rooster woes

chicken_ingenue(7)October 4, 2005

Wwweellllll, I am very disappointed. My hen started crowing this morning.S I have a very small flock of three chickens, this is a new venture for me. I should say adventure I guess. LOL I wanted all hens so I could at least get three eggs a day. somehow I don't think I will get many eggs outta the one thats crowing! I just hope to heck that the other two are hens. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find chickens in these parts. I am in a very rural area but all anyone has is game hens and I want a different breed then those.

see you soon

chicken ingenue

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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

don't lose hope! i have a certifiable egg-laying hen that crows. are your hens all the same breed? if so, does the crow-er look different, i.e. larger red thingies under the chin & on top of the head? (the name escapes me at the moment) i'm not at all sure if all breeds have such distinct male/female traits, but it's a place to start figuring it out. my husband can tell from differences in neck/shoulder feathers, but i can't. also, observe for any mating advances by the crow-er, of course :)

anyway, i'm here to attest to the fact that a hen *will* crow.

keep us posted :)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 9:09PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Just like Marsha says, sometimes in the absence of a rooster a hen will crow, mate other hens and take on all the other characteristics of a roo. I have three roos and I STILL have one little hen that will 'mate' the other hens when she goes broody. Wierdo...*L* I just shoo her off and tell her not to be so darned creepy...

Ine most breeds one of the first signs of a young roo is a larger and redder comb and wattles. Hens' combs will be smaller and paler. Roos will also be more friendly and personable, while hens tend to by shyer and more retiring. It's bad when your favorite, prettiest hen turns out to be a roo...

You might try for fertile hatching eggs, chicks and adult birds in smaller numbers than you could get from a's also a good source for contacting breeders in your area.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 2:39PM
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erinluchsinger(z4 - Upstate NY)

I don't know what to say about your rooster situation, but I did want to add, that if you want 3 eggs a day, you better get a few more hens. I'd say 5 hens would give you 3 eggs a day during the warmer parts of the year, and w/ artificial light on them 14 hours a day during the fall and winter. If you don't give them supplemental light, you can kiss your egg production good bye!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 5:12PM
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Hi neighbor,
I sent you an email, I have some young hens and pullets that you can have --- they don't fit with the flock 'color scheme'.
For what it's worth, most of my Carolina chickens don't act like yan northern chickens and lay well right thru the winter ;)


    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 7:52PM
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Chapel, Maybe I will get lucky, but somehow I doubt it. LOL

Velvet, this chicken does not exhibit roo behavior as I have read about at this site. and when I looked it up on the featherline site he/she doesn't look anything like a rhode island red roo she/he looks like a hen. S I just don't know and guess I won't until the laying begins or doesn't begin. whichever the case may be.

Erin, I don't know the first thing about chickens, except what I have researched on different sites online. but the three breeds I have have been said online to be hardy and will lay all year round. I don't know we'll see. I am in the south and we stay warmer and lighter then the northern states I think maybe that will help me out some. I also read that a chicken will lay an egg a day. but every other day is fine with me S.

Lisa, I think I live to far away to make it worth it. Aiken is a fer piece from me. but really thanks anyway.

Believe me ya'll I will write as soon as i see an egg of any kind S

see you soon

chicken ingenue

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 7:07PM
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erinluchsinger(z4 - Upstate NY)

Don't believe everything you read when it comes to chicken production. Ideally, you'd get an egg a day, but that doesn't last for very long. I'm way north where the sun never seems to shine and our average winter temp is around 15 degrees, so I had to provide extra light and a little heat for them. My production pretty much dropped off in the winter. If I found an egg, it was a definately bonus.
If you really want 3 eggs a day... get more chickens. Trust me on this one.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 8:21AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Hey, i have about 90 chickens--and i've got a egg every day for the last 3 days!!i'm sure they're all from the same hen--but hey! they're starting to lay. i've put a light on a timer, from 5-7 in the morning, but i'm afraid, in addition to getting eggs, i'm encouraging them to eat more. if, I say, IF, i had it to do over, i'd buy less chickens-and a smaller breed.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 9:54AM
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Just wanted to add... my hens lay just fine through the winter & I have never given them artifical light... I have Buff Orpingtons and Leghorn mixes. never heard of a hen crowing... thats interesting :) Does it sound just like a roo? You should probably get twice the # of hens that you want eggs per day. They do take days off from laying, but some of my hens seem to lay everyday.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 3:08PM
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sumac(SE MI)

I never supplement light either. Figure it's best to let nature work as nature intended. My experience has been (with a small backyard flock) that once the girls start laying they will lay almost daily for a year. After their first molt laying will decrease thru the winter but they all still lay! Laying also decreases into the third year and thereafter.
As far as that darn rooster, I got one in this years mix and all that Velvet said is true. I'm not so sure this one will be able to stay as he is terrorizing one of my older gals to the point where she has left the flock and seems to be in hiding. She is almost bald from her molt and maybe that has something to do with it too.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 4:33AM
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I had a hen that crowed too. She continued to lay. They crow sometimes because they produce too much testosterone. Anyhow,I'm in Michigan and chickens do drop in production, but you should get at least 60% from one year old hens. If you want to tell a rooster from a hen you should look at their comb and feathers primarily. A rooster's comb (on top of head) will be at least twice the size of the hen's comb once they have started laying. The feathers to look at are the hackle and saddle feathers (neck and back, between shoulders and tail). These feathers of a rooster will be pointed instead of round on the tips. They are glossier and long and sleder. This type of feather will show up on the young roosters a few weeks before they begin to crow. Another place of differentiation are the spurs which will start to grow at maturity.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 2:41PM
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judyag_44(SW FL)

