female chicken that is more than a year old.
Pullet chickens have a bright red comb.Mature hens have a dull, pink to red color comb.
In pullets the feathers have a clean non-shiny look, with bald patches.Mature hens have fully covered feathers, shiny and beautiful plumage.
The beak and nostrils in pullets are well aligned and single color.The beak and nostril in hens are bent and discoloration.
The pullet crop is easily visible with bald patched of feathers. Crop Size differs from breed to breed.The mature hen’s crop is inside fluffy feathers and large in size.
The legs of the pullet are clean and smooth. They have no injuries and scales.The mature hen legs look smaller than compared to their body. Swollen and leg color is not uniform.
The pullet vent is wet, clean and bright in appearance.The vent of a mature hen is mostly dry having light pink, white, and gray color.
Pullet eggs are very small in size.Mature hen’s eggs are jumbo to large in size. Egg size depends on un breed of the chicken.
Pullets are very active, but they’re not too savvy with how to stay away from predators.The mature hens are well-trained, and they mostly know all the signs of predators.
On average a pullet cost around $8-10.A matured hen cost around $5-7.

How to Choose A Best Pullet For Your Backyard Coop?

Poultry raisers who don’t want to go through the brooding and breeding process buying a good quality of pullet is the best idea.

You can get your favorite chicken breed in pullet stage from your nearest breeders. Buying a good quality pullet from a breeder will save your initial investment in raising chicks.

It is necessary to buy the right type of chick when starting or maintaining a chicken coop. If you want to collect lots of eggs, select the best industrial chickens like White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, Sussex chicken.

Several more commercial brown egg-laying breeds are accessible, which lay approximately along with White Leghorns and therefore are adequate for the hatcheries of specific-flock.

Try raising a few other healthy pullets of dual-purpose breed so that you will get profit in all the way.

You can also buy 17-week-old fully prepared-to-lay pullets. They may start developing eggs a few weeks after you purchase them.

Since pullets chicken can get various viral diseases, you need to make sure they are vaccinated as well as screened.

You will have to separate the new pullet chickens from the old flock until you vaccinate them, and they build up an immunity.

Started Pullets, Egg Laying Age, and Pullet Chickens

A few different terminologies of stages in female chickens before we get to begin:

  • Started pullets – a 15-to 22 weeks old female chicken.
  • Lay chicken stage – a 22 weeks old female chicken.
  • Pullets – A pullet is a hen who is younger than a year.
A broody pullet chicken
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The lay point has been the average time when you expect eggs to begin to be produced by your hens. But hens aren’t robots, so the lay point is only an estimate!

Rhode Island Reds start laying about 18-20 weeks, Orpingtons can stay up to 28 weeks to start laying. Some other varieties lay eggs faster than the others. You may have a sense of how advanced your bird may be.

Rhode Island Red like chickens gives your flocks a strong, durable siblings. There are many factors that affect the growth of pullets, including feed, living environment, stress, and the number of roosters you have.

For several weeks, the hen won’t give you an egg. The pressure of adjusting to a new coop and flock may slow things down a little, so don’t worry.

Also remember that pullets are still new to foraging, so there is a risk of predator attack to them. When most of the flocks are under one year of age, it is recommended to use a good quality chicken wire.

The juvenile period, especially when they are under a year old, is the most profitable and good egg laying period for pullets. Young chickens of different breeds have different types of characteristics, depending on their age.

About Pullets Eggs

A buff pullet
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  • Your pullets eggs would be smaller than those of a mature hen.
  • Small eggs of pullets are often used for different purposes in industrial processing (such as for powdered eggs).
  • Because the market prefers relatively large eggs, you will need to wait until your pullets mature and start laying jumbo to large eggs.
  • You can eat pullet eggs at home.
  • Several chefs prefer pullet eggs because they have a further yolk and are richer in taste.
  • When you fry them, be careful because they cook faster than regular eggs.

Conclusion

Before purchasing pullets, it really helps if you do your research. Study about pullets as well as their treatment criteria as much as you can.

It’s going to help if you were confident about what you want in a breed and then search around for respectable breeders.

If you’re not sure of buying pullet, ask your friends who are already in that business. They will provide you with information about which chicken breed is best for you and your area.

You can start farming with a few healthy pullets and cockerel. I hope this guide helped you to understand all about pullet chicken.

How many pullets do you have? Share your experience below.

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I am Bijaya Kumar and I have been raising chickens for the last 10 years. Backyard poultry farming has been our family business for the last 30 years. We raise multiple chicken breeds in their backyard.

2 thoughts on “What is a Pullet Chicken? (Pullet vs. Hen, Choosing Guide)”

  1. i have aprox 40 chickens hens are about to start laying soon , i got my chicks june the 3rd and they weigh close to 10 lbs dressed very nice birds , i need imfo , how to tell a laying hen from a meat bird

    Reply
    • Thanks for writing here charles. Are you asking how to recognize the male female or the laying age of the breed? Can you please tell me the chicken breed name?

      Reply

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