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Need help sexing 7 week old Australorp

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by newchickenmummy, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. newchickenmummy

    newchickenmummy New Egg

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    Dec 30, 2015
    Hi guys!

    We have 6 chickens which are now around 7 weeks old. We got the following breeds (two of each): Australorp, Rhode Island Red and Speckled Sussex (other not pictured). When we got them as day old chicks we were told that it's not possible to sex them at this age and if we got any roosters, we would be able to return them to the seller at 12 weeks.

    I'm completely new to raising chickens so it's hard for me to sex them but it seems to me that 5 out of the 6 chickens are roosters. I think the only hen is the Rhode Island Red on the milk crate. I'm really hoping the Australorps next to it is a hen too but it's starting to look more like a rooster? It's developing more comb and wattle, even though they're much lighter in colour and smaller than the other Australorps. What do you guys think? As I'm a newbie I am just not sure.

    We do not really want to return the roosters to the seller. Could it be problematic in the future though with so many roosters even though they've been raised together from babies? They are also free range during the day and we are thinking of adding more hens (sexed this time).

    Thanks so much!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Roosters raised together will still fight and over breed hens. 1 rooster can breed 10 hens. If free range you might have roosters chasing each other way if there are not enough hens for them. It looks like the 3 out of the 5 in these pictures are going to be roosters. The Rhode Island Red and Black Australorp laying down on top of the crate are your pullets.
     
  3. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Birdrain92 is correct about the roosters. Too many roosters will fight over dominance and hens. And they get mean very fast. As for sexing, they're near the age when you can know for sure. The Speckled Sussex, and the Australorp and Rhode Island Red on the ground are the cockerels. The Australorp and RIR on the crate are the pullets. Could you post a picture of the other Sussex.
     
  4. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    The Speckled Sussex is absolutely a cockerel. The RIR and Australorp on the ground look to be cockerels as well. The RIR and Australorp on the crate look like pullets.

    The correct ratio is 8-10 hens per cock. So for 3 cocks you would need 25-30 hens.

    Cockerels raised together won't fight much. There might be an eventual tussle, in which one will come out on top as the dominant male. He will prevent the others from mating the hens when he is around and may force them to wait to eat until after he and his hens are done.
     
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Water Under the Bridge Premium Member

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    I agree.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I agree on the 3 cockerels, 2 pullets.

    If you chose to keep the males, your best bet will be to set up a bachelor pad for them to live apart from the hens. You can pick one male to live with the flock if you like, or let the hens live by themselves. You'll need quite a large flock to spread all that cockerel lovin' around, and even if you have dozens of hens that's no guarantee two or three cockerels still won't gang up on one poor pullet. Cockerels aren't known for chivalry.
     
  7. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At least the seller will take back the roosters.
     
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    X2 on QueenMisha's post.
     
  9. newchickenmummy

    newchickenmummy New Egg

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    Thanks so much for your responses! You guys are so helpful!
    That's great news that the Australorp is a hen! Yay! [​IMG] The other Speckled Sussex looks just like the one in the photo, so definitely a cockerel. So we have 4 cockerels and 2 hens. The Australorp and RIR cock are really chilled though and the Australorp particularly is quite beta. It's mainly the Speckled Sussex bros who we may need to watch out for. We'll see how things turn out in a few weeks and if we need to contact the seller, set up a bachelor pad or distribute the cockerels between my parents and us. Don't want the poor hens to get bullied.

    If we introduce more hens, when would be the best time and age to do this?

    Thanks again guys and wishing you all a happy new year!
     
  10. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    If you can, try to get pullets who are the same age or older than these ones. If you can only get chicks, then you should be able to introduce the chicks to these birds when they reach 8-10 weeks of age. You can introduce new birds any time, but it is easiest in good weather, and there are more birds for sale in the spring and summer months. The sooner you can introduce the new birds the sooner the flock will be settled. If weather is mild where you are, then you shouldn't have a problem introducing new birds now, if weather is bad, you may want to wait until spring.
     

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