The new Chickens at 3 months.
Black Copper Marans

Let me refresh your memory.


On June 6th I got myself 4 of these.


Black Copper Marans 5- Days Old


6 weeks later they looked like this.



Now they are these.






Yeah, that’s a whole pack of Roosters and one lone gal at the end. Which means I now have a whole pack of roosters to get rid of. Also it means I’ve somehow angered the chicken Gods but that goes without saying.

I had high hopes that the 3rd chicken from the top was a hen, but one day I took a look at her and she’d developed a long, plume like tail with feathers that curled. And there wasn’t a curling iron in sight. He was a she. The fact that he thought his farts were hilarious should have tipped me off long ago. Just kidding. Chickens don’t fart. In public.

So now I have to get rid of my Black Copper Marans roosters by ensuring they get to a nice home where they can guard a flock. Roosters aren’t always easy to get rid of because most people either don’t have a rooster or they only need one to guard their flock of 20 or so chickens. Even if I was willing to sell them as meat birds it would be hard because killing a chicken and turning into dinner is a LOT of work. Not many people want to do that sort of thing.

I really was pulling for that one rooster to be a hen. The tail feathers looked henny, its comb was smaller than the other two obvious roosters and is was the one chicken out of all 4 that will sit and relax on my lap with me.

Lap chickens are hard to come by. Males that don’t fart … even harder.

I’ll keep you updated and let you know what becomes of the roosters. Unless it  happens to be coq au vin.


  1. Jamie Brown says:

    I know this thread is old, but I have a infatuation, I mean, situation I’m looking to get advice on. We also have been obsessed with getting chocolate eggs. So, we purchased a French Black Copper Marans chick. We bought just one to go with the other dozen varieties of sweet baby chicks we had already purchased. We’ve raised them all together. We collected them all during the month of March, so at this point they are all roughly 8-12 weeks old. Our Jersey Giant weighs nearly 4 pounds, our Welsummer’s are 2 and half pounds, but our BCM is only weighing in at a mere pound. Granted she could be only 8 weeks as compared to some that are 12 weeks. My first thought is we maybe we were sold a bantam!? Is this possible? Can you remember what your BCM girls weighed (and how tall they were) at approximately the same age? I’m trying to talk myself down from the ledge. At this point in the game, seeing as we only purchased one, we may have put all our hope into one basket here. We were hoping for large chocolate eggs and we may end up with those mini cadbury eggs instead if this little girl doesn’t hit a growth spurt soon. :( When standing the height of her back measures 8″, she’s fully feathered. All black, no copper in sight, but she does have the lightly feathered legs, with the feathers on outer toes as well. Is it also true these birds wait to start laying until 8-9 months of age? Thanks for any input you can share!

  2. Mike Clarkson says:

    Re: Integrating birds, maybe we make it too difficult for ourselves. Have a look at what this chap has to say:-


  3. Mike Clarkson says:

    Next time try Wheaten Marans. They are a fine looking birds and can be sexed by the colour of their wing feathers at 7 – 14 days.

    (The books say 14 days but chickens don’t read them books. I was able to sex my last hatch correctly at 7 days.)

    • Karen says:

      Ah! Didn’t know they could be sexed. But I probably would have gone for the black copper anyways because they lay the darkest eggs of all the Marans and that was my goal. And fingers crossed I won’t be raising and integrating chicks for another few years. (they’re cute as can be but a bit of a pain to do) ~ karen!

  4. Paula Thomas says:

    That is unfortunate you got so many roosters. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about people selling straight run chicks and getting nearly all roosters. I only buy pullets and the place I get them from takes back an roosters if I don’t want them so that’s nice.

  5. Lena says:

    Hi, Karen! Mrs. Jeff here!! :)
    We unfortunately had to get rid of four of our boys recently – Jeff raised a whole bunch of eggs, and as neither of us were very successful in sexing the chicks we ended up with a LOT of roos. One of his customers was thrilled to take them for his stock pot! Email me if u like, I’ll see if he’s interested in taking a few more. (Although I understand if dinner isnt exactly where you want your babies to end up!) Great blog, BTW – very nice to make your acquaintance!!

  6. Hannah says:

    Any chance of keeping one to make the other hens broody? Do chickens cross breed?

  7. Kelly says:

    Hi Karen….had a chance to get in touch with Jeff and unfortunately he recently had to get rid of a few of his own roosters so he can’t take yours. But on a positive note, I hope you go see him for any car repairs or maintenance……… he’s an awesome mechanic. My husband has been bringing our cars to him since we moved here 20 years ago and I highly recommend him.

