Which came first the Rooster or Hen?

laturcotte1August 16, 2009

I have two hens (well I pray they're hens) 2 1/2 months old Barred Rocks. They've been named Chicken and Egg, who's who we don't care neither do they, but they do come when called!

As they got older they stopped peeping and started making almost a clucking noise, it was very cute like a teenagers voice changing. Then I noticed the smaller of the two stopped making any type of sound at all and and the other started to growl. I mean she growls louder than my dog we can actually hear her from across the driveway! The peeping gone, the clucking gone now just this awful growl. She is also very aggressive, when I feed them if I bend over she will jump up and grab the food out of my hands. They free range from 7a - 5p, have starter food available 24/7, once in the morning and evening a handfull of mealworms so she is definately not starving. She will take the food straight from the other hens mouth too. If I try to push her aside she will peck my foot. When I give them corn on the cob I try to give her the biggest so it will take her longer to eat and the other will have time to finish hers. Yikes this has become a full time job and I only have 3! Could she be a he? Fletcher's the main man and I don't need another knocking him around. He's the guy with no toes and not sure if he could defend himself against an aggressive roo. The other hen, poor thing, is very passive. Fletcher growls also but this hens got him beat.

The younger one has a redder of the two faces and neither comb is bigger. What do you think?

As usual thanks for all the help.

Lee Ann

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At 10 weeks you should be seeing changes in the shape of the hackle (neck) feathers. Males will develop pointed hackle feathers--females have rounded hackle feathers.

If she is a she--she may be the head (dominant) she. It is good that the other hen is so passive. Having two strong willed hens will lead to a lot of squabbles.

As they develop their adult voices-one of the sounds they normally make can be described as growling-Roos do it more and louder than hens.

Is Fletcher in with them? If he is, do you notice any rivalry between them (the growling one)?

Well, in about 2-3 more weeks you will either start to hear a second Roo crowing-or- another hen clucking-solving yet another of life's mysteries.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 9:05AM
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The meet and greet in Fletchers yard went ok but as long as he is in the coop they won't go in and sleep. They slept outside in the rain all night, when I found them in the morning it was heartbreaking to see these two drenched hens. I opened the gate and they ran to their own yard. So we're back to him in his coop/yard and the hens in theirs when it's time for bed. I open the two yards in the morning and the 3 free range all day.

Fletcher spends most of his days with the goats but will always "find" them a couple times a day so I think he's getting better. The hen in question doesn't let Fletcher push her around at all either, she will even take food from him and run. The other hen just runs in the corner. I hope in the next month it will be time to put them in together and keep my fingers crossed I don't have a choice they really do have to live together.

If I end up with one hen will I have to get couple more? I'm not sure the younger one will survive 2 roos. Boy this chicken live is complicated and I don't care what people say they are pretty bright.

When the hens got older and I did the meet and greet for the second time Fletcher didn't peck at them bute he would walk up close, lower his wings turn sides ways and side step right into them. You could tell what he was going to do so the hens would be prepared to run and he would run all over the yard side stepping!

Also would I be better off getting a full grown hen if I have to get another?

Lee Ann

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 2:36PM
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By what you have described happened during the meet and greet indicates you have two hens. I would not force the issue. It is difficult mixing and older Roo with hens that are not adults. His advances are sexual in nature and your hens are not ready for that. They (hens) should be 17 to 20 weeks old before putting them with a 'lonely frustrated' Roo. He will be too aggressive with them. Keep doing what you are doing. Keep an eye on the hens for injuries and feather damages on the back and the head just behind the comb. I have seen hens that had the skin torn open just behind the comb and developed infections before they were noticed.

The smaller your flock is, the harder it is to introduce new members. If you had Fletcher and 3 or 4 other hens it would be easier to introduce the 2 younger hens into the flock. Fletcher would have a favorite older hen that would distract him enough to safely introduce the younger hen.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 6:11PM
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