Well that didn’t take very long! The day after we officially identified one of the hens as a definite rooster due to his body, comb and waddle size, he makes a faint attempt to crow!
OK, so I didn’t have my camera for the first one, so I ran to get it and had to convince him to do it again!
Now, I know he doesn’t have the most beautiful voice today, but give him a break! He’s only 3 1/2 months old! He’s gotta work them vocal cords a little before he’s ready for the opera!
Now I know you are saying “But Roosters are MEAN!” but he doesn’t have to be! I’ve been feeding him by hand his favorite snacks, black oil sunflower seeds! So he likes being around me. I can pick him up too! Now he doesn’t just sit and wait for me to pick up him, but he doesn’t really try to run away either. We are developing a great relationship!
We are excited to see what a beauty he’s going to be.
One of these things is not like the others…. One of these hens just doesn’t belong!
So we suspect we have a Rooster in our midst!
When you buy Pullets (hens) you expect ALL of them to be egg laying hens. Unfortunately it isn’t easy to determine the sex of 1-2 day old chicks. The hatcheries literally hire a few very talented individuals who apparently get paid a lot of money since they possess a rare ability to know the difference of these tiny private parts on iddy bitty chicks.
Well, it’s been our experience that they are periodically wrong, and they even legally document on sale that you may end up with a rooster because of mother nature.
Well! We are not disappointed though. We enjoy looking at the extra beautiful feathering that roosters get. We also enjoy some of their quirks. Plus they are protective of the ladies, so God forbid a predator manages to get to them, the rooster will sacrifice himself to defend his precious girls! Some roosters have been known to even kill hawks!
See if you can tell which chicken doesn’t look like the others on their YouTube Channel:
This baby chick doesn’t look like the others. It has eyes that look more like a hawk than a chicken. This chick is also much bigger than the others. We are trying to figure out if it is a rooster or not.
And it’s not just the size or stare, but the other things this chick does that makes us wonder.
This chick is the only one jumping up on top of the brooder panel instead of going under it. Also, jumping on top of the waterer had become a favorite thing to do. Not cool! I’m tired of cleaning out the waterer 3 times a day to remove your poop!
And if there was ever a bully on the block, this chick would be it. Jumping on top of others, pulling a feather or two, and the most recent, pecking another chick in the eye!
You better hope you are a rooster or you will not be welcome in our home! We’ve had enough hens with attitude and will not tolerate it!
Check out YouTube and you decide if this chick is a rooster:
Breaking News! Chuck Norris fixes mean hens! All of us are finally getting some peace! Any time one of the ladies squawks from being pecked, Cluck is on the scene breaking up the fight, and sometime chasing down the perpetrator! All fights are now quickly put to an end!
If all the girls are starting to get out of control he chases every single hen back in the coop and then blocks the door so that nobody can get out. We’ve seen him block the girls for up to an hour until they calm down. It’s actually pretty amazing!
In the morning, Cluck also insists on getting the first drink of water and the first bite of food. If one of the hens tries to jump off the roost to join him, he chases her back up. When he’s done he stands blocking the doorway and allows the girls to start eating or letting them jump into the nesting boxes to lay eggs. Then, when he’s ready, he will move out of the way of the coop door and let them go outside.
A side effect of his militant attitude has resulted in the beaten up hens getting a break and feathers are starting to grow back! They look like long dark shafts at the moment but will soon open into glorious red feathers once again!
Yay Cluck! You not only have done your job, you are a miracle cure!
See Cluck taking control and then the calm that has finally settled the hens on their YouTube Channel:
The ladies have gotten so nasty to each other we decided it’s time to get a rooster to lay down the law and start keeping the nasty hens in line!
Meet Cluck Norris! He’s a Black Austrolorp mix. Young and beautiful! He also has a soothing cluck to his voice and we are able to hold him without too much trouble.
After we bought Cluck from a local farm we put him in the barn by himself to keep him in quarantine for 2 weeks. We will keep checking him for any diseases before letting him play with the girls.
Once quarantine was over Cluck was brought into the chicken run while the girls were stuck inside the coop. We wanted him to get comfortable with his surroundings before we let out the mean girls.
It didn’t take long for him to clue in there were hens inside the coop. He was acting like a teenage boy, listening to the door, posturing and making soft, intent clucking noises.
Check out the vid:
So we opened the door and out came the girls. It didn’t take long for the mean girls to run up to Cluck asking “WHO ARE YOU” and “What do you think you are doing here?!” Cluck quickly put them in their place. So much so all the ladies ran back into the coop!
See the mean girls fight with Cluck:
Cluck decided to take a stand. He went into the coop, drank some water, ate some food and sent all the girls up onto the roost or into the nesting boxes. He had officially taken control!
I can’t wait to see the changes over the next couple weeks!
It is with heavy heart I tell you that we had another visit from the fox. In order to save the life of the remaining ladies, my family helped us play our last game of Chicken Ninja sneaking the survivors into the neighbors coop in the dark. They will finish living out their days there and we will still be able to visit them.
Since there is already a rooster in the coop Stewart was not invited. He’s too big for the littles so we couldn’t put him in with them. His crow turned so sad that after a couple days I took him to the Rooster Rescue and the owner fell in love. So hopefully that means he will get extra special treatment.
