First ever chickens, I think I got a rooster.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AlexL, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. AlexL

    AlexL New Egg

    Dec 2, 2014
    Hello, my name is Alex and i'm from Victoria, Australia.

    I live in the city/suburbs and got two chicks that are almost four weeks now, they are "araucanas" (easter eggers?) and the lady i got them from told me it was impossible to sex them for many more weeks, even though I've never kept chickens before it's looking pretty clear the lavenders a rooster and the black is not. Aphrodite stands different, has pin feathers coming through on his head and bumps on the comb.


    Cleopatra (black) and Aphrodite (lavender - no I am not changing his name)

    They are both darling and very tame, I've spent a lot of time with them and like them very much.

    I have a few questions,

    Is there any possible way I could keep him at all? We have neighbours close on every side. Excuse my rooster ignorance but I don't actually know how loud it is, would the crowing from inside the house still be neighbor complain worthy?

    Is it cruel to separate them? It's just been the two of them since day 6. What would introducing a new girl be like?

    Sorry for my "chicknorance"
  2. collingwood

    collingwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC! Roosters are usually really loud! What I do to keep them quiet is I put a box over him at night time but it is a lot of trouble! And even if your neighbours don't complain roosters will usually crow from 4:00 in the morning and will wake you up if you don't get up very early! And be careful because even if you get up early you might want to sleep in once and it wakes you up!
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Roosters can be loud for sure....and can be very annoying depending on how loud for how long and when.

    But hens can also be loud, sometimes just as loud for longer...but usually only during daylight hours.

    One rooster with only one hen can also be a problem for the hen being over mated...not a good idea usually.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You're probably right that he's a roo. They give off certain vibes. Look at his legs. Are they longer and thicker than Cleo's? Is his comb coming in slightly redder? You have a roo.

    The noise is only a small part of keeping a rooster. All of mine, by the way, have been accidental like yours, and I learned to love them all. They all had girly names I altered to make them sound more manly. (Penny became Penrod. Dagney became Darrell. Elizabeth became Izzy.) They are extremely entertaining. But he will be a problem when he gets his hormones starting around five or six months.

    He will be a mating maniac, and Cleo's saddle feathers will take a beating. What I always did was to separate the rooster from the girls for the first year or two, letting him mingle only once in a while to spare them. You could also get several more chicks next year so he'll eventually have more hens. And that, my dear, is called chicken math.[​IMG]

    To address the noise, you will need to get creative, maybe work the problem from all angles. Get the neighbors on your side. Take Al around and introduce the cutey to the neighbors as I once did with a baby goat I had gotten that was threatening to cause a neighbor mutiny.

    You can keep him in a darkened place until a decent hour for him to sound his alarm. Because he will be loud. Roosters crows are amplified and carry for a long distance. You can keep him inside a muffled coop with sound deadening insulation. You could look into crowing collars or getting him de-crowed.

    But, he will be a darling and you will love him and be happy with all his nutty ways, even though keeping him may be a big challenge. We'll help.
  5. AlexL

    AlexL New Egg

    Dec 2, 2014
    Thanks for the replies, I do appreciate it

    I didn't even consider them mating. I don't want him to mate with Cleopatra because they are siblings? I really like raising the chicks but we aren't even allowed to have one rooster I don't think.

    If they start crowing at 4, wouldnt that mean it wont matter if it's dark? Would some kind of insulated coop sleepy place thing in the back room keep him quiet?

    I've seen the rooster collars but I'm afraid it wont work :/ I probably will try it though. I highly doubt there would be anyone around who would do de-crowing. And if he's crowing loudly through the day then wont the whole street know?
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It's not that they are siblings.....'s that 1 rooster can service about 10 hens and less hens than that might cause over-mating(feather-less, maybe even bloody backed, stressed hens).
    Not always the case...but you won't know until it happens, or doesn't happen.

    It doesn't always matter if it's dark, some roosters can crow all night long.
    Mine crows before dawn(someone told me, 'that's how the sun gets called up'....just a joke)
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Honestly, if you're not allowed roosters, I'd find him a different home sooner rather than later. Why? Because the sooner you let him go, the less attached you will be. (I know, I know, you're already attached) Let me see if I can say this differently. It seems like it would be better to start looking for a home for him now, while he's still "under wraps" so to speak. You have time to look, speak with people, figure out what to do. You wait until someone complains, and you'll have to get rid of him ASAP, pay fines, whatever. You may not have time to find the best place for him. (I can't tell you what I'd do in your situation as I live on a farm, can have as many roosters as I want, and eat the extras....) Would it be cruel to separate them? I don't think so. Your hen may be confused for a bit - mainly because chickens don't handle change well - and I think it would be nice to get her another female companion, but I don't think it would be cruel. I can't say how an introduction of another hen would go, as they are all different. Personally, I'd do it as soon as I could after removing the rooster, while the first hen is still adjusting rather than wait until she's used to him being gone. Make one big change, rather than two...

    I have never tried a collar, and I'll keep my opinions on de-crowing to myself. Yes, he will crow loudly enough for the whole street to know.

    Oh, one more thing - if you don't want them mating, you'd have to keep them separated at all times. Roosters don't care if the hen they're mating is their mother, sister, or the girl next door. They're roosters. They mate hens. Period.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  8. GuineaFowling

    GuineaFowling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2013
    Central California
    I agree with bobbie-j, its best to get rehome the rooster now. I ordered several female chicks but ended up with two roosters. They werent crowing and I was attached to them so I ended up keeping them up until they began to crow. The reason why I cant keep roosters is because I have an over territorial guinea roo who would beat up my mallard drake too. The females he is alright with but its the males who get a beating. Anywho, I ended up not having anytime to find the perfect home and they went to the local feed store. The thing about the feed store is they can go to anyone. Someone who wants them as food or just a good rooster for the flock. They dont just crow during the early morning but also the night and several times throughout the day. I find that the more roosters you have the less crowing because the main rooster crows in the morning and doesnt allow the others to crow.

    Good Luck.
  9. AlexL

    AlexL New Egg

    Dec 2, 2014
    Thanks everyone, but turns out I'm definitely not rehoming him anytime soon- he developed wry neck in the span of a day. Of course I get the male, sick chick [​IMG]

    Until/if I take him to the avian vet I've just been giving him a treatment I found recommended on here and he looks like he's doing well. He can't drink or eat by himself most of the time so I've just been giving him water with an eyedropper and holding him up to eat/drink. He's really taken to scrambled eggs haha. I hope I'm getting him enough water but I'm not sure how much he should be drinking. I made his tub so he can rest his head higher than his body.

    Cleos doing great though, luckily. I have a feeling it could possibly have something to do with the feed they were eating :/
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Do a thread search for "crazy chick disease" or "vitamin E encephalopathy". Start treating him immediately with the tiniest drop of Vitamin E from a capsule daily. You can also give him infant vitamins WITHOUT IRON, and if you can buy Selenium, scrape just a tiny bit of powder off the side of a pill and give him a tiny bit. Remember, all of this stuff is designed for a 100# person, so dose accordingly. Poultry Nutri-Drench is an excellent product which might help.

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