Didn't Get My Roos?? What should I do?

rfreedlund

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 7, 2014
173
16
81
Byron, Illinois
My chickens are now 23 weeks old and I got 24 eggs today with a grand total of 257 eggs since they started laying a little over a month ago. I am pretty pleased with my flock so far.

This is my first time raising chickens myself (I had helped my parents in the past) and I wanted to go with a bigger flock than they ever had, more than one breed for variety in chickens and eggs, and most importantly procreation capability so that I could attempt to hatch some of my own next spring.

So through the local Farm & Fleet I bought 50 chicks. I only lost two and the remaining 48 are currently thriving. However, of the 50, I specifically ordered 5 Black Australorp cockerel chicks to grow along side all of the girls and to take care of the mating duties for possible hatches in the spring. However...

I THINK I GOT ALL GIRLS!!!!???

It's 23 weeks now and none of them look like a rooster and none are displaying rooster behavior. Everything I have read says I should have been able to tell by now. There have been no attempts at crowing. I have seen no attempts at mating. I have seen no out of the ordinary aggression between birds and all of my Australorps look pretty close to the same in comb and wattle. It doesn't appear that they messed up on any of my non-Australorps to get the "accidental rooster" there either.

I read so many posts from members worrying that their precious pullet might actually be a boy and I honestly feel for them under their circumstances, but I purposely order 5 boys and it appears I got none!

Has anyone else experienced this? It is still possible the roos haven't matured enough yet? Maybe one or two, but all five are still hiding their masculinity? I doubt that.

I suppose if that is the case and I did get pullets in place of cockerels I should consider myself somewhat fortunate and enjoy the extra egg production over winter rather than feeding the boys with no return. I suppose I can try to get some roosters in the spring, but I really wanted them to all grow up together so I wouldn't have to worry about integration issues later. If this is truly the case and I actually got pullets in place of roos, I am unsure what I will do come spring time to expand the flock more.
 
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Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,684
4,926
586
Ohio
It would be odd if you didn't get the boys you ordered, (or even didn't get one accidentally) can you post pictures of your birds? Some breeds can be slow to mature, and solid black birds are sometimes hard to tell. Also, do you know what was written down for your order? "5 Black Australorp cockerel pullets" could have been interpreted several different ways if they wrote that instead of just cockerel or cockerel chicks.
 

appps

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 29, 2012
4,784
647
321
Australia
However, of the 50, I specifically ordered 5 Black Australorp cockerel pullets


Is that a typo or actually what you ordered? That's like saying I want 5 boy girls so maybe they misunderstood.

I think you shouldn't have too much trouble getting a nice rooster to go with them most people can't give them away and to be honest it's probably better to find one to two you know have good temperaments when you buy than rolling the dice with chicks anyway.
 

rfreedlund

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 7, 2014
173
16
81
Byron, Illinois
Farm and Fleet orders through Cackle Hatchery and the wording and pricing on my order was quite clear, so I don't think it was that.

I will try to post some good pictures of just some of my Australorps to give an idea what I have. But even the ones that I thought might be the likely roosters because of their "slightly" longer tail feathers and "slightly" longer necks also squat for me when I get close by. I have so many squatting for me waiting to be "serviced" that I have to be careful not to step on any of them when they abruptly stop in front of me!!

Squatting isn't a typical rooster behavior is it??

I will try to get pictures soon and not give up hope. I don't lose anything being patient right now. If there really are boys, they will have to show themselves eventually, right? I don't need them to be boys until spring anyway.
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,564
2,959
371
Hudson, Colorado
Roosters are a dime a dozen. That's hardly a problem. Next spring look for free roosters on CL, nearby bird swaps, from people who live in town, from people who like to sleep in, breeders who need to add new genes to their flock... Roosters are free loaders so you've saved yourself feeding 5 non productive chickens for 10 months until you need them. Young roosters can also be problematic and if you are looking for specific characteristics that you want in your successive generations of birds, go with a proven older rooster.

Post pictures and we might spot one you've missed.

ordering cockerel pullets is like saying boy girl. Do you want a cockerel or do you want a pullet? I think most feed stores will think you meant to order just pullets. The odds of actually only getting pullets is astronomical. The best at sexing chicks still mess up at least 5-10% of the time. Go buy a lottery ticket.
 

rfreedlund

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 7, 2014
173
16
81
Byron, Illinois
Is that a typo or actually what you ordered? That's like saying I want 5 boy girls so maybe they misunderstood.

I ordered 45 pullets and 5 cockerels.


I think you shouldn't have too much trouble getting a nice rooster to go with them most people can't give them away and to be honest it's probably better to find one to two you know have good temperaments when you buy than rolling the dice with chicks anyway.

Perhaps that is what I will have to do, though I wanted to use the Australorps for roosters to attempt to maximize my probability of getting some more Australorps from the girls I have, knowing there will still be some crossbreeds in the mix, which is acceptable.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,991
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
I agree with previous comments about roosters being a dime a dozen. The only down side I can see to adding a rooster in the spring is the concern about bringing in disease or parasites. But, you should be able to find a good Black Australorp rooster. If you're overly concerned, try to locate one this fall, as folks will be more likely to want to get rid of their roos in the fall, instead of in the spring. Any roos in your flock should have declared themselves by now. It's rare that you don't get accidental roosters. Hatcheries most often err on this side!
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,046
581
Southern Oregon
I'd be looking for one now. I don't know your state's geography, but I did a search for "bryon ill craigslist" and got directed to Rockford? If that's you, there are some Australorp roosters advertised there now.
 

barbiegirl

Songster
7 Years
Feb 23, 2012
1,724
91
191
The Poconos Pa

This is my black Austrolorp roo at 6 months old. The hen the same age is behind him. I have a few extras, too bad you are not closer. It's hard to see the long pointed saddle and hackle feathers. You can see the sickle tail feathers easy.
 

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