Nine Week Old Australorp Already Crowing


In the Brooder
9 Years
Dec 3, 2010
Inver Grove Heights
I hatched out a clutch of eggs back in December (my first). So I now have 13 10-week old chickens running around. It's still a bit too cold at night to move them outside in MN, so they are living in a growout brooder in the garage. They'll be moving outside by the end of the month.

Anyway, my brother and his girlfriend stopped by my house last weekend. They like to visit with the chickens when they stop by, so I brought them down to check in on them. During the visit, my brother's girlfriend started laughing at something, and the one boy decided to respond. He crowed three times at her. I was startled and amused at the same time. I didn't think they would be able to crow at 9 weeks. Out of the 5 boys I have right now, he's the only one who has even attempted to crow (at least in my presence).

When I was taking their 10 week old pictures Sunday, he crowed at me again - but just once. Today's crowing I think was because of the clucking the girls made when I took them out for their portraits. Luckily, the crowing wasn't that loud and it wasn't heard in the house. (As an aside, I live in the city and my permit doesn't allow me to keep 'adult' roosters).

Then on Monday morning, I checked on the birds and all was fine when I refilled their water and made sure they had enough food for the day. Then at 5:50am as I'm heading out to work, as soon as I open the door to the garage, what do you think I hear? Crowing...darn. I thought these were isolated incidents.

Previously, when I would check on them before heading to work, everyone would still be sleeping, or at the very least inactive. This morning it was very obviously different.
I went to check on them again and he's making normal rooster crowing sounds at about 10 second intervals. He had all the girls (and other boys) up and looking around. They weren't eating or drinking yet, though. So he must have just started. I stayed and observed this for a few minutes before finally hopping in the car and going to work.

This morning (Tuesday), it was back to the normal routine. Checked them at 5, they were all still pretty inactive. When I left an hour later, still the same, but some moving around from some of them.

So my questions are:

1.) Is 9 weeks unusual to start crowing? I wasn't expecting this behavior for at least a few more months. I'm concerned that he may not be able to move outside if he keeps this up. I'd either rehome him or keep him in the garage then send him to camp when he got bigger.
2.) When should the other boys start to crow? I thought they should at least be trying to respond to him.
3.) What are the normal triggers to start crowing? Is it really daybreak? Or is it the perceived threats?
Daybreak has nothing to do with it. They crow in the morning, afternoon, evening, and anytime in between when they feel like it.

Each rooster is an individual. Just as no hen lays an egg at the same time, roosters don't crow at the same time. My welsummer rooster started crowing at 4 DAYS old. Others have waited until 13 weeks. It just depends on the individual.

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