I'm new to raising chickens and to BYC. About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to choose laying hens from a friends flock. I chose 6 beautiful chickens. I brought home 2 Leghorns, 2 Rhode Island Reds, and 2 Dominiques (one with stripes the other is gray and has a hawk like appearance) . The Dominiques were just hatched out in June, they are about 15 weeks old now. The Leghorns hatched out last December and the RIR's hatched out in January. As time has gone on, I have noticed that my striped Dominique is not a hen, but rather a rooster. I really didn't want to have a rooster, I was more interested in collecting eggs, not looking to have chicks anytime soon. It has been dominating the other Dominique be grabbing her on the neck and getting on her back. His tail feathers all curl, unlike all of the other chickens, who's tail feathers are straight. It seems like it has begun growing spurs. The pecking order is a bit difficult to watch. It sometimes seems cruel and painful. In my observation, the order goes as follows, RIR's are #1 and #2, followed by the Leghorns at #3 and #4, then the Dominique rooster is #5 and the Dominique hen is #6. Although the rooster dominates the Dominique hen (Mya), he also protects her from the other older hens, who peck at her. So I have decided I will keep him. I have some questions. * When will the rooster start crowing? * When will the rooster be #1 in the pecking order? * Will the older hens eventually shop picking on the two younger chickens? I look forward to getting to learn all I can about my flock.