How Can I Tell if I Have Roosters?- For a Newbie

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Getaway Gal, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Getaway Gal

    Getaway Gal Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2009
    Hocking Hills
    I have a six week old Barred Rock that I ordered to be a rooster, and I would say from his behavior that he is. He challenged my hand in the brooder from day one, makes sure all others are in the coop before he'll go, etc... He seems to do some things that I want a rooster to do, but (so far!) not to not do the things that I don't. He is not overly agressive and does not seem to be at the top of the pecking order, which is really what I am looking for.

    In that same batch, got an Australorp that has a very large comb-much larger than any of my 11 week olds have, even. Are there any other things that I can look for to know if this is a rooster? And, if not, how soon will I know for sure?

    On top of that, one of my 11 week old "hens" started to crow yesterday. Yikes! This one is at the top of the pecking order and the most agressive toward other chickens. If she is crowing (or trying to-it's not very good yet) does that definitely mean that "she" is a "he?" If I know for sure, I think that I would re-home this one in favor of keeping the younger, more submissive Roo, and I just spoke to someone that would take him/her.

    It would be helpful to know for sure on each one before I start taking any action. These are my first chickens and I'm attached to them, so I certainly don't want to get rid of "Ingrid" if I'm jumping the gun at all.

    Your help would be appreciated! I will try to post some pictures, if I can figure out how.
  2. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    At 6 weeks old, you can't really tell how aggressive that roo will be. When the hormones start raging, the most gentle lap roo can become a serious flogger.

    The Australorp that you suspect is a it 6 weeks old also? Some things to look for....bigger feet and legs and slightly less feathering on the "shoulders". Also, the tail would have feathered out a little slower...I can't remember 6 weeks exactly, but at 4 weeks, the boys' tails were shorter than the girls, and then grew quickly to be longer. And of course, the comb and wattles...I really don't think a pullet should have much of a comb at 6 weeks...they usually don't get bigger and redden until maybe 16-20 weeks (on average).

    I've heard of a hen "crowing"...but I don't think it's common. It's more likely a roo, but not impossible to be a hen...
  3. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    Pointed hackle feathers around the neck are a good clue and feathers that look like sickles on the tail. Also, legs on a rooster are thicker but sometimes you see a hen with thick legs too.
  4. staceyl

    staceyl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2009
    You might post a pic on the chicken breeds and gender page - they have some experts over there.
  5. Getaway Gal

    Getaway Gal Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2009
    Hocking Hills
    Can you tell me at what age I might expect the hormone change to know how agressive they will be?
  6. sjarvis00

    sjarvis00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Shawnee, OKlahoma
    Quote:Between 7 month and 1 year is usually their most aggressive time, Its kind of like the rebelious teen!

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