"he or a "she"? We have 2 birds in question...

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by pkupchk, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. pkupchk

    pkupchk New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2017
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    We currently have 20 birds that are all 13.5 weeks old. We chose to order 15 total birds (5 Isa Brown, 5 Barred Rock and 5 Rhode Island Reds) all pullets. However, they sent us an extra 5 birds and said they would also all be pullets. But...we think we may have at least one rooster in the hen house with another one in question. The main bird we are wondering about (Rhode Island Red) started to look different pretty quickly and has many of the physical and personality traits of a rooster. "He" is the one who is in charge of the coop, eats first, heads out in the run first in the morning and the other birds tend to stay out of "his" way. I took some pictures around 9 weeks and then again today so hopefully we can get a clearer idea if this friend is a he or a she. Our intention was never to keep roosters because we are only looking for eggs. Any help would be much appreciated.
    [​IMG]
    This is a photo at 9 weeks old. These birds are the exact same age and breed.

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    This photo was from this morning and they are 13.5 weeks old.

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    13.5 weeks and the male in question...
    [​IMG]

    13.5 weeks and the same breed as the "male" above but looks more like a female.

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    We also have one more bird in question. Around 9 weeks we thought maybe she was looking more male but the research I was able to find said pullets can show some male traits. Now this morning out in the run, the feather coloring, comb and leg size and overall size seems different than the other birds of the same breed. Thoughts?

    [​IMG]
    These friends are 13.5 weeks and the lighter colored one in the back is the one I have a question about.
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    Can pullets be that different in head comb size and coloring or do we have different genders here?

    Thank you all so very much for any and all opinions you have to lend.
    Have a great day!
     
  2. Good morning. Both your RRs and the barred rocks have a young roo in their midst. Pullets don't show much pink/red and swelling in the comb area early on but young cocks can start showing this at a month and definitely at the age of your birds are. You have a handsome young rr rooster (probably start crowing) and in the barred group the roosters show overall lighter color (because of their genes). Your barred rooster will start "blossoming" and also crowing soon. Enjoy them but you'll probably want to decide if you're keeping one. Some roos can become aggressive toward people but that takes a while to develop. Good luck.
     
  3. HappyClucker7

    HappyClucker7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The RIR is most definitely a rooster. He has a much bigger comb, brighter legs, redder combs and waddles, and is bigger. The BR might be a rooster as well. That one is less clear but does show signs of being a rooster.
     
  4. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Loving the Autumn Weather Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
    Like other members have said, you have two cockerels (one RIR and one BR).
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Yep, you have two little cockerels.

    At 20 birds, with an average of 90% sexing accuracy, you're pretty much spot on for the odds.
     
  6. pkupchk

    pkupchk New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2017
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    Thank you for your detailed answer. If we were thinking about keeping the roosters, would we expect to have baby chicks year round with multiple mamas? Would we still have plenty of eggs if we have 18 hens total? Thanks
     
  7. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Loving the Autumn Weather Premium Member

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    Also even with roosters in your flock, you need to either 1. have a broody hen or 2. an incubator to hatch them. Not all hens go broody, some breeds tend to go broody more then others. As to egg production It all depends on how many eggs you were hoping for.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Birds are so much easier to manage their reproduction than mammals [​IMG]

    Once they hit maturity, your cockerels will mate with your pullets. They don't care about breed, if the red cockerel can mate a barred hen he'll happily do so.

    I'd consider all your eggs to be fertile.

    Does that change anything from a practical standpoint? Nope. It takes a very practiced eye to see if an egg is fertile or not. No difference in taste, texture, etc. Blood or meat spots are not baby chicks developing.

    An egg has to be incubated at about 100 degrees consistently for embryonic development to start. So, collect your eggs every day or so, and you're good to go. I've kept roosters in my laying flock all my life and as long as I've done that, no nasty surprises when I crack eggs.

    You can do some research on broody hens, there are lots of good threads with info. Since you're still quite a ways from that, I'll not go into it here. Your breeds are less known to go broody, but you've got enough birds to play the odds and you may get someone who wants to set, probably not until spring 18.

    You'll still have plenty of eggs, I'm thinking. Those are wonderful laying breeds [​IMG]
     
  9. pkupchk

    pkupchk New Egg

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    We have a large family (7 kiddos at the moment) and we will be sharing eggs with my parents so we were wanting a lot of eggs. Can I ask if there is a practical purpose for keeping roosters if we aren't wanting to incubate eggs and hatch new chicks? We will plan to add more babies when our hens start to age but we weren't planning to right now.
     
  10. It sound like this is your first experience with chickens and with 18 hens, you can be getting
    16-18 eggs a day when they start laying and through early summer. If you planning of keeping these birds, long term, they will need a rest to molt (late summer) and get ready for laying in the spring.
    If you're keeping your hens long term, rest/molt will help keep them in relatively good production for several years. On keeping a rooster, just remember that when you're hatching your own chicks, you're going to hatch chicks that will be "straight-run" about 50-50 male/female and you'll have to eat of sell your young roosters. Also, young birds you raise as "replacements" need to be introduced to the rest of your flock carefully without problems. If your flock is mostly free ranging it's not as big a deal. In hatching your own, another issue is artificial incubation, which there is a wide range of
    learning curves to getting a good hatch. A broody hen and 8-10 eggs might be a useful way to start if you go the "raise your own" route, and the kids would really enjoy the experience. Good luck.
    Phil
     

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