Hello Everyone! Could use some advice please...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jaymatteastend, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. jaymatteastend

    jaymatteastend Hatching

    Oct 15, 2014
    Hi Everybody. Hope you are all doing well. My name is Jason and I'm happy to be a part of this group. My husband and I live on Long Island and as new chicken owners we have a few issues that we're not sure how to handle and would appreciate any advice you could give. We got 7 hens as chicks (or so we thought) from a neighbor of ours. Turned out at least 1 is a rooster. The issue is, several of them have been crowing now! Only the one that we definitely know is a rooster, aptly named Roo, has been seen mating a few of the hens though. After speaking with some local farms and doing a lot of reading and googling, we learned that it is not uncommon for hens to crow to show their place in the group. Also that some hens have "gender issues". Who knew! Anyway, the reason this is such a puzzle is that one of the hen/roosters crowed in front of me several times, but now has been laying. What the??? So we have a chorus in the morning from our gender confused bunch. Our concern is that, if there is more than 1 rooster, and how would we know at this point with all this information, we need to separate or re-home at least 1 of them since they may fight and/or hurt the hens from over-mating. Correct? And how do you find someone or someplace to take them that will not serve them for dinner? Should we wait to see how the behavior progresses to determine what to do, or just be proactive and re-home at least Roo?

    Thanks for listening and for any help/advice you may have.

    Looking forward to learning and helping each other in this great group :)
  2. Radioactive Egg

    Radioactive Egg In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2014
    Perth, Western Australia
    Hi and welcome to BYC!
    If you want to and are allowed to keep the roosters, what we did to avoid fighting was divide the coop in two. We picked up some chook wire from the local hardware store and used it so the chooks could see each other, but not attack.
    Hope this helps!
    Radioactive Egg:)
    Oh, and with Roo, if he is aggressive, consider giving him to a breeder. We did that with our Araucana rooster.
  3. jaymatteastend

    jaymatteastend Hatching

    Oct 15, 2014
    Thank you :)
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    I would sell at least one rooster.

    Many roosters do grow up well together and don't fight. Some people separate them into "bachelor pads", where all the males live together away from females. Without hens to fight over, most roosters get along fine.

    But, you really don't need to keep extra roosters around. One rooster is enough to fertilize eggs, if you want chicks. More roosters can overmate hens. Even if they get along with each other, they can still hurt the hens. Ideally, you want each rooster to have at least 8 hens, to prevent overmating.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You might want to post pictures of your birds in the What Breed/Gender forum for help with figuring out exactly what you have roo wise https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/15/what-breed-or-gender-is-this X3 unless you want fertilized eggs to hatch chicks you don't need roos. And separating your roos from your hens, you are short on hens if you want to keep roos, the generally recommended ratio is around ten hens for every rooster or the girls get overmated.
    With placing a roo, you can post Ads in the BST forum after you have 20 posts, there is a section for animals in need of free rehoming. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/250783/buy-sell-trade-rules-must-read-agree-to-participate-in-bst You might also try places like your local Craigslist, Farm Store (bulletin board or some also take birds), local 4-H club if someone wants a project bird etc. Good luck finding the little guys a new home.

    edited by staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Roosters are fairly easy to sex when they are close to maturity. The males will have pointy hackle and saddle feathers, be more colorful, and will have thicker legs than the females. The pullets will have more rounded hackle and saddle feathers. The only exception to this that I'm aware of is the sebright, where both sexes have "hen feathering." Below is a rooster, and at the bottom is a hen.

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Is there a chance you are confusing the egg song with a crow? You said one that crowed, ending up laying an egg. The egg song is usually something like "Buk buk buk BAGAWK - done with feeling!
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    The above posters have given you great advice!
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    To know what gender your chickens really are, I would post photos of them in the What Breed or Gender is This? section of the forums. Clear, side profile photos are the most helpful.

    It is true that some hens will crow. However, that is more common in older hens, hens with reproductive problems, or extremely dominant hens. In most cases, a crowing bird is a rooster. If your "crowing" hens are laying, though, then you can ignore what I just said. [​IMG]

    X2 on drumstick diva's thoughts. A laying hen's cackle can sound, at times, like a rooster's crow. I know that when I first got chickens, I was shocked by the racket that my hens produced when they laid an egg. Certain parts of the cackle definitely can sound a little like crowing.

    If you do have more than one rooster, then I would get rid of the extra roosters and only keep one. To avoid overmating, a rooster needs at least 8 hens to live with. Also, multiple roosters can fight, especially when they're around hens.
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. The other members have given you some great advice. Hens have been known to crow, but it's rare and almost always a hen that is several years old in a roosterless flock who has taken up the dominant mantle of the rooster. It's possible as drumstick diva has suggested that what you are hearing from your hens is the egg song. As far as your flock, you need to determine exactly how many roosters you have. You can post pics of your birds on our What Breed or Gender is This? section and let our experts there determine that for you. The recommended ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens as too many roosters (as they mature) will become very hard physically on your hens; over-breeding them, biting and plucking the feathers from their necks and tails, battering them, and potentially, seriously injuring them. As TwoCrows pointed out, the only reason you need a rooster is to fertilize eggs for hatching. I currently have 25 hens in my flock and no roosters, and I get loads of eggs without all the aggression, fights, biting and feather plucking, feeding of non-productive mouths, crowing in the middle of the night, and over-breeding and battering of hens that goes along with having roosters (especially too many). My hens are stress free, and enjoying life without any roosters around. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.

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