Hen or cockerel?

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Hen or cockerel?

Postby Hoppityhop » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:56 am

Hi,

I'm new to the forum. We've kept chickens for a number of years, with a break of a couple of years, and have now got two Bluebells (about 8 months old) who have been laying for a couple of months, and two Orpingtons. The Orpingtons, we were told, were 10 weeks old when we got them, so will now be around 20 weeks old. The breeder said he was 95% sure that they were both females. The black one has now been crowing each day for the past three or four weeks, but is actually now smaller than the buff one. I will post pictures. The buff is almost as big as the Bluebells, but no where near as shapely as the black one, which I'm also finding a bit odd!

Is anyone able to tell from these photos whether the black one is likely to be a cockerel? He/she is not at all aggressive, just does this crowing, albeit very hoarse sounding (like she has a sore throat!). Apart from waiting to see if she lays (which I'm not sure we'd be able to tell which is which!), is there any other way we can find out?

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Apologies if it's photo overload!
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Re: Hen or cockerel?

Postby Hen-Gen » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:45 pm

That black one is a cockerel. The tail feathers and the size of the wattles confirm this. I'd keep him for another four to six weeks then eat him. But if you have neighbours who are disturbed by his crowing then you would have to do the deed sooner.
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Re: Hen or cockerel?

Postby chickenfan » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:36 pm

They look lovely birds!
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Re: Hen or cockerel?

Postby Hoppityhop » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:15 am

Looks like we'll be getting rid, then. We had toyed with the idea of keeping him, and having chicks, but after this morning's crowfest he's going! :-)11 :cry:
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Re: Hen or cockerel?

Postby RichmondHens » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:30 am

The black Orp is a nice looking boy although maybe has some bantam Orp in him which would account for the size difference as at 20 weeks he should be larger than the hen. The buff hen may not be pure which would account for the less rounded shape you have noticed.
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Re: Hen or cockerel?

Postby Minorcafan » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:07 pm

If you don't want to eat him you could return him to the breeder for a female
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Re: Hen or cockerel?

Postby Marigold » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:32 pm

Yes, I agree. As you were definitely sold him as a female, it wouldn't hurt to try negotiating an exchange.
Of course you'd then have the old problem of introducing a single bird to your flock. Would you have room for a swap plus her friend as well?
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