Rooster, or Hen? 9 months old Rhode Island Red

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by jessicanorris, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. jessicanorris

    jessicanorris New Egg

    Mar 11, 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    Hello to you all!

    This is my first post here, so by way of a quick introduction: I live in Sydney, Australia, and I currently have four chickens. The boss is "Raven", a pure-bred Australorp; "Harriet", a Barnevelder; "Matilda", a White Leghorn; and "Rose", a Rhode Island Red.

    We acquired Rose and Matilda in early January from a breeder, who estimated that Rose was about 30 weeks old, and Matilda 24 weeks. Matilda was laying immediately, but eight weeks later we still have nothing from Rose.

    That would not normally be a big problem because it can take a while to start laying, and "she" is very skittish. But we have suspected all along that Rose might actually be a rooster.


    Here she is, pecking away at some milk drops that came from their morning treat. I wrote up a bunch of observations about our "little" Rose in a blog post: Rooster, or Hen? if you want to read my extended thoughts on her characteristics and behaviour. There are a bunch more pictures there too.

    After reading a lot of other similar questions here, I'm leaning towards the idea that Rose is actually a Rooster, mainly because she seems to have some saddle feathers, and a droopy cock's tail starting to grow in. She doesn't crow at all, and is a very skittish nervous creature. She also has a nice red wattle and comb, but isn't laying.

    Can any of you confirm or deny my suspicion?

    We aren't allowed to keep roosters in my council area, so I will need to take her back to the breeder and exchange her for a hen if she's a Roo, and we will be sad to part with her. :-/

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  2. K Spot

    K Spot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2013
    SE Qld, Australia
    I'd say you have a Rooster there
  3. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    Definitely a roo.
  4. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 29, 2011
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join us. [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, Rose looks to be a rooster to me as well. The feathering is a give away. I'm really surprised he hasn't crowed already, at his age.

    Nice flock variety, by the way. I love the breed choices.
  5. emma p

    emma p Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2013
    Yup! Rooster!


    CCCCCCCCHICKENS Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 3, 2012
  7. jessicanorris

    jessicanorris New Egg

    Mar 11, 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks everybody! It's good to have agreement ... now I can go back to my breeder and talk about returning him.

    I'm amazed there has been no crowing yet, either. There was one little call on the weekend that made us sit up and think -- "Aha! The verdict is *in*!" -- but it was choked off mid-squak (maybe he got a peck from Harriet!) and we've heard nothing since.

    Poor fellow, I hope he has a breeding program to go to. I'd hate for him to get the chop just because our council doesn't allow roosters!

    Thanks :)
  8. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 29, 2011
    When roosters first begin to crow they won't come out with a full blown "cocka doodle doo". They have to kind of work in their voice. At first it may just be a screaming "eh eh hooo" lol. It can sound pretty pathetic at first. Sometimes it doesn't even have the right syllables of a real crow.
    Good luck with him. :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by