    • Karen says:

      :( boooooo. I wonder how he got rid of HIS roosters!? Thanks for the help tho! ~ karen

      • Kelly says:

        Not sure about how he got rid of them but I know he’s at the garage right now. If you get a chance, go have a chat with him. He’s quite the character…..I don’t think he’ll mind you dropping by to talk chickens.

  8. Barbie says:

    I do hope as well that that third one is actually a “hen”…..maybe maybe maybe…..sometimes miracles happen! :)
    No matter what, they are beautiful!

  9. Alison Pearce says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has angered the chicken gods. Many several years ago I was a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador. I decided to buy five chicks from a truck that moseyed along the strip of dirt in front of my house, chock full of peeping and cheeping yellow puffballs. Once I’d parted with my money, the neighbor ladies instantly appeared to question my purchase. I explained that I thought it would be nice to have some eggs. They unanimously snorted, chuckled and insisted that the gringa had purchased five tiny roosters. I pshawed and assumed they were full of mumbo-jumbo. You know the rest of that story… the five roosters followed me around pooping on my porch until it was time to return to the States. And then, of course, I gave them to the neighbor ladies.

  10. Naomi says:

    Jeff’s our mechanic – thanks to him, our 99 Malibu lasted for 13 years. He does great work at a reasonable price.

    • Karen says:

      Wow. This is turning into a Jeff love-fest, lol. However he han’t contacted me about my roosters so it isn’t love on this end yet. ~ karen

  11. Kelly says:

    Hi Karen….I have a friend who raises chickens out in Cayuga and has the best “Chez Poulet” (chicken coop) ever. He has a business in Dundas called Jeff’s Auto at the end of Hatt Street. I sent him a link to your blog so he can read about your dilemma so you may hear from him. I hope this helps you find a great home for your extra roosters.

  12. LazySusan says:

    When I first moved to Honolulu in 1970, I lived near the University of Hawaii, on King Street, which is a major thoroughfare. It was a privately owned dormitory for women, and I rented a room there. I moved in, and the next morning was awoken by a rooster right under my window. On one side of the building, there was an old plantation camp, in which lived several members of an extended family in the four or so cottages there. The first morning, I moaned, thinking how awful it would be to hear that every morning. But after awhile, I started appreciating the rooster as a more natural alarm clock. The sound of his crowing stopped bothering me at all, and I started enjoying it and stopped trying to find somewhere else to live. Then they had a party one night, and had a Mariachi band playing from dusk to fairly late at night, and I loved, that, also. They were quite good, and the music was motivating, so I’d just type letters to friends while the party went on. I think I’m probably pretty adaptable, but those roosters taught me a lesson that if you stop resisting something, you might actually come to like it. When I moved away from there, I would have traded the traffic noises of the next place I lived, for those roosters. There was just something comforting about hearing them.

  13. marné says:

    I don’t know if it will help at all, but I have two Black Copper Marans hens, and they are so cute. One of them has learned that there are worms under the water dishes. Every morning, when I lift up the dishes and rinse them out, she runs over and waits patiently for me to toss her whatever worms are near the surface. I find it completely charming. Maybe it’s because the rest of my hens are grumpy old ladies, who go to bed early and sleep in every day (two of the three just turned 8 this month!), and don’t get all that excited about worms any more. It’s nice having some young, enthusiastic hens again.

  14. Diane S says:

    You could always do a blog spot on dicing up Roosters for the stew pot! ;D

  15. Nancy Blue Moon says: matter what they are they are just beautiful Karen..

  16. Elena says:

    On the bright side…my prediction from the older post was right. :S

    I have my fingers crossed for the third chicken. I don’t see any sickle feathers yet, but as I keep scrolling up to look at the rest of the plumage I become more certain that he really is a he who is just a late bloomer. :/

  17. Agnes says:

    Oh my gosh, I feel your pain! ONE out of six chickens is the biggest sweetheart in our house- our Australorp….and “she’s” the one who’s tall feathers seem to be growing longer. :'( I’m holding on to my lady until the very, very last moment!

  18. Leslie says:

    Oh, Ratz! I know how hard it can be to have to face the need to “rehome” a cockerel. But it is way better than having randy teenagers running amock in your flock.

  19. Ev Wilcox says:

    They are so handsome, and the copper really stands out. Hope the guys get great homes!

  20. Sandra says:

    Well, on the upside I have a fantastic recipe for chicken and dumplings …

  21. Jennifer says:

    Murray McMurray Hatchery sent me 6 roo’s with my order. My free exotic chicks was a roo. Gee thanks. I had to kill them all. I’ve never had one that was nice. I don’t even wait for the first attack anymore. My legs are covered with spur scars. And they just come up no where and attack even though I’ve raised them from wee babies. Oh and they violently rape the girls all day. Sometimes they’ll pick out one hen in particular that they like to have their way with and bang her all day long. Poor girl. They don’t even protect the flock imo. Roo’s are only good for making more chickens and for roo stew. The worst fate: to be born a male chicken.