Terrible lesson learned. Next time we bring in new chicks they will be raised in the barn and not let out until they are full size while the veterans still stay in the coop and predator proof run. We are now considering a chicken tractor for either the veterans or the littles in life transition. A chicken tractor is a fully covered run with a small coop that you drag anywhere you want. Picture it! The ladies get a new area to investigate every couple days! On 10 acres there will always be new greens and bugs to peck on!
I know this blog is supposed to be rated PG 13 so if you take offense to chicken 3 ways you may want to skip this post.
When we got these chicks 3 years ago I fell in love with a beautiful blue girl who truly glowed when she was younger. I named her Blue. She stuck out like the celebrity she was. Unfortunately at some point she became the meanest of mean girls and took on the nastiest of personalities!
Not only was she pecking at every chicken in her path, she also started to do something I have never seen before. First, she sucked up to Stewart the Rooster who actually let her take over his reign in a way! I knew Stewie wasn’t all that smart, but come on!!
As Stewart was wooing one of the ladies Blue came running up, knocked Stewie off the hen and then jumped on her herself! What the Flock??!!!!!! This on top of a number of peck wounds on all the ladies backs! Everyone was getting stressed out!
At one point one of my neighbors asked me if I wanted to get rid of any of my chickens because he had lost a few. I took this as an opportunity. Here is how the text messages went:
Me: Still interested in a egg layer? She sucked up to the rooster and is beating up a few girls. Thinking a change in flock might knocker her off her high horse.
Neighbor: Sure. Some night after they go to roost we can bring her into the coop and put her on the roost next to the others and when they wake up they will have a new friend.
Me: Is tonight ok? I’ll do it myself.
Neighbor: Your guys are welcome to.
If you have never heard of a chicken Ninja you have now. Chickens turn into zombies in the dark. It’s like when you try and wake up at 3 am in the morning and are not functioning. So after dark as the chicken Ninja, I carefully peeled away Blue from Stewart off the roost and carried her to the neighbors coop. I placed her right next to the rooster and snuck out. Next text……
Me: Package has been delivered!
The next day I walked to the fence line to get a look at the neighbors chicken yard and I didn’t see Blue. What happened to her? Now I was a little worried but decided to give it a day. Next text…….
Neighbor: Blue is doing really good. Slow first day to come out but yesterday you’d never know she wasn’t an original part of the group.
What a relief. I’ve visited blue a couple times. The neighbors chickens are mostly giant Brahmas so there is no way tiny blue will ever create a problem there.
I couldn’t resist. The old ladies were free ranging and I was going into the coop to feed the littles. The old ladies were trying to fight their way inside so I got curious as to how they would react to the little girls. So……I let one of them in!
Interestingly enough the buffs were more interested in the food bucket than the littles! Stewart the Rooster was the funniest. All I could see in his eyes was ….”additions to my harem!” The Easter Egger was the most curious. She spent the most time checking them out. Unfortunately something I noticed about Easter Eggers is they tend to look and act a little more wild than the other chicken breeds.
I was soaking one of the Egger’s feet one night next to the brooder when the chicks were only a week old. The older Egger got a wild look in her eyes, darted glances all about the cage and had her mouth hanging open! Yikes! She scared me a little! Yet the Eggers are still my favorite. No, they do not have fluffy feathered butts like the others, and when you need to catch them they run much faster. They can be a pain!
But now we have a coop full of young, overactive Rhode Island Reds. They are taking a very long time establishing the pecking order. Bumping chests, flying at each other in the air and pecking like mad! Makes me wonder if we have roosters in this batch again! If not is this a sneak peak of a future angry flock?! Double yikes!
Well, I guess we will see! Wish me luck!
Watch the older chickens checking out the Littles on the their YouTube channel:
For those of you who have been following the ladies, you know that Stewart is the young rooster that we gave to hens for Valentine’s Day last year! Well……he wasn’t as strong as we were hoping.The brutal ladies refused to let him grow a nice flowing tail. Every time he had new pin feathers starting to grow the ladies would literally yank them out of his butt! How humiliating!
He still has an awesome singing voice and loves to share it at all hours of the day and night, to my neighbor’s dismay! Such a funny boy!
Although still not dominant enough to fully earn the ladies respect, he has at least been able to keep them off his hiney! Finally Stewy has a partially filled in long black/green tail! There is still some white fuzz where more feathers should grow from.
So here is a personally written poem to my favorite, be it my only boy:
Stewart, as a leader you fail Such a sad and pointless tail Listen to my plea you hear Keep your girlfriends off your rear!
Get a good look at Stewart’s new tail and hear his beautiful singing voice on the ladies YouTube channel:
Stewart is finally getting bigger than the ladies! He’s looking a lot more like a rooster! Unfortunately molting season came and everyone lost their feathers. Now that feathers are growing back the ladies are starting to look lovely again. But what’s this? Stewart seems to be missing something……… His Tail! Now why isn’t Stewies tail big and tall like a real rooster? After a few weeks of pitying the poor boy I figured out what was wrong. The ladies are taking to pulling his tail feather out! How do they do that? They literally get behind him and check out his butt. If there are any baby pin feathers on his rear end, they grab it with their beak and pluck it out! It’s terrible to watch! This big proud rooster not even running away and squeaking at every pull! Stand up for yourself Stewart! Don’t let these ladies take away your rooster-hood!