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Which to keep, if too many roosters?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi All, Back in June we got 9 unsexed heritage chicks. The store said we could return roosters in exchange for pullets. For a while it's been clear we got too many, but only recently realized it is stressing out the laying hens and this is the likely cause we're getting too few eggs.

 

Now I dont know one breed from another, generally, so I dont know the relative qualities that would make one roo desirable over another to keep. I do know which is alpha, of course. It started crowing first and loudest and most often. Recently another has started crowing and we believe we've heard a 3rd cock's crow in the mix of now 17. About a week ago one of the laying hens died. Didn't look like from a predator. Tho cause is uncertain, stress from too much attention from roosters could have factored.

 

Here's some pics. The 1st is the foremost alpha. I figured it would be more interesting to watch one of the other roosters rise to alpha than stick with status quo (existing pecking order), but willing to keep him if he's of a desirable breed. The 2nd pic is the 2nd one to crow. The first I heard him I believe was his first time to crow, as he was separate from the others, outside the run, but still within earshot. The other pics we believe are also cockerals, referring to the bird in the foreground of the last pic.  I'm hoping for help deciding.  Much thanks to you experienced and knowledgeable:

 

 

post #2 of 7
Keep the one you like, unless you are trying to breed a certain breed, and it doesn't sound like you are, pick the one who leaves you alone and also looks out for the hen, it's best to have one rooster for 10-12 hens, so depending on how many hens you have keep one or more.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 7

What you have are mixed breed birds, so breed isn't going to really come into play here. I agree with the above, keep the bird you just like the best and is the most respectful to you. And if, down the road, he doesn't work out, you can always get rid of him and try another bird.

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #4 of 7
I'd keep the most submissive one. With being only one and heritage breed alpha really does not matter. I'd rather a calm docile one more so than one that wants to rule all including you
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ha!: "I'd rather a calm docile one more so than one that wants to rule all including you." 

 

Funny you should say, cuz we were letting our 18 birds into the yard around the house and were beginning to feel outnumbered and more than ever thankful for our cat.

 

Now thanks to you all for the helpful words. From these responses I've learned we don't have Jersey Giants, Andalusians or Australorps, but mixes of the distinct breeds. Please correct me if I've misinterpreted here, thanks. I do believe a few of our birds are of distinct, if heritage, breeds. Maybe even a few of them pictured?

 

And yeah, we're only going to keep one. As much as I like the beautiful plumage of the current alpha, I feel it's much more interesting to see another star rise, another character come into fullness, now that I've seen how this alpha plays cock of the walk.

 

Now what got me interested in bird breeds is I stopped at a local farm stand. They had maybe a hundred birds or so and all were of the same black type. They run a much wider business so I asked the guy why all the same. He said they were Australorps (pic'ed below). I asked the guy why all the same black type. He said they get broody only once a year in spring and otherwise give up eggs easy and doubled as good meat birds. Not that I want to go into business just curious what I got growing. Thanks, Again,  Nick

 


Edited by amiachicknorwat - 10/17/15 at 4:05pm
post #6 of 7

Since I'm the one that said mixed breed, I'll bite.

 

None of the roosters you pictured in the first post look pure bred to me. You have a mix of comb styles that indicate mixed blood. Possibly one of the Colombian colored birds (white with black collar and tail) could be pure, but from the pics I can see they have mixed combs. Muffs and yellow legs don't go together for any particular breed with a red body. I'm guessing your flock's source started with pure bred birds that were allowed to interbreed. You get very pretty, unique birds that make great backyard flocks, but trying to select by breed characteristics is kind of a wash. You need to look more at each individual and select that way.

 

Australorps are great birds. I've never owned them personally as I like more color, but they have a great reputation as a solid, dependable layer that handle confinement well yet free range handily. wonderful layers of nice brown eggs.

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #7 of 7
My neighbor had black austro whatevers and they were very docile even with the kids. And I could see them as being a good meat chicken too
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