Crowing as gender ID, and danger of size difference

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TimM, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    Please excuse an ignorant question. I've kept three hens in a tiny backyard coop for many years, but I'm still a newbie in many ways.

    Last fall I bought two dozen pullet chicks of assorted breeds. They are now of an age that a few are starting to lay thinly. But this morning, when I went out to the coop, the largest bird, a silver-laced Wyandott, threw back its head and let out a raucous cock-a-doodle-doo. Uh-oh.

    Is that a definitive gender identifier? And if it is a roo, are my small pullets, some barely half its size, in danger of, um, damage?

    Thanks!

    Tim
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    That is an identifier, as well as feather type. Roosters will have more pointed wing and hackle feathers rather than the hen's rounded ones. The rooster's tail will be arched as well. His comb and wattles will be bigger. He will also be a bigger bird by a lot sometimes.
    Not to worry about injury unless you don't have enough hens. All they do is sit on top and put vents together.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    There is no... um... 'penetration' but.....young hens and rooster might take awhile for them to figure it out, it can look violent, depending on roosters technique and hens submission. Hen should squat on the ground when mounted to help take the weight of rooster climbing onto her back. His claws and spurs can cause damage to back and wing feathers....and sometime rooster will grab feathers on back of hens neck in his beak, this too can cause damage. With your hen to rooster ratio, hopefully you won't get any overbreeding unless he picks a favorite hen and overbreeds her. It's a learning curve, don't be too alarmed, they'll figure it out.
    He may already have been mounting them, if hens are already laying and you just haven't seen it happen, just takes 10 seconds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  4. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! You folks are wonderful. And I had no idea chicken sex was like that. Sheesh, I'm sixty years old and still learning about the birds and bees.

    Tim
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I too, at age 55, just learned that roosters don't have penises.
    But I've never had chickens before 4 months ago, so didn't need to know...lol.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I guess everything is on a 'need to know' basis.
     
  7. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you go on feathersite.com, you can look up the breed of chickens you have and see if there are any more roosters in the mix. Good luck!
     
  8. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the site name! Never heard of it, but I'll check it out.

    Tim
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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  10. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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