Got some burning questions about the differences between poultry, chickens, hen vs pullet? Don’t worry. We know that it can be a little bit complicated. Thankfully, you have stumbled across this page. We are going to answer what is hen, what is pullet chicken and what is poultry.
All of the questions you may have about the differences between these terms.
What is Hen?
The first thing we will need to clear up on this page is chicken vs hen. So, what is a hen? A hen is just a female chicken. The male chicken is called a rooster.
The term ‘chicken’ is the name of the animal. Basically, think of it as the difference between ‘male’ and ‘female’ when it comes to people.
Obviously, only hens are able to lay eggs. They will do this throughout the entirety of their life. Unless there is a rooster thrown into the mix, then all of the eggs that are laid by the hen will be infertile.
The only way in which to breed more chickens is to include a rooster. The rooster will then need to fertilize the egg before it has been laid.
What is Pullet Chicken?
A pullet is a hen under the age of 1-year-old. A pullet chicken will not have started laying eggs yet.
The hen will only stop becoming a pullet when it lays it’s first egg. This could happen within six to eight months of the chick hatching. Although, this is something that is going to be completely dependent on the breed of the chicken. For some, it may happen in as little as a few weeks.
Up until the chicken starts to lay eggs (i.e. when it is still a pullet), it is not known whether it is ever going to lay eggs. There could be something wrong with the system of the chicken. Although, to be honest, the chances of this are going to be incredibly rare.
If you are looking to purchase chickens, then do bear in mind that pullet chicken is going to be a lot cheaper.
However, you should also remember that it may still be a few months before the pullet chicken starts to lay eggs. This means that you are going to need to be giving them feed during that time, and this feed isn’t really going to be producing anything.
You also are not going to be sure whether the pullet is going to be producing eggs later on down the line. Although, at that point, most people are going to cull their chickens and use them as meat. This means that it is not going to be a completely lost cause.
When you are searching to buy chickens, you may find them referred to as ‘at point of lay’. This means that they are still pullet chicken, but they are at the point in their life where their breed will normally start to lay eggs.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that they are going to be laying eggs in the immediate future, but it is likely that they will start to lay their first eggs within a few weeks of getting them.
Although, do bear in mind that for at least the first year, the eggs laid by the hen will be rather small. The cycle will be a little bit off too. This means that you may not be able to get one egg a day to every day and a half like you would be able to do so with a fully mature chicken. Although, this is something that is probably not going to matter to the vast majority of people.
What is Poultry?
Many people think that poultry is a synonym for chickens. So, what is poultry? There is a major difference between them. While all chickens are poultry, not all poultry will be chickens.
The term ‘poultry’ applies to any bird that is raised for food purposes. This could be for their meat or their eggs. This means that while chickens are classed as poultry, the same will go for geese, ducks, and turkeys (among many others).
In some stores, you may see meat referred to as ‘poultry’. This is normally going to be chicken meat, but the term is there to cover the manufacturer if they are unable to source chicken meat for whatever reason (or if the other type of meat is cheaper).
See also: How to raise backyard chickens.