I have a hidden cockerel!!!! Girls are getting beat up...."UPDATE PICS


10 Years
Apr 22, 2009
New Castle, Indiana
Well in February i got a order of 30 black aussie pullets in the mail. Everyone grew up just fine and all physically look and act like pullets since i have been getting a decent amount of eggs now. Well i have been noticing the last few weeks that the backs of a few of my girls are getting bare! Obvious signs a cockerel is breeding them. Problem is..there are no obvious looking or acting cockerels. There is one girl who has slightly more comb that the rest of them because it starts to become wavy towards the beak, but no saddle feathers at all. Waddles are also slightly bigger...but its round and fat like a pullet should be at this stage. Have any of you had any experiences like this before? Having a pullet who looks, walks, talks, and acts like a pullet...but on the inside is a cockerel?

The obvious thing is to sneak in one night and sit there for a bit and watch the mystery cockerel start to breed a random pullet....but the second i enter the barn they stop acting normal and focus all their attention on me so i doubt i will be able to witness the hidden guy in the act. I just don't know what to do, my girl's backs are starting to get pretty bare, and i don't want to have to buy 30 hen saddles lol. The room is shut off so i know it's not one of my other breed rooster's that are sneaking in and out when im not there. Got any advice on what i can do guys?
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I also have Australorps and would love to know how to tell a male from a female (it's soooo obvious with the SLW's).
1. Check for mites and lice. They can cause feather loss.
2. Post pics and we can tell you who the roo is.
3. Check for the bullseye on your egg yolks. Fertile eggs = you for sure have a roo.
I agree, you need to check if your eggs are fertile or not by looking for the bulls-eye. Saying that, if you've never seen the difference between a fertile egg and a non-fertile egg, it can be hard to tell. When I first started looking, I thought all the eggs I bought looked fertile
, but now that I have my roo, and my breeding program up and running, I've had a good opportunity to see what fertile eggs look like, and they difference is quite significant.

Feather loss alone may be misleading. I have a huge Thai fighting cock, and he even mates with some bantams, and yet not one of my hens have any bare patches - he must have it down to a fine art
I have a bantam cornish hen that would eat the feathers out of other birds if I keep her caged. She stripped 2 polish bold on the car ride home. I tried keeping her with call ducks & she ate their feathers too. Maybe you have a bird with a feather eating habit?
I have checked them over, lice and mites are usually easy to see on black feathered birds...but so far nothing. I will take pics of the suspected roo. I have yet to check for fertile eggs, but i can go do that right now...thanks for reminding me! BRB
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Keep in mind these eggs are close to 3 weeks old, had so many these were just the last ones i never used/sold in time. Cracked 2 dozen and no obvious fertility signs. Maybe i need to do fresher egg's. About a month ago i switched from shavings to play sand if that could have anything to do with it. I can get a pic tomorrow of one of my hens to show you the damage. Maybe i have missed the mites or lice? The red/brown coagulation's are something i have been seeing from time to time and have no clue what they are. Out of 2 dozen about 2 had that so i decided to take a picture, could they possibly have worms? Would worms make their feathers fall out? Usually you find mites and or lice around the vent area and i have checked a few of them with no obvious infections...but that was close to a week or so ago. Maybe from the pic of the two eggs i posted with the red/brown things will give me the answer i am looking for.
An Australorp roo would stand out by the age yours are now. Mites/lice sound like a good start...and posting some photos as previously suggested.

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