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4 month old hen with wry neck - Page 4

post #31 of 62
Thread Starter 
My uncle works for someone who owns an orchard that's full of chickens and roosters so they will be able to go to a nice home at least, but he told me that he wasn't certain if they were roosters that it might just be their breed (to my knowledge they have barred rock and RIR in them but they aren't pure) and that they would have started crowing by now, it's night time now but il take a video tomorrow morning showing a full 360 of them just to be absolutely sure, I appreciate all the help thanks everyone
post #32 of 62

Crowing is highly variable. Some boys crow at just a few weeks old. Some don't crow till they are well over 6 months of age. But the feathers don't lie. They all have  very visible male specific feathering. 

post #33 of 62

I agree with junebuggena and Master Clucker...everything screams that they're cockerels. If you have a backup plan that can be utilized at any time, you could try keeping them for a while to see how it goes. The boys have been raised together so they "may" be ok with one another. They also may not be huge crowers either but you won't know any of these things until you keep them. IFyou don't have a back up plan of where you can take them immediately if they start causing issues...then you may have to part with them.

 

The main question is how many female do you have and will these boys be kept with them? 3-4 roosters are too many for a few hens unless you have a place to keep them separate.

 

 

May I ask a question about the where the cockerels were kept. Did they have access to sunlight?

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching
- C.S. Lewis
Chickens are just like little kids; everything you do is interesting and they ALWAYS get in the way gig.gif

One day we will have a world where a chicken can cross the road without being questioned about their motives. smile.png
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Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching
- C.S. Lewis
Chickens are just like little kids; everything you do is interesting and they ALWAYS get in the way gig.gif

One day we will have a world where a chicken can cross the road without being questioned about their motives. smile.png
Reply
post #34 of 62
Thread Starter 
Oh ok I hadn't considered that, yes they have access to the yard 24/7 but I was considering bringing them inside at night and lettinf them crow inside in the mornings where they won't be heard that well then letting them out afterward, they currently live with 3 hens which are 2 years old or so, 1 blue orpington and 2 regular cross bred hens, the 2 hybrids are above the rest in the order and peck at any that come close to them at feeding time, the orpington is below the hybrids but above the cockerels in the order so as of now the boys are at the bottom of the pecking order, and I've never seen the boys peck amongst each other they nest beside each other on my kitchen windowsill through the day and when given treats it's a game of keep away rather than any fighting or anything, they also roost beside each other at night, so 3 cockerels 3 hens, thx
post #35 of 62
Thread Starter 
Wow that's a huge collection of animals btw I envy you smile.png besides the chooks I only have 2 dogs and 3 guinea pigs. Until yesterday when one of the guinea pigs gave birth to 3 pups which was a shock since they were all supposed to be sows! I've separated the one that I now know is male and for all I know the 2nd adult sow could be pregnant too, so il keep any girls and give the boys back to the store they came from, I use their poop and shavings to make a compost heap which the chooks dig through for me and then use it to grow crops for both them and the guinea pigs so it's a nice system between the 2 smile.png recently I started growing wheat grass then when the piggies eat the grass the hens get the leftover seed roots, nice little co-existance smile.png no where near the scale of your pets though
post #36 of 62

I also agree they are all cockerels, just in case you need any further confirmation. If you are going to keep them and not get any hens then they may well get on OK, I have two bachelor pads with just males and most of the time they get on very well, although there is the odd fall out but nothing serious. Once you bring females into the equation it changes things. Firstly being adolescent males they will harass the life out of any females you get but they will also compete with each other for the females which may result in injury to each other or more likely the hens. I would also be wary of adding them to someone else's flock as they will upset the balance and rape and pillage just as they would if you kept them and got hens. Adolescent cockerels that are at the whim of their hormones are not pleasant to have in a mixed flock.

 

As regards crowing, they can crow all through the day but early mornings are usually the most annoying when there is little or no other background noise. It is not so bad at this time of year when people have their windows closed but in the summer when it gets light really early and people have their windows open, being woken up by them at 3am wears thin very quickly and once one starts it then becomes a crowing contest. Some will start crowing as young as 5 weeks old and others don't start until 6 months. Most probably start about 4-5 months, but it depends on a number of factors and you not having any hens for them to try to impress may be a delaying factor. It will happen sooner or later though. 

 

I have a sneaky feeling the man that sold you them pulled a fast one on you. How old were they when you got them? If they were 5 weeks or older, I would say he probably should have had a good idea they were males.

Really sorry you got taken in like that. 

 

I also agree that you are feeding them far too much mixed grain. It sounds like they are getting half and half when the mixed grain should be less than 10% of daily ration and better not to give them any grains at all, as too much. 

 

That is a pretty severe spasming and I'm guessing it is probably worst when he gets excited about being fed. If he was a pullet I would persevere until she was no longer showing an interest in food or the will to live but as a male I would probably cull and eat him or find someone else that will, rather than spend more time and money trying to put him right, when he has no future use. I appreciate that you are probably attached to these birds now, but if it is any consolation, they often turn into real jerks once their hormones kick in, especially when hens are thrown into the mix. No one who knows anything about poultry or cares about their flock would think of adding 4 young mixed breed cockerels into their flock, especially when one is displaying possible Marek's Disease symptoms. My advice would be keep them or cull them and eat them or find someone who will.

 

I know that seems harsh but there isn't a fairy tale ending for the vast majority of cockerels in this world. 

 

Good luck with resolving the difficulties you face.

