is it a rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jrabbit, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. jrabbit

    jrabbit Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2009
    Our hens are about 4-5 months old. We bought them Feb 24. They were together in a slightly overcrowded run with other hens. We were hoping they would start laying soon. (we are novices)

    Yesterday, we watched (in horror) one sitting on top of another, appearing to be humping her. My daughter thought the top chicken (Speckles) was trying to kill the bottom one (Goldy). Goldy is the biggest of the 3 and we thought she was the dominant hen.

    Their coop is big enough for them to be in all day, and it took awhile for us to be confident enough to let them out. But, for the past 2 weeks, they have been free-ranging by day. They beg to get let out in the morning. They are still rather skittish, but getting better. We need to try to hold them, I think.

    I know enough about chickens to keep them alive & healthy, but not much more.

    Any chance Speckles is a rooster? http://philhyde.smugmug.com/gallery/6630139_t9J2s#501996105_5Zrzv

    There
    are pictures of the coop & all 3 hens in that gallery ... we're also raising 7 baby chicks for a friend. (we hope to keep 2) We put the babies in the big chicken coop during the day, while the hens are free ranging. The coop is locked up - is that a bad idea? The hens don't seem to like sharing it, but we can't come up with another plan. The babies are about 3-4 weeks old.

    thanks for any feedback
    --janis
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I'm trying to go back through this post and get to exactly what the questions are. Speckles looks like a hen to me, but you may want to get another pic of the saddle feathers to be sure.

    If chickens are crowded they will indeed resort to stress-related behaviors. Sometimes hens will jump at other hens and pull their back or neck feathers out; this is a dominance or stress-related issue.

    If you are waiting for eggs but you are locking the hens out of the coop all day, you may wait forever for eggs. Where are they to lay? [​IMG]

    Hope that caught all your questions. Please keep us posted on how things go.
     
  3. jrabbit

    jrabbit Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2009
    ok - my main question is why Speckles would sit on top of Goldy. They were outside, having fun - it wasn't dusk yet, but we were preparing to put the babies back into their cage and let the hens have their coop back.

    Our coop has a back entrance to the roosting house - which the hens could get into during the day, if I leave it open. hmmm. Wonder if that will help the situation. I'm pretty confident that their coop is plenty big for the 3 + more, even - not that we plan to let 10 live in it!

    We only put the babies in the coop for a few hours during the day. I'm not sure where else we can put the babies til they are old enough to go to their 'forever home.' We can't let them roam the yard, and I'm afraid to let them 'be with' the older hens yet.

    thanks!
    --janis
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  4. krjwaj

    krjwaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our top bird does this same thing to the lowest and newest hen. I chase her off when it happens, because I don't like it.
    It must be nature and related to pecking order, but it remind me of rooster-like behavior.
     
  5. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Speckles is a rooster.....
     
  6. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Speckles looks rooish to me. But a hen will do that sometimes to dominate other girls. Time will tell on that issue. My little roo crowed at 9 weeks old. So watch for that.
     
  7. jrabbit

    jrabbit Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  8. lorieMN

    lorieMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    even if speckles is a hen,,if there is no roo around often a hen will act like a roo..its a chicken thing,nothing to be horrified about..
     
  9. jrabbit

    jrabbit Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2009
    would it be crowing by now if it were a rooster? I promised my neighbors we weren't getting a rooster!

    we aren't horrified by humping, per se - but we do **not** want a rooster for several reasons.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  10. philhyde

    philhyde Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Quote:Why, do you say?
     

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