Got a visit from the sex change fairy

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by GD91, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the space of a week one of my pullets has become a..... COCKEREL!

    She looked like a pullet last week. A very bossy pullet that bickered with her hatchmate cockerel a little, but a pullet no less.

    In the past week she has developed a red crest, hackles & curved long tail feathers at the age of 18 weeks! He is speckled grey, so it was hard to sex. He has never been caught "grabbing at the girls" like the other boy & looked like a pullet until recently.

    Sometimes both boys jump up & down at each other like usual, but there's never any physical contact between them & they walk around together, one at the front of the flock & on bringing up the rear. Neither are crowing. Bernie (the brown cockerel) trys to mate with the pullets occasionally. Brian (the grey one) doesn't, but guards the pullets well we have noticed.

    Is Bernie possibly the dominant cockerel?

    I would like to keep both boys, they both have wonderful gentle temperaments & are as friendly as the pullets, but what are the chances they will coexist happily with just 4 pullets?
    They have been getting along very well to the point we never noticed one was a cockerel so far......
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    You will have to wait and see how they behave as they mature. Roosters who are raised together sometimes can get on quite well. If Bernie is mostly the only one who mates with the hens as the dominant rooster, then things may be fine. If they end up both chasing the hens and mating with them, the hens may start hiding from them or be stressed out or loose feathers on their backs.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    It has probably happened to all of us, one morning, my BA pullet looked a little bigger, but they grow at uneven rates, especially hatchery girls, a week later, he crowed. I really looked at him and there he was, a roo!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The roosters may be perfectly happy with the current living arrangements, but the hens won't be in the next few months. That's not enough females for the roosters to spread their mating around enough, especially for two young males.

    And that gentle temperaments and friendliness are not necessarily going to last. Those are traits of basically babies. Your birds are now adolescents and here comes the behavior changes! I'd get rid of one of the roosters to decrease the stress on your hens. One male with that many females may still over mate them some, but at least they won't be getting ganged up on by two roosters at the same time. Actually, unless you have a plan for the roosters, like breeding, or another reason you really need a rooster, I'd get rid of both of them and just let your little flock be more peaceful.
     
  5. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, breeding is the plan. Akk my birds are Mixed barnyard & EE's I can always separate the boys from the girls etc. And they are not behaving like chicks, they compete, chase other animals away & are very independent. Chick isn't the thought that comes to mind, its more like watching a pair of raptors!

    I'm breeding them for meat & eggs, so I'm thinking just keep weighing them & keep the biggest. I also want a quiet bird though, so I'm waiting for their traits to really show through as they grow. The reason for breeding quieter, calmer cockerels is I live in a town.... so there are specific traits I want to breed into the flock. Also I want a calm, sensible & even tempered bird. Its like looking for a needle in a haystack I know, but if these boys don't do, I'll be getting in a fresh hatch for new cockerels. [​IMG]
     

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