Rooster Question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ejcrist, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a young flock of 9 Leghorns and 16 Barred Rock hens. I was sure one of the Leghorns was a rooster because (s)he had a comb and wattles much bigger than the rest of the Leghorns, and his/her hackle feathers looked to be a lot longer than the others. Today though I'm not so sure (s)he is a rooster since I've noticed the other Leghorns are looking like they have the same long hackle feathers now that I look closer. All the BR's appear to be hens based on what I read about coloring, etc. When I ordered these birds I ordered all hens since this is my first go-around and I didn't want to piss off the neighbors, but when I told the neighbors I might have a rooster they were all happy about it and so naturally I was too. I really want a rooster and when I thought I had one I was really glad. But now that I'm not so sure I'm disappointed. Talk about an emotional roller coaster - I'm worse than my hens.

    Anyway, now I'm thinking about ordering maybe half a dozen cockerels to integrate with the hens. I'd cull all but the best two and leave those to live with the hens in the flock. That's what I'd like to do anyway. My question: is that possible to do since my hens are currently 16 weeks old tomorrow? If so, how old should the cocks be before introducing them, and do you need to take any special measures like you'd do if introducing younger hens such as keep in a pen inside the run. etc.? I'm thinking since I'd be mixing boys and girls they might possibly be more interested in each other rather than trying to dominate one another the way hens would. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a pretty good plan and there are a ton of really great and helpful forums to help with integrating flocks/birds :3
    If you want you could post some pictures of the birds you think May be males and we could help guarantee you dont already have some litle cockerels in there :3
     
  3. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's the Leghorn in question:
    [​IMG]

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  4. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know all that much about Leghorns, but instantly i did think rooster, thats a pretty red face, how old is it, and do you have any of the "ladies" in comparison? My only worry is he has almost no other roo-like attributes.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    At 16 weeks, that's a pullet. The red comb means that she's getting ready to lay eggs. There is no male feathering at all on her.
     
  6. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the comments/info. (S)he's 16 weeks old today. Junebuggena - thanks for the opinion - I think that's what's going on. I put fake plastic eggs in the egg boxes so the girls will know what they're for, and this particular bird keeps kicking them out of one of the boxes, and she's the only one that goes in there. So I'm getting the feeling she's "gettin' the feeling." I'm happy I'll be getting eggs soon but I wish one of them turned out to be a rooster. I think when I replace them in a few years I'm going to order twice as many straight run chicks and cull the cocks down to the best one. This is the best way to learn though - through experience.
     
  7. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As a side note, here's a picture with some of the other leghorns for comparison:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Cockerels are usually much better behaved if they are raised in a flock with mature hens. The older hens really beat manners into those teenage boys. Makes them so much more pleasant to have in the flock. Cockerels that are raised from chicks with 'their' girls, without mature hens around, tend to be jerks.
     
  9. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seconded. ^^^

    Tis why I'll always keep a few ol' battleaxe hens around even past their egg-laying days. They might not make me breakfast anymore but if they can thump enough good sense/manners into just one belligerent cockerel while he's still young and impressionable they will have more than earned their feed.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    lol
    My current 8 month old cockerel is still too scared of most of my Barred Rock hens to even try to breed them.
     

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