Separating hens and roosters
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You will only have chicks if you allow eggs to be incubated for 21 days. Simply collect your eggs daily to prevent any incubation and you don't have to worry about it. There is no difference with regards to suitability for eating in eggs that are fertilized vs. unfertilized. Yes, housing them as you are proposing would lead to issues of aggression and fighting in the males -- if you insist on housing them separately you will need to construct an entirely separate housing unit out of sight of the hen's pen to keep the males in an "out of sight/out of mind" state of mind. Being able to see but not reach the hens will lead to frustration and they will take it out on each other.
- Love is Silkie soft!
Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC. X2 on Ol Grey Mare advice. Good luck!
This is where tough decisions have to be made sometimes - how many hens will you be keeping in your flock? How much space do you intend to provide in the enclosure you are planning to build? This will factor into whether your hens will be more or less likely to be overbred.
- Monkey Lookout
Hi and welcome to BYC - glad that you have joined us.
The Learning Centre is a great resource, even for experienced chicken keepers - loads of info on anything chicken. http://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
The roo to hen ratio is just a general guide.. and a lot depends of the breed of chicken too.
I have about equal numbers of rooster to hens.. I think I have about 60 chickens in my orchard.
The hens are not harassed and they are all in perfect feather condition. The roosters get a pecking order and only the top ones are allowed to mate with the hens.. and the hens stick in groups with the top roosters.. the other roosters just hang around in their own groups on the outside.
You are unlikely to get any chicks hatch.. because the hen would have to go broody and incubate the eggs for 21 days.. and I am sure you would notice if you get a broody hen!
My advise is let them all live together and only worry about them getting over bred if you see them getting feathers missing from their backs.
The only issue I can see it you must wait till the hens are at the age when they start laying eggs before you add them to your roosters.. otherwise they will be too young to breed and MAY get bullied by the older roosters.
The best solution for your problem is to rehome your roosters. They are mostly useless in protecting hens and cause more damage than they are worth. Plus you don't want chicks, and with NO roosters around - there will be no chicks hatched.
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