Roosters and Puberty: a general question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nambroth, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I have an accidental partridge rock rooster (actually still just a cockeral) from my group of sexed day-olds. I really didn't want a rooster, and thus ordered from a hatchery so that I could get pullets. Well, nature is what it is and I got a roo. After a lot of research, I decided that I am okay with having a rooster, as I understand their role in protecting the girls.

    He is only 15 weeks old, but he started showing a comb and distinct rooster traits at only 4 weeks old. He started crowing at 11 weeks. He's been trying to mount the pullets (to their distress!) for a while now. I don't know if he has matured any faster than normal... these are my first chickens so it is hard for me to judge.

    Gullincambe, the cockeral in question, is not friendly anymore, but he is not aggressive or mean to us or the hens. He IS rowdy though... chasing the hens (because the hormones are flowing). I can read body language enough to know that he's just feeling the urge to reproduce, and is not showing aggressive tendencies. He is also crowing a lot more, as of the last few days. I might say he is crowing incessantly! It starts a little before dawn (not before, thank goodness) and goes for many hours. Yesterday it was nearly all day. I would really like to keep him... he's a nice fellow, very pretty and is not aggressive. I think he will be a good rooster for the hens, however I am wondering if, after this initial outburst of hormones, he might mellow down a little. I've read other people say that once they finish maturing they mellow out a bit. Is this typical? His crowing is getting to us (and I don't know what the neighbors think...) and that is saying something, considering I have loud parrots. If I just need to grit my teeth and get through the worst of it, that is okay with me. If it doesn't, I am not sure what we will do. I know roosters are programmed to crow. He's doing what he is made to do.... but-- Some are programmed to crow a lot more than others it seems!

    Thank you for any input and advice.

    Here are a few pictures of him, for fun:



    "Not now, baby... the other girls are watching!"
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    They do settle down, but he's not going to stop crowing. He may crow a little less, he may not - it's hard to say. Males mature faster than females, so his hormones are raging right now. Once the girls are ready and let him mate and he gets the hang of it, it will get better.
  3. Kaeta44

    Kaeta44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    We'd all like to know the answer to this one! One of the reasons he crows is to tell any other cockerels in the area to keep away from his flock, another is to attract more girlfriends.

    One thing you could try is covering anywhere in the coop that lets in light, so that he gets fooled into thinking it's later than it really is because it's still dark. I've also seen advice that suggests getting more hens to boost the size of his flock - not sure that's always practical though.

    Best of luck.
  4. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    His feathers are a lovely colour.....however, he is currently a feather-covered testosterone pot.

    Adolescence is a bad time for them and for the girls they are with. Even if there are adult males about they are unable to control their urges and can get hurt.

    They can take a few months to calm down, but colder weather usually 'dampens their ardour'
  5. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I have PR rooster, but your guy is gorgeous! What a hunka hunka! It's my first time raising chickens, and General Tso is just 18 weeks old. He just started crowing this past weekend, and I heard him practicing a bit this morning. He crows about 7 times in a row and then stops. He seems to be growing into his feet, but he still trips over them a lot. I don't think yours is abnormal, I think my guy is a late bloomer. Sorry, I have no feedback other than that.

    Edited to ask: where did you get your birds?
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  6. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    First of all, those are beautiful pictures!! You should submit the third one to the calendar contest.

    I put a roost, platform, anything will work, up high so that the hens can get a break. I find my hens will fly up to a log I have, and it's only maybe 8-10 inches off the ground, to get away from the roosters affections.
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Quote:Absolutely. Once the pullets start laying and more 'willing' he may settle down-- if not rethink your choices.
  8. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Thank you all for your insights! I have replied below.

    Quote:Thanks! I know it's unreasonable to ever think he'll stop crowing. I don't mind crowing-- just incessant, all-day-long crowing is a bit much for us and our neighbors. I am hoping he can cool it a little after he gets over his hormones a bit. If not, I will consider my options. I hate to pass judgement on him if he might cool down a little later on.

    Quote:Thank you! I don't have a good way to make the coop dark during the daylight hours (my one blessing is that it's so dark out here at night), but last night I brought him inside and put him in a spacious but covered cage for the night. It worked, but I hate to think of doing that every day for his lifetime. If we can get him past the worst, though, I don't mind doing it.

    Quote:Thanks! He sure is pretty. I wasn't sure what to expect once it was clear he wasn't a she after all! Gullin used to crow exactly 7 times in a row at dawn, then stop. I though it was wonderful! Then this week the hormones really started flowing and, well... [​IMG] Gullin was very clumsy too, stepping all over himself, but he's slowly getting more graceful. Growing into his legs, as you said! I ordered Gullin and my other chickens from Meyer.

    Quote:Thank you! I did have the forethought to put a 2x12 piece of lumber in the run for the girls to get on, and they do use it. The ramp to the run is also pretty long and high because my yard is all sidehill, and the girls will hop on that and give him the stink eye if he's getting too frisky. [​IMG] Thankfully he really isn't bothering them too much and is otherwise polite to the pullets.
  9. stormylady

    stormylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    My Rooster when they were young crowed all night all day ! Now that they are older it is mostly just a couple times around 5 am and then again around 4:30 or 5pm then not again til the next morning unless they are disturbed by a sound or a light in or by the coop that they can see and hear.
  10. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2010
    SW PA
    Just think of teenage boys growing into men. Some take far longer to do it. But it will probably pass in a few weeks. He sure is a looker!

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