New girl on the flock!

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by henoverheels, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. henoverheels

    henoverheels Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi there

    I have recently been asked to take a chicken, which I think ( although don't rely on me for expertise) is a Wellsummer. It is 16 weeks old and has been with me for six weeks. I was wondering if anyone could help in identifying if it is a boy or girl, as visitors to my home are all telling me I could have a rooster!!! I'm afraid I have limited experience in chicken keeping and for the last five years, have had hens only, for egg laying and as pets, so I am a little out of my depth. I cannot say I have seen any male behaviour yet, but guess the chicken is still a little young. I would like to find out as much as I can, as early as I can, as I have never had a male before.

    Apart from this, my flock and the other new birds all seem to be mingling well.
    [​IMG]

    Any help or advice would be gratefully received. ( sorry the picture is missing his beak, he was a little camera shy!)

    Many thanks

    Sue
     
  2. HS Pye

    HS Pye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like a cockerel to me. Good looking chicken anyhow! ; )
     
  3. TheGeekySheep

    TheGeekySheep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely a rooster. Note the pointy hackle (neck) feathers and saddle feathers and his tail feathers starting to curl. Welsummer roosters are handsome fellas.
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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  5. henoverheels

    henoverheels Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone for your responses. It's really kind of you all. Now what to do? I have never had a rooster before. He is a beautiful bird, but I am not sure how he will fare in my coop with three silkies, two rhode island reds and a silver spangled hamburg. I think I have bene trying to will him to be a girl-even though my husband named him Mario on his first day here!!!!!
     
  6. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Beautiful cockerel- love his coloring. He might would be perfectly content where's he's at, if you are okay and able to have a roo. Is it all right to have roos where you are located? Is your family and your neighbors okay with the sound when he starts crowing?

    Not all roos are troublesome. Some are, but some are not at all. They just have a different dynamic then hens. My thought is that much depends on breed, how a roo is raised/ socialized, his environment/ contented flockmates (lack of troublemakers/ bullies) and just if he seems contented in his home or surroundings. Don't be too quick to remove him if you really don't want to or have to... you may find the pretty fellow becomes your all time favorite bird. We have a flock of 88 (83 P RIR and 4 OEGB plus a partridge cochin) chicken math, lol. 16 are roos/cockerels, and my absolute favorite bird is a very sweet, mellow, affectionate, well-mannered P RIR cockerel, with 3 other cockerels right in line behind him, then the OEGB roo and his cuddly hens, then our RIR hens, most of whom are ultra sweet and social- there's only one cockerel who can be a little grumbly at moments. I've handled the flock since day one, but ultimately, my husband and I are boss, and they seem to respect us. Our boys are all friends and sleep next to each other at night on the roosts. Most have a few favorite hens, but no one appears to squabble much, and when they do, it is usually from one of the bossy, high ranking hens keeping the cockerels in line. lol Would love to have some eggs if your RIR mixed with him. ; )
     
  7. henoverheels

    henoverheels Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much for your advice and for easing my mind. I have felt really troubled this evening, wondering how/what I can do, as people ( in my village) have told me I need 10 hens to keep him, that Roosters can be overly aggressive and that it will cause me no end of problems. Since we have had him I have handled him daily and actually he wanders into our orangery most days, looking for sunflower seeds, which I'm afraid I spoil them with. He is only 16 weeks, but so far he has not displayed any aggressive behaviour and the moment just seems to round my girls up, for food, bedtime etc. He is a beautiful boy and the pictures I have taken do not do his colouring justice, as his tail feathers are so pretty.

    I have a large garden and the chicken housing is at the very end ( about three hundred feet form the houses) next to a sheep farm. The neighbouring houses are about twenty feet either side of my house, and after that it is just fields. I am hoping that is far enough to ease his crowing noise to them. He would be the only boy in the flock, and I guess I could buy a few more hens if that would make life easier for everyone. They have a large house and run ( approx. 96 square feet) for when they are locked up and then 300 feet of garden during the day, so there is space around them all to avoid fighting.

    I guess I am just nervous. As I say I am relatively new to chicken keeping and have only kept them for five years. I am also not brave enough to keep chickens for meat and have a very soft heart about my pets, so even giving him away, is making this all a it unbearable! ( * so embarrassed*) Your numbers are so impressive, I feel very silly stressing over my tiny flock!

    I will keep you posted as to how I progress and once again, thank you so much for your input, it is very much appreciated.

    Sue
     
  8. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds to me like you have an extremely nice living situation for him and your hens to have a terrific life. : )

    Some roos can be aggressive, but not all turn out that way, thankfully. Some are quite mellow and gentlemanly to their humans and their flock. He sounds like a very, very good boy, so far. Things can change sometimes, but why would he become bad when being good has paid off well with sunflower seeds and attention from you which he seems to enjoy? : )

    Many roos do need to have around 10 hens per roo, but some other roos will be satisfied with a smaller number- really depends on the roo, his temperament, the situation, etc, truly. Mostly, just keep an aware eye on the situation. See if he starts overmating your hen(s), aggressive behavior, bully behavior, or, if you see something changing in a direction that you don't like, then you may need to figure out what's changed and possibly make changes- then you might add more ladies, removing him to a different pen, etc, or something else. Just don't be afraid of him- he is the leader of his flock, but you are his alpha leader, and sounds like he likely already respects this. I really enjoy our cockerels quite a bit, I feel they add a lot to the flock. It's pretty cute to see our big ole P RIR gentlemanly "courting" (handing a tiny twig or bit of goodies) over to our very petite Old English Game Bantam hens who bat their eyes at them and snuggle their heads on them. lol Don't see that relationship happening any time soon, lol, but it's nice to see the boys aren't just ruffians to any of the girls.

    Yes, let us know how things progress! Best wishes. : )
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  9. henoverheels

    henoverheels Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your words of encouragement, it has given some balance to my situation. I think initially I had visions of a rooster just being hard work. It is quiet nice to think I may have to get some more hens, which is never a bad thing. So that is one issue possibly with a solution. I guess the crowing thing , may be the issue I may struggle with-I am not sure how far a roosters call can reach. I will just have to bribe my neighbours with eggs form the extra hens we buy!!! :)

    It is good to get advice from someone like yourself who has all that experience, as I want to ensure everyone is safe. It must be an incredible amount of work for you, having so many!

    Have a good day

    Sue
     
  10. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so pleased I could help you at least with a different view on roos. Everyone has different experiences, but in mine, they have been good. If at any time bad behavior should pop up, we would be proactive. I just thought to add that I try to always make sure any roo seems to be in a calm state, or good mood when I hold them, and they are in a calm and not agitated state when they are placed down. Just seems to make handling them easier.

    It's my opinion that a larger flock really is really not really that much more effort then having just a few if you have plenty of space and water, though feed does cost more. lol We wanted all hens at first too, but found we really needed some roos to help watch out for predators while the flock had freeranging time- helped tremendously. Enjoy the day!
     

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