- Aug 31, 2011
Hey all, I am new to this forum and I've looked through a lot of posts and haven't found a situation quite like mine. Short version: we took in 3 chicks back in March (after their 'cuteness' was wearing off) and I quickly rediscovered my love of these fabulous fowl! Our starter 3 were an ameraucana, a RIR and a Leghorn (all female), so my grown daughter and I then went and few more: 2 Buff Orpingtons, a Cuckoo Maran and a Cochin. That was back in early Spring, and we were assured they were all female. One of the Buffs grew much more rapidly than the others, with a far more pronounced set of wattles and comb, as well as much longer feathering. We took bets that it was a rooster, but as her tail feathers grew out, they remained short and rounded, with no sign of spur buds. The Leghorn was leader of the flock and when egg laying started, the Cochin went first, then we'd find the occasional ameraucana egg, the once in a while, a Buff egg. No white eggs, ever, which is NOT where I'm going (I Figure Bernice is just a late bloomer ). Lately, we've been seeing rooster-like behavior from the large Buff, and today she attempted to mount the Cochin (to which Lil Bit stenuously objected!). I am 100% positive Angel (the large, rooster-acting Buff) is a HEN, plus she's never crowed and is 6 months old. We did some reading and found out this isn't all that odd, (stay with me, I'm getting to my point and questions!) and the camp is divided on what causes the behavior. One camp says it's because we have all girls and the other says it can happen where there are males and that it is actually a hormonal imbalance. Anyway, we got some more chickens today and brought in a gorgeous 16 week ameraucana rooster. Of course, there was the hen fights for domain and Angel would break them up. We had put the rooster in the coop while the 'girls' met in the yard. After things calmed down and the ladies were all agreeably pecking about, we let the rooster out. The Buff and he were fine for a while, then NOT SO MUCH! As Angel is a BIG girl and the new guy is, well, a rooster, it did not go well for my big old confuzzled he/she Buff. I finally broke it up, realized the Buff had facial bleeding so I removed her to the 'wellness' pen, and put her bff in there with her. NOW, my question is (whew! finally!) will I ever be able to flock these 2 together or will this be a constant problem? If hormonal, will it rebalance and if so, any guesses on how long it might take? I'd appreciate any input on this, as I only have the one yard and coop, although they free-range when one of us has the night off (we're all night-workers, so someone has to be here to tuck them in). I would like to keep them both and I can come up with alternatives if the prognosis for them pecking happily ever after together is not good.