  22. Ruth says:

    I suggest you wait until that 3rd one crows… I’ve been staring at the photo for a while now, and I am still not sure. I have hens roaming my community right now that look just like (shim??), and those tail feathers have not reached the ‘conclusive’ stage. It ain’t over until the cock-a-doodle-doo rings out.

    Waiting patiently to know the outcome. :-)

  23. Beks says:

    That’s too bad. They’re gorgeous birds. I mean, seriously, beautiful. If I had one, I’d want to name her Maleficent, just because of the coloring.

  24. Carolyn says:

    Bummer! Here in NYC chickens are legal but Roosters are not allowed. I’m guessing because of the crowing? I have no idea.
    I hope you can find a good place for them!

  25. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    What beauties! Sorry only one hen…

  26. CBuffy says:

    As a gal who isn’t afraid to do “stuff”, I’m surprised you are shying away from learning to process a rooster. It’s really NOT that much work, and if you have the correct tools (ie: sharp knife and cone) it’s quick, humane, and clean. I AM a gal who often shies away from doing “stuff” and learned how and now do all my own processing of my birds – I like to know they lived well, died well, and continue to be a blessing to my family.

  27. jainegayer says:

    Those are handsome boys and your hen is beautiful. Great photos!

  28. Kipley says:

    Nice pictures. I can only get the tail end..they won’t pose for me.

  29. Ann says:

    I think I would wait just a bit longer on #3. I have my doubts also. I would lay odds of 75%rooster/25% hen. But that 25% is enough to still have hope. First 2 tho are def roosters. Wish I was closer I would take your boys. Yes, they would probably end up on the dinner plate but that is the way of the world and we do it as kindly as possible.

    I also probably need to replace my oldest rooster/hen pair. Hamlet has been the sweetest, kindest, gentlest, rooster on this planet and his matching breed hen has been a good layer. But they are both big heavy birds are are starting to have trouble getting up into the coop. Hamlet has been having leg problems for about a year and Rosie is no longer laying eggs om a regular basis. I am worried I will never find another really great rooster to take Hamlet’s place tho. But often entertain what breed I would go for when the time came.

  30. karen says:

    Incidentally, he was a Dominique and he was rescued, as were all my chickens, so maybe he was just so grateful to be saved, he didn’t dare rock the boat. ;)

  31. karen says:

    I had the nicest, nicest rooster who also was just the most affectionate pet – sat on my lap – thank god for the anonymity of the Internet, or I would not be able to admit I actually read the newspaper out loud to him. Anywho, he never caused any problems with the hens, very gentle with them, and if they ever DID get it on (though I never witnessed it), we never had any chicks because I was vigilant in collecting eggs every day.

  32. Su says:

    They are such beautiful birds…. I hope you find homes for them.
    When I was eight my parents moved from a farm into town. Mom kept chickens… chickens had to be butchered for the pot.
    To this day I remember the process. I had fallen out of my bedroom window the week before and had two broken arms(another story) so thank goodness I could only watch….

    Chickens really do run around when their heads are cut off….

  33. Carol Hogan says:

    This is one of the reasons I’ve decided I can’t keep chickens. Finding homes or otherwise, especially otherwise, doing away with the ones that don’t or no longer lay eggs would be too stressful after I’d given them names and held them on my lap. I hope you are successful in finding homes for your boys.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol! Oh I will be. And don’t let that stop you from getting chickens. Once my chickens stop laying eggs, I’ll just keep them. They’re my pets. But chances are by that time or soon anyway they’ll die naturally, leaving a sad face on me, but paving the way for more new egg laying chickens. ~ karen!

  34. Tigersmom says:

    Would the reason you can’t keep the affectionate shemale be the crowing and possible discovery of illicit urban chickens?

    I assume your flock doesn’t need a rooster for protection in the lovely coop you built, but I’m guessing it may be a way to perform chicken birth control, as well, no?

    • Karen says:

      Yes, roosters definitely aren’t allowed. I mean hens aren’t either, but a rooster in such close proximity to neighbour is just rude. I don’t even want to wake up to crowing that close to the house! So … yes … it’s definitely best for me to get rid of the roosters as soon as possible before a neighbour decides to do it for me. ~ karen!

  35. TucsonPatty says:

    Those guys (and gal/s) are beautiful. They have that same iridescence that the solid black beauties had. Gorgeous birds! Thanks for the peek.

