Last fall, when we adopted our hens, we were told that the youngest two were born that year and were about 5 months old. She said they had started laying. When we got them home we started to realize that that information was definitely not accurate.
First of all, we were not getting any small eggs (although we thought maybe the stress of the move had caused them to stop laying). Secondly, our friends had pullets who had just started laying and we noticed that their pullets were WAY bigger than ours. Hmmmmm. It started to occur to us that maybe these chicks were much younger than previously thought. From what we gathered they were more like 2-3 months old.
As we continued on with our adventure with these new hens we heard and interesting sound coming from the coop one morning on the way to milk the cow. Could that have been a sad attempt at crowing!? Sure enough, as the days went on, it because clear that one of our young hens was actually a young rooster.
We didn’t really know what to do. We hadn’t planned on having a rooster. We knew roosters could torment the hens and cause them stress. Obviously there was the noise factor. And we knew that roosters could get aggressive and we didn’t want to worry about the children around the chickens. We decided that he could stay as long as he didn’t become aggressive and his crowing didn’t cause neighbor problems. We also decided to increase our handling of him while he was small so that he would hopefully be more tame and not get aggressive.
It’s been about 4 months since then and he is still here. He is very nice with all of us humans, his crow hasn’t caused stress with the neighbors (we’ve actually had an opportunity to talk to each of them about it and they LIKE hearing it – yippeee!) and we are very happy to have him as a member of the chicken family. We are hoping to eventually have one of our hens go broody and then we will have fertilized eggs from this guy and we can raise some chicks.