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20 wks old- which are hens, which are roos?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

These are all barnyard mutts- they're mixed between RiR, barred rocks, new hamphire reds, and easter eggers.  Many of them have the puffy cheeks of easter eggers.


They were hatched the 1st and 2nd of October, so they're about 5 months old or 20 weeks.  I know the big black barred rock rooster is a roo, he crows (and has since he was teeny tiny).  He is about a week older than the others.


We are in KS, it has been warm, and we almost get 12 hours of sun I think.  They aren't laying, and many of their combs (the ones I am mostly sure are hens) are not red and filled out.


2 questions:

1) in the pics, which ones are def roos, if you are able to tell?  


2) I had RiR girls before in AR, from a May hatching and they were laying at the end of August/1st of Sept that year.  So I am anxious if these girls will start laying soon?


Thank you!



post #2 of 13

The big one in the first pic with the pointy feathers is a roo, nice big pea comb too, in one in the foreground in front of him is a hen, 2nd pic the white spotted one is a roo, the one with the really white glaring beak is also a male I think it is just a bit of sun on his beak making it look really bright, the rest in that pic are hens the 3rd pic, it the same, i can't tell about the one by the tire but my guess is girl, all girls should be laying within the next month.

post #3 of 13

The boys all have long, thin, pointed back feathers at that age. Plus, red/base color males get a darker shade of red on their shoulder/wing area. Just look at their feathering, you'll see the difference. 

Originally Posted by Megs501 View Post


 The barred one is a boy. The two red ones with faces showing are boys, and the black and white to the right is a boy.


 The red on the right is a pullet, the light one up front looks like a pullet.


 I see 2, maybe 3 pullets in this picture. The rest are male.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you!  Y'all have confirmed my suspicions!  =)  I was planning to keep 2 roosters, and probably turn the rest into meat chickens when we butcher our pastured meat birds.


However, I just ordered 15 more :yesss: girls from McMurray- RiRs and barred rocks, so i am wondering fi I should keep the roosters or go ahead and eat them?  We've never had roosters before and I have read different things on how many to keep?

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Oops- I should say, that with 4-5 of these being roosters, that leaves me with about 8-9 hens.  Plus the 15 (let's just say 13 in case we lose a few) more on the way ... for a total of 24ish hens.  how many roos do you think I should have?

post #6 of 13

One or two, if you choose to keep any. I'd keep at least one of the red boys. When bred to the Barred Rock girls, you will get black sexlinks. Keep the boy that is the most respectful of you and the girls.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

aaah, good advice.  I was thinking of the barred rock, because he has been crowing so long, and is kinda pretty, and then one of the dark red ones (probably the one standing there with the pointy feathers)- going by looks.


And this may be a dumb question ... but what makes them respectful?  =/  The barred rock roo is TERRIFIED of everything, it seems.  Crows like crazy, but acts like a big ole scaredy cat.  One of the ugly boys (you can't see him here) is REALLY rooster-y.  Very bossy and rude to everyone.  Steals treats, etc.

post #8 of 13

Our first flock we started with 16 chickens, two of which ended being roosters (an easter egger & a lavender orpington). As they were raised together, they got along just fine - we literally never had a problem with them. We then took in 2 rescue roosters, an ameraucana & an olive egger, & while they were never violent to them, our easter egger male, Chickadee (he was our dom.) definitely bullied the two new guys. They were all the same age though. So in my experience, as long as they're raised together, they'll probably get along just fine, should you decide to keep more than one. With that many females, you may want to keep two roos, for good measure. Good luck!

post #9 of 13

For that many hens you will need 3 or less roos.

post #10 of 13

A respectful rooster is one that moves out of your way. You don't want to keep one that is so insecure that he is always trying to 'prove' his manliness. And you don't want one that runs and cowers at every shadow. A good rooster is somewhere in between, watchful and vigilant of the flock, but gives humans a wide berth. 

Don't cull them all at once. Start with the most obnoxious boys first. As you remove the bossy or aggressive ones, the ones that seemed pretty mellow may have a bit of a personality change. It's possible that none of them are 'keeper' material.

Early signs that a cockerel may turn aggressive are wing flapping, tail swishing, or if he dips a shoulder or wing at you. Those behaviors mean he has decided that you are a threat to his position in the flock and is sizing you up. The next step of escalating behavior would be if he starts stalking you, following your every movement and keeping himself between you and the hens. Roosters rarely just attack a flock keeper out of nowhere. 

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