I found out I have a baby rooster... I have a couple questions!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PieAndSkittles, Mar 29, 2015.

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  1. PieAndSkittles

    PieAndSkittles New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2015
    Alpine, CA
    So, I've NEVER ha a rooster before... Until now. We just got 3 new baby chicks, (A Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, and White Ameraucana) They turned 4 days old today. (got them yesterday) We found out our little Peanut (the RIR) is a cockerel! We were hoping for all hens, but we ended up with a rooster, and don't know if we will give it away or what, but I have a few questions if we do end up keeping Peanut! (Hopefully so!)

    Questions about laying:

    1) How do you tell if an egg has a chick in it? I know this seems like a dumb question, but I've never had this happen before. :/

    2) Do I NEED an incubator if we get chicks? I don't think I do, because I'm pretty sure the hens will warm it theirselfs, but a question I need to ask.

    3) Do I need to help the chick getting out of an egg?

    Questions about Peanut:

    4) When will a rooster start crowing?

    5) Will the rooster (even though we have older hens) instantly go to the top of the pecking order?


    Those are just a few questions... thank you and sorry if they sound like they have obvious answers... Remember this is my first time owning a rooster. :)
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    1) If you're hatching your own eggs, you can "candle" them. That is, shine a fairly strong light through them (LED flashlights work great!) and look for development. By day three you can usually see subtle development. Here's a great thread on candling: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...g-candling-pics-progression-though-incubation
    2) You do not need an incubator for chicks. You only need an incubator to hatch eggs. The hens will set and hatch out eggs only when they are broody. They go into a trance like stage and will concentrate 100% on becoming mommas.
    3) I don't recommend it, but some people do it. Wouldn't try it without someone experienced in doing so. I've always felt that if a chick isn't strong enough to get out of the egg, it may not be strong enough to live once you help it out. It is tempting, but keep in mind that it may take quite some time for the chick to get out, so be patient when the time comes. I've had some take all day to work themselves out.
    4) Crowing is usually one of the first signs of roo puberty. It varies. Usually in the 4-6 month range, give or take.
    5) Not immediately. Once you put him with the older ladies, there may be some squabbles but the roo is the natural leader of the flock. They're bigger and it's in their nature to be "top dog." It won't take him long to rise through the ranks

    Having roos can be a very rewarding experience. They'll watch out for and protect their girls and fertilize their eggs which means you don't have to buy hatching eggs anymore! Plus, the beautiful crowing (not just in the morning, mind you) RIR roos can be a little on the aggressive side, but everyone is different. Don't hesitate to ask more questions!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  3. PieAndSkittles

    PieAndSkittles New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2015
    Alpine, CA
    Okay! Thanks for the help.

    A couple more questions though (I just thought of some)

    How much do incubators cost?

    Do you think I could get an incubator at my local feed store, or would I order one online?

    :) Thanks! I really appreciate the help because I'm pretty new to chicken owning- except I do have 3 hens that are 9 months old. :)
     
  4. iawoodchip

    iawoodchip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    #1 question. If you crack an egg in a dish and look at the yolk closely you will see a little dot somewhere on the face of the yolk. When a egg is fertile the little dot will start to increase in size. Until you have fertile eggs there's nothing to worry about. The baby chick won't start to grow until it's kept in an incubator or under a brood hen, and will take about 3 weeks to develope, and will hatch on their very own without help. Lots of time for you to study up on how it all works.
     
  5. chickienewbie88

    chickienewbie88 Out Of The Brooder

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    I purchased my incubator at my local feed store, Tractor Supply.. Its a Farm Innovators 4200. I got it on sale for $120 (there are much cheaper ones and more expensive ones.. We wanted something reasonable but still had an automatic egg turner, measured humidity, regulated temp, and had a fan to circulate the air so this one was perfect for what we were looking for). Ive seen a lot of mixed reviews about this one but we LOVE it. The temp stays steady (within 1 degree of where its set), humidity is pretty stable, egg turner is great, and although this is the first time Ive ever hatched eggs and the eggs came from a friend of a friend and who knows how long ago they were laid, we have 8 of 9 developing nicely.
    For baby chicks (if you dont let the mother hatch them, and its very dependent on the mother bc some just wont) youll need a brooder with a heatlamp or EcoGlow.. Ive seen great things about the EcoGlow, its closer to a natural mother/chick relationship. I personally only have a heat lamp but i think we'll be investing in an ecoglow soon. They have to stay under some form of hear until they get their feathers.
    Ive read that helping chicks out of the shell is generally bad with the exception of few circumstances. Theres a really good thread on her about when and how you should.
    As for roosters, im just as clueless, if not more.. So im hoping my eggs are all pullets LOL
     
  6. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    How do you know it's a cockerel at 4 days? I mean, sometimes people guess, but it's really hard to KNOW the sex at that age unless the bird is a sex link cross.
     
  7. PieAndSkittles

    PieAndSkittles New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2015
    Alpine, CA
    Oh, I'm sorry. I dont actually know. :) I just am 90% sure... My friends raise chicks and chickens and have done so their whole life, so they were saying they are pretty sure it is a roo. Sorry for the confusion. :)
     
  8. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oakland, CA
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    Sometimes they do just give off a vibe that says ROO!
     

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