Pullets turning out to be roos - depressing

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by azygous, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    We all love raising baby chicks and watching them grow their first feathers, then quickly maturing in just three short months into pretty nearly full size chickens.

    But those of us raising pullets because we want egg layers, have to live with that nagging paranoia that we'll get one or two "accidental" roosters out of the batch. Today I discovered I have a second cockerel in my batch of nine chicks I raised this summer.

    The first one I posted a picture of on this forum last week to see if anyone could tell me if it was a pullet or cockerel. Her name was Penny and it's now Penrod.
    The second one I discovered on my own this morning as I was noticing Dagney was growing some impressive green rooster tail feathers out of her luxurious Black Cochin attire.

    I took Dagney out of the pen and let her wander around with my rooster Stan. Stan all but ignored her. I discovered by accident, a week ago when another pullet had escaped the pen, that Stan has perfect knowledge of whether a chick is a pullet or cockerel. He immediately tried to mount the little escapee!

    So Dagney's name is now Darrel.

    Can anyone tell me, who has more than one rooster, if keeping the roosters separate from the hens will prevent violent cock fights? Penrod and Darrel roost separately from the hens and do not share the day-time pen with them. Or will this not make any difference and they'll all be beating each other up in another month or two?
  2. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I hope not cause I have 2 roos that were hatched together they are 13 weeks old now and run around like BFF I am keeping both so I hope they always get along. I do know that only Lindy crows. Never heard Penguin crow yet.
  3. AllCoop'dUp

    AllCoop'dUp Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2010
    Creswell, Oregon
    My oldest roo, about 7 months actually seems to be teaching the younger 6 month old roo what he's supposed to be doing. They even roost together at night. But they have their hands full with 33 hen/pullets, so I don't anticipate any arguments. Especially with the three younger 16wk, 12wk & 8wk roos I've identifed. I've got 24 - 4wk olds that are suppose to be all pullets. I think the ratio will be OK. 5 boys to 57 girls. If I have to, I can separate.
  4. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    I keep 6 six-month old cockerels together and they get along quite well. They free range and do not have any pullets with them (although they do have 3 guinea hens running around - the guineas can out-fly them so the cockerels soon gave up any ideas they had of romancing the guineas! [​IMG] ). My pullets are currently living in the coop/run so the boys can watch them but not have contact.

  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Quote:Last year I raised nine chicks and two were accidental roosters. Like your two, Stan and Clarence were BFF's, but as they matured, Stan was a little bit ahead of Clarence, and while Stan learned to crow magnificently, Clarence could barely croak out two and a half notes. It was clear that Stan was the alpha. I re-homed Clarence, and he quickly became a full rooster, and a real tyrant at that. (A year later, the person I gave him to wanted me to take him back because he was such a @#$%^! I refused. She's the one who's to blame, refusing to school her roo in manners.)

    Anyway, I'm hoping that if the two younger roos don't have access to the girls, then maybe Stan won't feel compelled to fight them and they him. I am pretty sure only the more dominant of the two younger ones would challenge Stan anyway, judging from the past behavior of brooder mates (BFF's)

    I suppose I'll be finding out since I plan on keeping all three.
  6. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    That really stinks [​IMG]

    However, my rate is far worse (if it makes you feel any better):

    I raised 8 chicks that I hatched here several months ago. Guess what? ALL EIGHT ARE COCKERELS.

    I bought 12 eggs for $55+ shipping (from SQ birds). 6 hatched - which I was very happy with. Guess what? FIVE are cockerels. and the sixth is messed up in the genetics department - wrong comb and feathering for the breed.

    I had 12 eggs shipped of a rare breed. 7 hatched. FIVE are cockerels.

    I finally resorted to buying started birds. This way I get exactly what I want. SOOO frustrating!!!
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have 20+ chickens and 5 of them are roosters/cockerels. Only the oldest and dominant rooster is a standard breed, all the rest are bantam breeds.

    I was really worried but they don't fight. The bantams don't attempt to mount girls in Carl's view, and now they don't do it in MY view either. We have both - Carl and I - taught them those are OUR girls. I'm sure they attempt and maybe succeed when I'm not around and Carl is in the front yard when they are in the back or vice versa.

    Most of the hens/pullets are standard sized - none of the bantam pullets are of age yet. The large girls don't put up with any of "that crap" from the bantam roos. The little girls run away screaming (and, I'm sure, end up giggling like teenaged girls in the bushes).

    But there's no fighting.

    Although there are four coops for them to sleep in, boys and girls roost together. I don't segregate 'em.

    Oh, and I have a pair of Cayuga ducks - but they patrol the yard at night, instead of going into a coop. They used to "coop up" with the large chickens, but stopped doing so a few months ago.

    Anyway, I'm glad I haven't had any fights. Just some neck feather flaring. The bantam boys give up right away.
  8. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I'm with you on the bad hatch rates......I always hatch out way more boys than girls. Sigh. And of course, the local hawk that targeted my flock recently, only took the young girls. I now have 4 gold laced boys and 1 girl. Sigh again.

    I have had few problems keeping my boys together but have indeed had problems. However, I currently keep a rooster pen. I used to have quite a few more but currently only have 9 boys in there. They are all somewhat young....oldest is about 9 months old. They get along well enough.....some picking and small scuffles but no real injuries. I even had a couple adult boys in there for a while and they did fine. HOWEVER, I cannot add any new boys to this pen. THis group has been together for a couple months now....I took one boy out for a sale, kept him in another cage for a few days as a buddy to an injured bird and then tried to put him back. In the time it took for me to get about 20 feet and through a gate the entire group had him down on the ground. It was like throwing a piece of meat to a pack of lions. But they get along fine with each other.

    In my "large flock", I have over 50 hens and anywhere from 2-10 roosters out with them. Right now i have 1 head adult rooster....his 6 month old son, 4 other 4-5 month old boys, 1 8 month old boy......and a small bantam cochin that goes in and out of the flock depending on whether he behaves himself that day. These boys are respectful of each other and have plenty of space (1/2 acre) to stay out of each other's way. The one small bantam cochin has an attitude problem and tends to pick fights.....and then lose them. Crazy rooster.....

    I tend to downsize the rooster population more because of wear and tear on the hens than them not getting along. I did have one extremely aggressive rooster who went bad overnight and nearly killed another rooster.....they had grown up together and shredded each other one day. Aggressive rooster was removed and the bottom rooster took over.....added a few more boys that were younger and he accepted them as helpers. He was too rough on the hens and has since been removed.

    Its worth a try if you want to keep all the boys. If you have the space to make a rooster only pen....make one. Make a nice BIG pen and a decent coop. Even if only two boys. Give them lots of space and places to get away from each other.
  9. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Well, I sure do sympathize with any and all who go to all the trouble of raising, let alone getting eggs and hatching them, when the expected pullets turn out to be cockerels. It's not that I don't love my boys, I certainly do, and they each get cuddled and loved, even old Stan loves his lap cuddling and hugs and sweet talk, but I was hoping for a fleet of layers!

    Thanks for letting me share my disappointment with you all, and thanks for the solace and support.
  10. yzmike777

    yzmike777 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    Cedar City
    This touches my heart cause today found out my little girl is actually a boy too! I am here if you ever need to talk about it [​IMG]

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