 

Regards

 

Barbara

post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sire12 View Post

Wow that's a huge collection of animals btw I envy you smile.png besides the chooks I only have 2 dogs and 3 guinea pigs. Until yesterday when one of the guinea pigs gave birth to 3 pups which was a shock since they were all supposed to be sows! I've separated the one that I now know is male and for all I know the 2nd adult sow could be pregnant too, so il keep any girls and give the boys back to the store they came from, I use their poop and shavings to make a compost heap which the chooks dig through for me and then use it to grow crops for both them and the guinea pigs so it's a nice system between the 2 smile.png recently I started growing wheat grass then when the piggies eat the grass the hens get the leftover seed roots, nice little co-existance smile.png no where near the scale of your pets though

If this is regarding me...I have a weakness for taking in unwanted animals...lol.

 

Barbara covered a lot of the things I was going to write. I think giving the crumble feed is better, simply because it's a balanced diet and already processed so it's easier for him to digest. Your bird is exhibiting signs of wry neck...I'm not certain I'd jump to Mareks yet. We each have our own ideas and experiences and are giving you advice from that perspective...so please keep that in mind.

 

I've had 2 roosters exhibit wry neck. That particular hatch are siblings and one of the chicks showed slight signs of wry neck when they were chicks, so I consider that those birds have an inability to properly utilize vitamins from the their feed. I have not bred them, nor do I intend to. One rooster happened at this time last year and I had to put him down. The other happened in later spring...I put him and his brothers outside and it seemed that as soon as I did that...he was suddenly 100% better. I still have them and an accidental hatch of 2 offspring from their sisters I have because I just want to see what happens this winter. That's why I wondered if they were exposed to sunlight. In my case, it seemed connected. My rooster would exhibit worse signs the more excited he got...just like yours does in the video.

 

The majority of cockerels can be a pain inbeing rough and running down females to breed them, especially when the ratio of roosters to hens is high. Some rooster can be very decent from the start and not be a problem. I have about 40 roosters and there are a few that have been perfect gentlemen from the start. I also select and breed for temperament...so please keep that in mind. Not to sugar coat...it will most likely make your life a bit more difficult to keep you roosters. There is the possibility that one or more of the roosters "could" develop wry neck IF they're related. It may be injury. There are many ideas about wry neck...but no one has definite answer.


Edited by Wickedchicken6 - 12/15/16 at 11:14am
Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching
- C.S. Lewis
Chickens are just like little kids; everything you do is interesting and they ALWAYS get in the way gig.gif

One day we will have a world where a chicken can cross the road without being questioned about their motives. smile.png
Reply
Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching
- C.S. Lewis
Chickens are just like little kids; everything you do is interesting and they ALWAYS get in the way gig.gif

One day we will have a world where a chicken can cross the road without being questioned about their motives. smile.png
Reply
post #38 of 62
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info Barbara! Very informative, I didnt know that they should only be fed 10% fermented grain, is that just while they are growing or for adulthood too? The hens molted last month and stopped laying for the winter so I have just been feeding them growers pellets with the fermented grain until spring before giving them layers again, I bought them at 10 weeks he said there were only 4 hens left and I could have all of them if I wanted, I guess he was dumping the roos that he had left over hmm.png do you think since the roos are below the hens in the pecking order that they will stay there as long as I don't bring in any new hens?
post #39 of 62
Thread Starter 
Oh ok I see, if any of the others develop wry neck il be able to spot it sooner and treat it asap now, do you have any particular tips on how to keep roos from becoming rough natured when they reach adulthood or is it all in the breeding? Do you think since they are beneath the hens in the pecking order that they might be a bit more submissive and less aggressive later on? Thx
post #40 of 62

Perhaps. If the roosters have any possibility of being related...IF it were me, I'd either

 

A)  keep them strictly as pets if you have a secure place to do so, knowing it involves extra cost, work and space. In their space you could have more hens and/or one rooster who will not cause extra issues and won't be related and pass on issues IF you were to use him with your hens.

 

B) Find a home for them; be it for meat or whatever.

 

I have a lot of room and extra pens I can utilize. I plan on getting rid of my wry neck related roosters, their two offspring...and a few choice others I'll be culling. I just happen to have the room to keep them right now because I'm curious if they'll show anything this winter.

 

Breeding is a delicate balance. I lucked out getting a few very nice minded roosters and some very nice minded hens and I've been working with that. I also have a few roosters that are a pain to other roosters...but they have everything else I need so they're still here. The aggressive roosters do seem to be producing more aggressive hens (biting when picking eggs) which is what I'd expect to happen. I'm the one to source all of our other breeding animals(cattle, sheep, pigs, rabbits) and have been doing it for decades.

 

Once cockerels' hormones hit...all the gloves are off. Usually they're just aggressive with the hens. Some older hens can put them in their place for a while...but in the end when they're bigger it won't matter regardless of pecking order. I've had about 4-5 large fowl roosters be decent gentlemen right from the start. Two have been total gentlemen.  But it's pretty hard just getting roosters from someone else and expecting them to behave.

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching
- C.S. Lewis
Chickens are just like little kids; everything you do is interesting and they ALWAYS get in the way gig.gif

One day we will have a world where a chicken can cross the road without being questioned about their motives. smile.png
Reply
Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching
- C.S. Lewis
Chickens are just like little kids; everything you do is interesting and they ALWAYS get in the way gig.gif

One day we will have a world where a chicken can cross the road without being questioned about their motives. smile.png
Reply
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