uh oh, hen isn't a hen? crowed today. roo advice?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Trishkabob, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2010
    Schuylerville, NY
    we have 4 hens, um, birds. 3 came from a BYC kind person who knew we lost 3 and had 1 lonely survivor and gave us 3 youngsters in Nov. They were born in August, 2010. Today, Feb. 8 th, one crowed....early. We wondered about her because she has been challenging top hen a bit, but top hen has made it clear that she rules. So she challenged other 3 and mounted one repeatedly. She also ruffs up her neck feathers the way the others don't (she is part JG and part light brahma we were told).
    So if "she" is a roo, in fact, do we do anything different? Or just wait and see how he develops in terms of benevolent king or pain in the rear before we do anything? We do like eggs so having 3 rather than 4 layers is a drag but not awful espexially if he helps protect against hawks as he gets older (we had. hawk attack recently. noone was taken but Guppy-good thing we named her gender neutrally- ran and was freaked out so not sure how she, he, would help protect....)
    We just didn't want or plan on a roo and now need to consider the options. This is our first year so we know....not much!
    he will, in fact, win top spot over current top hen sooner or later, yes?
    things to look for? consider? pros vs. cons of a roo in such a small flock, etc.
  2. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    I'd say keep him unless he gets mean towards you or any of your family. He may get more protective of the girls as he ages, and I suspect he will eventually be king of the flock and oust the head hen of her position. Good luck!
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    One of the roo's jobs is to protect the flock, to warn them of dangers like hawks. He should also help keep order between the hens, break up any conflicts. Sometimes he helps protect chicks as well. And of course roos are beautiful. I love the sound of crowing.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The only thing I would worry about is how much testosterone rules him as he goes through the "teenage" period and he tries to mount anything he can.... that will be obnoxious to you and to the hens.

    And, later, if he's not a gentleman roo, if he mates the hens too much.

    But many folks have flocks as small as yours with a rooster. Those are only concerns and may not occur in your flock, but it might.

    Other than that, enjoy having a rooster!! I wouldn't have a flock without one.... in my case..... several! [​IMG]
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sometimes, hens crow, I understand. None of mine ever have, but it's documented. If you post a picture of the bird in question, we can tell you if you have a rooster or a crowing hen.
  6. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Western Wisconsin
    I had the opposite thing happen the other day. My "rooster" layed an egg!
  7. Dead Rabbit

    Dead Rabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    yup hens can crow. hens can grow spurs too. its dependency is the amount of testosterone in their systems. ive had a few hens crow before. pop their wings like a rooster, rear back and crow...sounds alot like a cockeral when he first starts crowing.
  8. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    we too did not expect a roo with our "rare mixed breed" but ours was an extra chick i gather. anyways, as others have said, just watch him/grow and mature. perhaps he could be a valuable asset to your flock and protect them. thats how i came to love our rooster, he is a great king protecter. good luck!

  9. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2010
    Schuylerville, NY
    hi all who replied,
    I am afraid the nearly worst happened while we were away for 5 days and had friends looking after things. We got home last night and the rooster had nearly pecked Lorna, our oldest and top ranked SLW to death. Vet said if we had been away one more day he, and likely the other 2 hens, would have killed her. She is in our garage now, in a makeshift pen, exhausted but clearly happy to be safe and able to eat. Vet needs to see her again before she can close the wound which is deep and messy.
    So we have a rooster we are mad at/dislike and 2 hens who are doting on him and vice versa and a sweet girl who must have been tortured with no getaway who we want to keep and protect.
    Obviously, he is just doing what nature tells him to do but we liked him when we thought he was a she and now we, frankly, hate him. Can't help it. If he was really born in august, he must be 6 months old. I would have thought puberty would have shown him up as a roo earlier than this...and it haooened overnight-he looks different, acts different, sounds different obviously, all within a week!?

    So......how does one give away a roo? People/someone actually might want him? Some of you like your roosters you say but we want no part of him. And since the 3 came together and are bonding as a flock, maybe we should find a home for all 3 and get some eggs for Lorna to hatch and start over. Not sure how to start asking around for potential homes or even having him done away with though that isn't sitting well with me either.
    Vet says we can't put Lorna back with them, but we don't want separate coops forever.
    I was distraught at the sight of poor Lorna and thinking about her unable to get away as they brutalized her (wound is bad)....guess I still am distraught because we don't feel clear on what to do.
    any advice welcomed. thanks so much. (boy, would we be lousy farmers. no armor for the common brutality of nature.)
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You could butcher the roo. Ultimate revenge.

    If you don't want to do that, list him on craigslist. Lots of folks will take roos of your hands, usually to eat. Truthfully, that's probably going to be his end either way. Have him go to someone who will give him a humane end and put his body to use.

    If you're going to harbor bad feelings toward your other two hens, go ahead and get rid of them, too. I don't see the point in keeping an animal you just don't like/trust. Keep your injured hens and buy some chicks. If you want to be a hundred percent sure you don't get another roo, get sex-link chicks.

    Sorry for your injured hen. They are pretty primative animals, much as we like to make pets of them.

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