Our Rhode Island Red. . .finally crowed. We have ourselves a rooster, a beautiful one


Sigh. Ever been in denial about something? Or as I would like to say – hopeful!?! Well I was hopeful our little red hen Apple was NOT a rooster.   Of course, she has to be the one I got most attached to. Of course she was my favorite. :) Don’t you think she was a beautiful baby (see her one-week photos above)? The feed store thought they sold us a hen, we thought she was a hen. . .but over the weeks it became more apparent.


Here is a photo of our Rhode Island Red at four weeks. That was an awkward stage, but I still thought she was beautiful. I still thought she was a HEN.


Then there was this post, I did on April 8, asking, could my Rhode Island Red be a rooster? Heck, I didn’t know. She sure was bigger than the other babies in the flock.


And she sure walked around in a “cocky” sort of way.


And then at 17 weeks, my sweet chicken mentors left comments on this post telling me – um yea, we think you have a roo. They confirmed it the following week with comments here.

And then we took off on a 10-day trip to Alaska. I had two different chicken sitters watching our babies. On July 14, I get this text from one of our friends watching the chickens. . .


I didn’t know what a “randy” meant. . .he had to spell it out for me. Hahaha. This chicken keeping thing is not for the faint of heart or overly naive (me). Princess is one of the older (and bossier) hens, so it’s funny she was keeping him in line.

And then this morning we drive home from Portland after flying all night. We crashed into a deep sleep around 7:30 a.m. and literally woke up to this at 10 a.m. . . .oh my. . . .

(You’ll need to turn the volume up. If the video doesn’t display for you, click here.)

I roll over and look at my husband and he looks at me. At first I thought it might be our five-year-old son, I mean you never know what sounds will come out of them. And then Apple crowed again and my eyes get real big and my sweet husband says, “Want chicken for dinner?” Completely joking of course because we aren’t going to eat our chickens, but we got a good laugh about it before I started panicking about the noise. :)


Apple will be 20 weeks old this Sunday. I have no idea exactly when she he started crowing – sometime in the last 10 days, hopefully not long enough to tick our neighbors off. He is indeed mounting the other chickens and now I have no idea what could have happened or whether or not we are going to end up with baby chickens. I didn’t read those chapters in the chicken books because I didn’t think we’d ever have a rooster. We bought a hen, at least that’s what the store said.

I have a sweet friend who has a farm, in the sticks, with lots of chickens and she wants to take Apple and give him a good home. I’m incredibly sad to give Apple away, but I know he will have a happy, free-range life, with lots of hens to chase. And we get visitation rights – thank goodness. We would really be pushing our neighborhood bylaws if we were to keep a rooster, who would remind all our neighbors that we have a coop full of poultry in our backyard – everyday. :)

One day I’ll live on a big ole farm and I’ll ask for Apple back and we’ll hopefully be one big happy family again. . . . because isn’t he the prettiest roo you’ve ever seen?

Has this happened to you or someone you know? Have you purchased baby chicks and ended up with a roo in the mix? 

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  1. We adopted the kindergarten chicks that our daughter’s class had hatched as part of their science unit. We took home 7 chickens and 3 ended up being roosters! What a handful!! :) Luckily, since then we have purchased other chicks from the feed store and only gotten hens.

  2. nwgardener says:

    I have “accidentally” gotten roosters not once, not twice, but three separate times! This last go around left me 2. One was a beautiful guy that was so aggressive he had to go on the barnyard in the sky. The other rooster is a jewel of a guy. He’s not nearly as pretty as the first one, as the aggressive rooster pecked out all his tail feathers. But Rooster Bob is very friendly and not overly “affectionate” with the ladies. I have hope Bob’s tail feathers will re-grow. I must admit I do enjoy hearing those early morning crowings. With no close neighbors Rooster Bob is completely safe!!

  3. Christene says:

    Yes, I too feel and know your pain. We are on our 5th batch of layers and on our second batch of baby chicks we gained a silver laced wyndott rooster. His name was bananas (my 2yr old named him after his much beloved stuffed animal) . Since we get new chickens every spring and the only way the eggs will hatch is if you incubate them or have a brooder – we didn’t mind. In the area we live we have predators and roosters come in handy against hawks.

    However, Bananas became aggressive toward us. He even tried to flog me one day. All it took was one small aggressive move towards my 2yr old while getting eggs and that night the rooster was no more. We didn’t have anyone that wanted him and I would not have any dangerous chicken around my children.

    there is a video on pinterest that shows you how to tell in a baby chick if they are a rooster or hen. You might want to watch it for future.

  4. His tailfeathers are gorgeous! They have almost an iridescent look. I think Mavis ended up with a Rooster this year too. It would be fun to get chickens but my husband might have me committed if I try, plus I like to travel too much.

  5. He is so gorgeous, that’s for sure. And he has a very nice little crow. What a bummer that he is your favorite, I am sure that it so tough to have to let him go. Hugs girl!!

  6. Oh I’m so sorry about Apple. :( But I do have to say what a beautiful rooster! Picture perfect!

  7. I feel your pain! My beloved barred rock hen turned out to be a rooster. I re-homed him 2 weeks ago (before we left for vacation) to a small farm in the next town over. He now has a harem of 7 girls (instead of 3)
    I was in denial for quite a while – even though my hubby said he was a rooster. He was an early crower!! Actually started at 11 weeks. I told myself I had a “crowing hen” -NOT!
    At first he just “practiced.” A weak couple of cock-a-doodle-dos. With practice he got really good- FAST!
    I felt sad to give him away, but my girls seem more calm and I found a good place for him.

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