Is my she a he???

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by ArmourFarmers, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. ArmourFarmers

    ArmourFarmers Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm a newbee at this chicken raising, but there's a noticeable difference with my two chicks. Quick back story, the woman we got them from regularly hatches and sells two breeds of chickens and felt pretty good about her sexing, but told us should it turn out to be a cockerel we can exchange. I picked a tiny very picture perfect chick (Chickolette), while my husband picked a large not so cute one (Kitty). Well, fast forward to week 4 and 5 and my small chick out grew her sister with width and height. Her comb started growing taller and turning pink along with her wattle coming in and yes her legs and feet are stalkier as well. We're at week six now and the difference still remains. Physical changes didn't start happening until week 4 and 5. However, their personality's have always been very different. Chickolette has always been a bit more in charge, especially more adventurous with Kitty only following when everything seems safe. Chickolette is the first to greet you and will walk right up to your hands and let you pet and hold her. She's extremely sweet and calm with me. Kitty just takes her time, might keep her distance, and squawk a bit more in the picking up process, but still lets you pet and hold her, she just doesn't seem as excited about it as Chickolette. They do partake in their chest bumping and flying at each other thing and while Kitty stands up to Chickolette it is usually Chickolette starting the brief spat. I recently tried to take pictures of them in their new coop/run and it was hard to get Kitty to sit still long enough for a good pic, while I couldn't keep Chickolette out of the lens! They've both been held and interacted with the same. They even spent a good amount of time in our house with us, I'm a mother hen myself I guess. They spend a good amount of time in their big girl coop and run, but I still put them in their baby cage and bring them into the garage at night since they still fit and I want the move outside to be gradual.

    We started this venture with wanting friendly, egg laying pets. I've heard and read both good and bad things about having a rooster. Would I have to keep him separate from the hens? We do have a large fenced in yard and a large coop with an enclosed run. Do fertilized eggs taste different and is it wrong to eat fertilized eggs?! How often do they crow and what is it that makes them crow the most? Are Buff Orpington roosters typically nicer? Are people generally looking for roosters to keep and not kill if I do have to rehome him? Is there anything I can do to keep him sweet? As you can see I'm over whelmed with unanswered questions and all I do now is research it. The thought of having a rooster initially worried me, but this chick is my baby now with how much personality he/she has.

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    Kitty(left) Chickolette (right) at 4 weeks. Chickolette's comb started getting noticeably taller.
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    Chickolette (front) Kitty (back)
    [​IMG]
    Kitty

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Chickolette
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Yep you have a rooster :(
     
  3. WyandotteIndeed

    WyandotteIndeed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicolette is a Chickalo.
     
  4. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You definitely have a little cockerel there. To answer your questions, fertilized eggs taste no different than non-fertilized eggs. They crow all the time except for at night when it is dark. They have a personality of their own. The ideal ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster to 12-15 hens. 1:1 might be too hard on the hen. You probably do not want just one hen, separated from a pal.
     
  5. ArmourFarmers

    ArmourFarmers Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2014
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    We are looking right now for 3 more pullets, which would give us 4 hens. This also concerns us though that we might end up with another rooster. I don't know how to get around that factor. Is it typical to let the rooster roam in the fenced yard while the hens stay in the coop with the run? Just so they can have long breaks from him if necessary.
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    X4 on Chickolette being a cockerel. Sorry. :eek:(
     
  7. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, but yes, Chickolette is a lil' roo. So far Kitty looks like a pullet.

    You can keep him with the hens. I would recommend keeping him with at least 6-8 hens at a minimum, 10-12 would be better.

    Fertilized eggs don't taste any differently than non-fertilized eggs.

    They'll crow from 3am to dusk. But with just one rooster, he probably won't crow very much. If there are other roosters within earshot he'll crow more.

    Buff Orpington roosters do tend to be more gentle than most breeds, to people and their hens. However many people on this site make the mistake of raising it as a pet, and thinking the more they tame it the nicer rooster it will be, and then they're shocked when one day the rooster turns mean and attacks them. You have to either leave it alone and let it be a chicken and grow up with a natural fear and respect of humans, or if you make it a pet, you have to make sure it knows you're the boss. If it has no fear of you and no respect it will one day attack you, challenging you for the position of top hauncho.

    Some people are looking for a rooster, but most are looking for freezer birds. You'll have to be careful if you go to rehome him.




    You could buy some sexed pullets from a hatchery, they are amazingly accurate at sexing them. I've only had one mis-sexed over the years out of over a hundred birds I've ordered from McMurray and Ideal Poultry. Or you could look for some Red or Black Sexlink pullets. Sexlinks are sexed by color, so you can tell the males and females apart at hatch.

    I'd sooner lock up the rooster and let the hens forage for beautiful nutritous orange yolks. With four hens I'd look into getting some "chicken saddles," which protect the hens' backs from over-mating. With those you should be able to keep them together. If possible, I'd try to have at least 6 hens though. You'll be amazed how many eggs you'll use when they're so fresh and tasty! And any extras make wonderful gifts or can be sold and put towards the feed bill.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickolette looks like a male, but I think Kitty is a pullet.
     
  9. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Cowgirl71 has given you some good advice. The recommended ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens and I would try to stick as close to that ratio as possible as too many roosters will be very hard on your hens physically; over-breeding them, biting and plucking feathers from their necks and backs, battering them, and potentially, seriously injuring them. I currently have 25 hens and no roosters in my flock, and I get loads of fresh, delicious eggs without the aggression, fights, unproductive mouths to feed, crowing in the middle of the night, over-breeding and battering of the hens that goes along with having roosters (especially too many). As Cowgirl71 indicated, Buff Orpingtons are generally pretty gentle as roosters go and you might manage to sneak that 10 to 1 ratio down a bit, but I certainly wouldn't advise pushing it.
     
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  10. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    x2
     

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