8) Have to tell you all a story from my childhood! My Grandma gave me some pretty little banties....Mom & Daddy had white leghorns. One day Daddy told us that he had seen one of my little hens crowing and he wanted us to help him find that hen! When I asked why he said that a crowing hen was bad luck. The way to avoid that bad luck was to kill the offending hen. Well, try as Mom and I could (not) we never got a "fix" on that "bad luck hen"! 8) After a while Daddy seemed to "come to terms" with the strange little girl and she crowed all around the place for the rest of her cute and sounded just like the roosters.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 7:49PM
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mommagoose(z5 NY)

I have some extra pullets and an extra roo or two . I have no idea where you live but my feed bill is astronomical right now and I could part with a couple if you are nearby.
Linda in NY

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 3:55PM
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My wife and I just bought two chickens last weekend. A rooster and a hen. The rooster crowed very well the first two days but now he isn't crowing at all. In fact, he sounds like he has something stuck in his throat like a cold. Is this normal? Is there anything we can do? Please help. We love listening to him. Thank you.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 10:31PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

He could be sick, or have a parasite such as Gapeworm, check him out right away--chickens don't show that they are ill until they are VERY ill. It also could be that being in a new home, he simply crowed himself hoarse trying to tell other roosters that might be in the area 'Here I am!'.

How long has his crow been gone? Is he eating and drinking and carrying on normally? Has he lost weight? Are the hens acting sick at all? I have a chicken info page here that might help:

Congrats on your new chickens! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 1:57PM
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Gary, about your rooster woes:

Is this a young rooster? If he's just started crowing, it takes a while for them to get it right. Their first crows sound a little bit like a crow and a little bit like a gargle.

We had a young rooster once that didn't realize he was making the noise. He'd get halfway through and panic. "RRR-RRRR RRR - WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT!?!?" Hilarious. After a couple of weeks he got it figured out.

If he's not just a babe, velvet sparrow is right. If he's not eating or drinking normally, you have a big problem. If he is, just give him a couple of days.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 1:16PM
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I lost the first version of this, so apologies if it posts twice:

Help! I'm stumped by this one: Has anyone ever had a rooster who won't mate?

We got a flock of 25 hens and two roosters last September. Due to mis-sexing we ended up with five roosters. It was clearly too many once they reached maturity, so we culled three. The two remaining Aruacana boys unfortunately became quite a team; rather than fighting each other, they ganged up on the hens. They were both on the hens constantly, usually one right after the other. So we culled the more aggressive one, Falcon. (Our kids named all our roosters.) That left "Banana."

Since his sidekick's demise, Banana does all the things a rooster does except, um, the most important. He crows, he guards the hens, he looks vigilant. But we have seen NO signs of any mating going on since Falcon departed a month ago. Two of our hens have gone broody and we were hoping to hatch another flock. But I hate the idea of dealing with either sitting hens or an incubator for three weeks only to find we have a lot of unfertilized eggs.

We joke that Banana fears meeting Falcon's fate, or that he was just posturing to impress Falcon, but honestly -- has anyone ever heard of this happening before? Maybe he's just a lot, er, quieter and more subtle than before when he had competition?

Advice is appreciated,

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 10:52AM
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We have all hens, and one of them used to act like a rooster. I don't think that's uncommon when there's not a rooster present. She never quite figured out how to crow, but she sort of barked. She still does it sometimes when the doves get too close to her at mealtime. We call her Chastity after Chastity Bono lol. She lays an egg every day unless she gets super mad about something. She's our only auracana who hasn't gotten broody this year.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 11:01AM
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This boy is DEFINITELY a rooster. He's huge, he has the spurs and the rest of the physical markings, and he's never laid an egg or sat on a nest in his life. (All the chickens are about 9 months old.) But he appears to have taken a vow of celibacy in the past month or so.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 9:10AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

When you had both roos, and they were mating the same hen right after each other, it was likely a show of 'Hey, I saw that, I'm going to one-up you!'

Now that your roo is top banana (Hee hee), it may take him a bit to readjust--I'll bet he's doing a lot of looking over his shoulder for Falcon to come and kick his butt. If you are sure he's healthy and the non-mating isn't caused by illness, just give him time. It may also help for you to acknowledge his status as Head Roo (chicken psychology time!) in front of the hens--when you go out with table scraps or other goodies, give him the pieces and let him call the girls and hand out food. If he hasn't perked up and begun to do his job by next Spring, you'll have to decide if it's new roo time or not.

Good luck with him! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 3:29PM
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I got 3 chicks this year, and they were all supposed to be pullets, but one of them has been crowing. I have pics at 13.5 weeks. What do you all think?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:42AM
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Now i am paranoid... what do you think about this one? also 13.5 weeks old. "she" is supposed to be an americauna

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:20AM
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