This new chicken owner has a situation

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sassysouth, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Sassysouth

    Sassysouth True BYC Addict

    May 12, 2016
    Decatur, AL
    So I bought 4 pullets with the idea is having the perfect plan of 4 laying hens. Well, I think I have a rooster in the mix. I have read so many stories of a rooster needs 9 hens or he will wear anything less ragged. If I let my hens have babies, while they sit on that egg, they quit laying eggs, right? I have included pics. They are various ages. I think 8-10 weeks. No rash decisions right now. Just looking for experienced guidance.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  2. heatherlaw

    heatherlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2015
    Roseville, California
    That top pic certainly does look like a rooster. You are correct that he will need more hens if you plan to keep him. You are also correct that hens quit laying while they hatch a brood and won't begin laying again until they decide that brood is raised and able to be on their own. If you have the space and want to keep your roo I would get more pullets. If not, check with the place you bought the chicks to see if they have a policy in place for wrongly sexed chicks. Most will take the rooster back and refund you, or give you a credit towards another pullet
    1 person likes this.
  3. To me, I am not seeing any Cockerels.
    I think they are all pullets..One is just growing in her Comb quicker.
    Yes, hens will stop laying eggs if they go broody and try too hatch out chicks. They will do that without a Rooster also.
  4. pfields

    pfields Chillin' With My Peeps

    I see rooster.
  5. Sassysouth

    Sassysouth True BYC Addict

    May 12, 2016
    Decatur, AL
    I hope so! Someone said she was a cockerel. And she is my favorite. I cannot tell a difference. She has always been bigger, heavier and maybe a week ahead of the others. The second one has always been the smallest, 2-3 weeks behind the others getting feathers and changes the others go through. Thank you.
  6. I wont say I am 100% but pretty close.
    lots of pullets/hens have a bigger comb...
    Best thing to do is watch her...I bet it will lay you and egg....
  7. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2013
    That is definitely a rooster. He may wear your hens ragged and he may not in a flock that size. Chances are he will. Also, even in flocks of 9 or more, roosters can wear out certain birds. A lot of roosters have "favorites" and mate them frequently. Those hens in the pictures will never have babies even if you let them. Their breed doesn't go broody, which means they don't have the maternal instincts to hatch chicks.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    They look younger than 8-9 weeks.....more like 5-6.
    Do you know the breed?
    Did you buy them as day old chicks?
  9. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2016
    While I have my suspicions I am going to avoid jumping onto the what sex is that bird wagon and try to answer your other concerns. Some breeds of birds rarely go broody and Red Sex Links pretty much never go broody at all. If you do choose to keep a rooster with only 3 hens then yes he might wear them out so that is a cause for concern but I only have 7 hens and that seems to be more than enough for my Roo. Exactly how many you need to keep a young Roo happy varies a bit from breed to breed but if you have time you can consider selling or rehoming the Roo or adding a couple more pullets to the flock to mitigate your concerns there. Do you know what breed these birds are for sure?
  10. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    The 10/1 ratio that "they say" is for optimum egg fertility in large commercial breeder flocks. Your mileage may vary.

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