  36. chris aka monkey says:

    i gave a thought to raising chickens until i did a ton of research and decided that taking care of them in the winter would just be too hard for me… cat update please forgive me if they way i said i nudged wilbur made you grimace i didn’t poke him i just put the flower stem next to him and just touch his hair… i have been so gentle to him like a mama to her baby… he still is fuzzy so that’s why i don’t think it’s a monarch and he is still little.. he eats about a half of a leaf a day xx

    • Karen says:

      Well I’m just dying to know what that caterpillar is going to turn into! What if it turns into a frog? That’d be a shocker. ~ karen!

  37. Dana says:

    We just got 4 Black Copper Marans hens yesterday! The eggs are wonderful. We took in a flock last month–4 roosters, 6 hens, and 7 chicks that are all mixed breeds. We are having a great time trying to guess which chicks will be hens. The roosters have all gone to the freezer. Thankfully, it’s a co-op coop with our next-door-neighbours, and they did the roosters in while we were away.

  38. alisa says:

    I had a Barnvelder chick who developed those same curled tail feathers at about the same age. I thought rooster, for sure. And then suddenly she dropped the curled feathers and began to lay eggs. Sometimes you just can’t tell until they either crow or lay an egg. I’ve heard of tons of cases where someone has given a rooster away….and found out later they had been wrong. Start looking for homes, but wait until they actually crow!!!

  39. Sherry says:

    I was just wondering the last couple days when the chicken reveal would happen…

    I was pretty sure you had three and one. Sad to see I was correct. I do hope you can find good homes for the boys. They’re unusual and beautiful enough some flock owners may be just thrilled to have them. Good Luck!

  40. Rebecca says:

    You know better than I do based on one photo but I don’t see three cockerels. Two of those pics looks like pullets to me. I’m raising blue copper, black copper and splash Marans. Except for the first photo, they look just like my 6 mo old hens did.
    Also, I deemed one of my Lav Americaunas a cockerel and drove her 6 hours back to the breeder along with the other boys to trade. Breeder wasn’t sure so I kept her because she was sweet. So glad I did. Now she’s our little lap hen. Fingers crossed for at least two girls for you…

    • Karen says:

      I’m positive the first two are roosters. They’re constantly puffing their necks out and challenging each other and I’m almost sure I saw one trying to mount the other one, lol. I’d love to think that the second to last one is a hen, but (and I’m not sure this shows up well in the photo) the tail feathers are pointed at the ends, not rounded, there’s very long pointed neck feathers and long saddle feathers. There’s a chance that that one rooster/hen is a Black Copper Marans/Lavender Orpington cross so I’m not sure how that would reflect in the look. I sent the same pics to the breeder and her guess is rooster with more of a hen’s looking body. :( In fact, :( :( Double sad face. ~ karen!

    • Toni says:

      The key thing is that you said these look just like your *6* month old hens. Karen’s are only *3* months at this point. She’s definitely got 3 roos. Sigh. Been there, done that, Karen! I feel your pain.

      • Rebecca says:

        My post wasn’t clear. My Marans are currently 6 mos & 18 mos old but Karen’s 3rd chicken pic looks like my pullets did at 4 mos. Also, both hens and roosters raise their hackles in challenge on occasion. I used that as a lady litmus test on that Ameraucana and she apparently just had a little identity crisis in her teen years!

  41. Susan Preston says:

    Cock a doodle dooo!!! Damn! I was hoping for at least two ladies! But alas…looks like the soup pot for sure!!

  42. Grammy says:

    Curious — was the one you were pretty sure was female back when we all made our guesses the one that actually is?

    • Karen says:

      Hey Grammy. I was *positive* one was a hen, no doubt about it. And that’s the one that is indeed a hen. The second to last one is the one I had hopes for early on. That one has more of a hens body and up until a few weeks ago a definite hen’s tail. :( ~ karen!

  43. Mary says:

    Ship me a rooster to Minnesota, we don’t eat many eggs anyways.

    • maziel says:

      Send me one in FL. I promise to love and cherish him and so will my hens. I had a very rough young RIR rooster I returned. I can’t kill them to eat. He absolutely denuded them on their backs and left deep spur slashes on their sides. Returned him to the man who raised him…without any manners at all.

  44. Lora says:

    Ahh so sad and so beautiful, I hope you can find them homes :(

  45. Auntiepatch says:

    I don’t know anything about chickens but I guessed 3 males & 1 female when I saw the darling chicks. Can you keep the one who sits on your lap?

  46. Becky says:

    Wow.. really?? I really thought you had two and two.


  47. Deb says:

    Those are some gorgeous chickens. They are like living breathing sculptures. Your photography brings out the best in their glowing feathers. Stunning.

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