I think my hen is a rooster! Now what?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickiechick31, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. chickiechick31

    chickiechick31 Hatching

    Jul 15, 2010
    We have a leghorn that was thought to be a hen, but now crows and looks an awful lot like a rooster! All my other chickens are hens. I wasn't planning on having to deal with mating and chicks and all of that, so I have no idea what I'm doing! Do I have to separate the rooster from the hens to have eggs we can eat, or if they mate can you still eat those eggs, or let the hens sit on them until they hatch? Is there perhaps a good book I can read to help me through all of this? I was going to put a picture of my "rooster" but I'm not sure how. Thanks in advance for any advice [​IMG]
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    There is NO difference in taste between unfertilized and fertilized eggs. Just gather them like normal, every day, and nobody will be able to tell the difference. If you don't want chicks, you don't need to hatch any. The eggs will ONLY develop chicks if they are incubated either under a hen or in an incubator. That takes 21 days. You could even forget to gather eggs for a couple days and not notice the difference. They have to be incubated at a constant temperature of 99.5 F to develop chicks.
  3. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    Quote:My first rooster was a surprise to me too! You don't need to separate the rooster from the girls. Fertilized eggs are perfectly OK to eat. They don't start developing until they are kept at the required temperature and humidity levels.

    Here's the link to the BYC page where you can learn how to upload photos (it's easy!): https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=1198
  4. chickiechick31

    chickiechick31 Hatching

    Jul 15, 2010

    I figured out how to do pictures! YAY! This is my chicken that I think is a rooster. What do you think? It sure does like to crow!
  5. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    Quote:He's very regal looking! [​IMG]
  6. ilovemuscovy

    ilovemuscovy In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Quote:to post a picture:
    1. take a picture
    2. upload picture onto your computer
    3. upload picture onto a site like photobucket or tinypic
    4. copy the direct link to the photo
    5. click img on the top of where you are writing a post (above the smiley faces)
    6. paste the direct link smack in the middle between the brackets
    7. submit
    8. TA-DA
  7. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Songster

    Apr 23, 2010
    First of all, you can upload a picture of your suspected rooster by clicking "uploads" at the top of the page. You can select and upload the file from there, then copy and paste the link into your forum post. If you can post pictures some of the experts here can probably tell you for certain.

    I'm a total newbie and have all girls (I think!) so I don't have a lot of rooster advice, but you can definitely still eat the fertilized eggs - they won't develop as long as they're kept in a cool place - and let a hen hatch some chicks for you (though if you have all leghorns they might not be willing, I think most production birds have the broodiness bred out of them).

    I have heard that the lead hen will often take over the rooster role if there's not a roo around - crowing, mounting the other hens, etc. and I think they can also develop some physical characteristics like a bigger comb. Since leghorns have a big floppy comb anyway it's possible you just have a butch hen. [​IMG] How old are your birds? If you have a lot of white leghorns I'm sure it's really hard to keep track of who is laying what. If your girls are already at laying age, you might try segregating the chicken in question to see if you get any eggs. That's the only way I know to tell for sure.

    ETA: ok, just saw your picture. Looks like a lovely roo to me!
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member 9 Years

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    He's a rooster, but he's not a leghorn. Leghorns have white ear lobes. Looks like a rock or perhaps a meat breed rooster. If the hens have the same look, they will be brown egg layers rather than white egg layers most likely.
  9. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    Yorktown, Virginia
    HE is handsome.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: