Last summer we got 6 chicks to try to ramp up our egg production. We had one die as a chick, so we were left with 5 that we introduced successfully with our current flock.
They are all about 4 and 1/2 months old and about 3/4 the size of the other chickens. Then, one day a few weeks ago, I noticed one of them had grown significantly in a few days. This one was now as big as the other full grown chickens and was towering over the other younger chicks. My first worry was the other ones were not getting enough food and were somehow stunted. However, later that same day my daughter came inside after doing the nighttime chicken chore and told me she thought one of the new chicks was a rooster. When I asked her why, she said the one chick that I noticed was bigger was aggressive towards her where the others simply ran away.
That got me thinking. So the next morning, I went to give this growing chick a closer look. Sure enough, “she” had the classic rooster tail feathers developing. As we have learned, that is the one and only way to tell if a developing chicken is a rooster. As you can have hens who are aggressive and not all roosters start crowing when they are young.
Given he was still young and relatively docile for a rooster, I thought the time was right to get rid of him. He could really help someone else who was looking for a rooster as he was young enough to easily integrate into a new flock. And our flock already has two roosters… and we don’t need another one!
Luckily I found a local friend who’s rooster disappeared a few months back and she was considering getting another one. We brought him over and introduced him to his new flock of hens. His new owners call him the young prince as he is still unsure of how to be the dominate rooster… but we are sure he will be much happier there!