RIR- cockerel or pullet?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by ooglebloops, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. ooglebloops

    ooglebloops Hatching

    May 3, 2013
    I have 4 Heritage RIR's - one has just started laying eggs!!They were sold to me as hens- but it is kind of looking like the seller had only a 25% success rate in predicting the sex. Looking at photos and doing more research - I am thinking I have 3 cockerels and one pullet. They are in a nice, large rolling cage, and so far get along fine. Having been hand raised in my bathtub(!), they are very friendly. Will these roosters continue to get along, or am I going to have to remove them and get more hens? Very disappointed for my first time out - just wanted 4 "pet" hens for their eggs, but will keep them all, if they will get along. It is hard to get pix outside of the cage - but the one in the foreground is most definitely the hen - the three others are developing the arched teal tail feathers. No spurs on anyone.One in particular, has a larger tail. No crowing yet- only a partial one time, that would barely qualify as a crow!!
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013

  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    I agree with you; you look to have three roosters.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    How old were they when you bought them? How old are they now?
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    If they have any long, green tail feathers, they are male. Spur nubs are present on both genders, and may not develop until next year on the males. Sometimes hens will have spurs, so they're not a good way to judge sex. Also look for long, skinny, shiny, pointy feathers along the neck and in front of the tail. Those also indicate male. Your hen will have shorter, more rounded feathers.

    I have my doubts about a flock of three males to one female getting along, especially in an enclosed space. There will be fights over the hen, and the hen will be over mated and stressed.

    I think you are better off selling your cockerels and getting three more hens. You should be able to find a buyer interested in having heritage RIR for their flock and not for soup. I would try the Buy-Sell-Trade forum here on BYC and Craigslist. You may be able to make a trade, as heritage birds are somewhat in demand.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I agree with WoS, get rid of those roosters. you didn't want them to start with and don't have room. Stay with your plan for hens and eggs. If you really want to keep them, build a bachelor pad for the boys. That lone hen is going to get ganged up on if those boys stay with her.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by