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Rooster/Hen ratio in hatch HELP!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I tried the old wives tale method of choosing rounder eggs for hatch last year....It did not work.  I had 96% hatch rate but 60% roo to 40% hen hatch outcome.  And that was after waiting 2 wks after the roos were penned away from the hens before I started collecting eggs for hatching.
I know that, in humans, the female carrier is heavier and can out live the male carrier.  Meaning, if ovulation occurs soon after insemination more likely a boy, if later like up to 6 days later, a girl.
Does anyone know if this would work with my hens?
We raised laying stock last year and put nearly 57 roosters in the freezer.  Yeah, well it's good to have enough chicken for a year but the work output to process those scrawny layer roo types is not worth the effort.
I just can't imagine myself euthanising all the little cockrels at one day old...that is if I can even sex them correctly.  Such a waste!
But what do you do??? hu

"I know its OK to talk to my chicks, but lately they've been answering back!"
One GREAT Husband, 4 Wonderful children all grown and missed very much, 2 Grand Kids, 2 Fabulous Dogs, 2 Silly Cats, 2 milk cows, Honey Bees (mean ones), and 56 Comical Chickens!
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"I know its OK to talk to my chicks, but lately they've been answering back!"
One GREAT Husband, 4 Wonderful children all grown and missed very much, 2 Grand Kids, 2 Fabulous Dogs, 2 Silly Cats, 2 milk cows, Honey Bees (mean ones), and 56 Comical Chickens!
Reply
post #2 of 13

I have had a roo explosion this year. Luckily I am not paying for most of these eggs, or i'd be in deep trouble by now. I think I am getting like, 75-80% roosters for some reason. That is just terrible for the plans I had. I just ran some young stock ads on craigslist today.

Recently my (stick thin) nephew, 14 years old, announced to his dad that he is going vegetarian because of the terrible treatment that the chickens receive in the poultry industry. I told him to ask Tyler if he would consider "ethical roos" as an option. I told him he knows how I raise my birds, and there is no cruelty or imprisonment or careless dispatch involved. Tom was thankful for the suggestion and said he would run it past Tyler.
Maybe there is a market for "ethical roosters" as a more expensive sort of meat bird people could buy, if you advertised them showing them foraging on the lawn, scratching and dustbathing, doing other roooster type things, like shepherding a flock of girls around... Possibly someone would see that as an added incentive to buy your birds. Or you could have them processed yourself. That is the only suggestion i could think of to share with you.

post #3 of 13

Last year my broody had 6 eggs and hatched all roos...roll
If you only have a small number though then they're easy to rehome.
Last week I listed one of the roos that had started fighting with his brother on Craigslist and had about 6 people ask for him.  Easier if they're pure breeds especially rare breeds, of course.
Could always list them in bulk on craigslist for eating too.  Depends if you're worried about the money you spent raising them or not.
If we have a large number (this is my first time with an incubator) of roos this year I think we'll get them processed.  There's a guy near here who processes chickens for $1 a bird, including dispatching, gutting and plucking - sounds like a good deal if you think how much organic free range chickens are in the shops.

I can only eat them if I know from the start that that will be their fate - was the same with our 2 pigs last year - I knew they were going to be food not pets and I was fine when they went for the chop.  On the other hand my husband kept asking me last year if he could eat one of two of my ducks because they ate so much feed and I said only over my dead body, so...

Anyway, yes, am rambling...craigslist was my recommendation.

Lauren.  First caught the chicken keeping bug ten years ago, in the UK, went on to get addicted to hatching rare breed chickens and ducks while living in the US, and now starting up again in the olive tree and grapevine covered hills of northern Italy...

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Lauren.  First caught the chicken keeping bug ten years ago, in the UK, went on to get addicted to hatching rare breed chickens and ducks while living in the US, and now starting up again in the olive tree and grapevine covered hills of northern Italy...

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post #4 of 13

If your question was how to increase your hen/roo ratio the answer is you can't. I researched it extensively and there really is no way to tip the scale in your favor like using the Shettles method you are referring to with humans. Unlike chickens we don't store sperm so the timing thing wouldn't work even if their sperm is similar to humans in that manner (boy sperm-fast, short lived & girl sperm-slow, longer life) because you really can't control it.

Krista- mom to 7 with an amazingly understanding husband   . chocolate runners, b/b/s orps, jubilee orps, bantam chocolate orps, project lf choc orps, blue breda fowl and a some cool exotic hens for eating eggs

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Krista- mom to 7 with an amazingly understanding husband   . chocolate runners, b/b/s orps, jubilee orps, bantam chocolate orps, project lf choc orps, blue breda fowl and a some cool exotic hens for eating eggs

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post #5 of 13

I'm just going to throw another wive's tale out there. Have you heard of the ring/string test? You suspend a ring on a thread and hold it over the being (works on people, chicks/ens, dogs, cats, horses that I know of) and the ring will swing in a circle for female, straight line for male. We did this on about 36 eggs that we set last Wednesday as an experiment. When we move to the hatcher I will separate into two layers by suspect gender. I so in about 18 days I'll report back to let you know how it comes out.
Don't give up searching. There has to be a reason we get so many roosters out of the incubator. You wouldn't think in nature that it would take SO many boys to keep the species going!

Blessed with a chicken loving soulmate, 3 rugrats, Bcm, bluecm, wheat and splash marans, BLRWs, Barnevelders, Bantam BLRWs & Barneys.
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Blessed with a chicken loving soulmate, 3 rugrats, Bcm, bluecm, wheat and splash marans, BLRWs, Barnevelders, Bantam BLRWs & Barneys.
Reply
post #6 of 13

just wanted to add that if you want to really do that experiment unless you have a breed that is sexed at hatch(sex link for example) you will need to mark/band the chicks until they are at an age they can be sexed. Sounds like a lot of work but it would definitely be interesting to know the results wink

Krista- mom to 7 with an amazingly understanding husband   . chocolate runners, b/b/s orps, jubilee orps, bantam chocolate orps, project lf choc orps, blue breda fowl and a some cool exotic hens for eating eggs

Reply

Krista- mom to 7 with an amazingly understanding husband   . chocolate runners, b/b/s orps, jubilee orps, bantam chocolate orps, project lf choc orps, blue breda fowl and a some cool exotic hens for eating eggs

Reply
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy12 

Last year my broody had 6 eggs and hatched all roos...roll
If you only have a small number though then they're easy to rehome.
Last week I listed one of the roos that had started fighting with his brother on Craigslist and had about 6 people ask for him.  Easier if they're pure breeds especially rare breeds, of course.
Could always list them in bulk on craigslist for eating too.  Depends if you're worried about the money you spent raising them or not.
If we have a large number (this is my first time with an incubator) of roos this year I think we'll get them processed.  There's a guy near here who processes chickens for $1 a bird, including dispatching, gutting and plucking - sounds like a good deal if you think how much organic free range chickens are in the shops.

I can only eat them if I know from the start that that will be their fate - was the same with our 2 pigs last year - I knew they were going to be food not pets and I was fine when they went for the chop.  On the other hand my husband kept asking me last year if he could eat one of two of my ducks because they ate so much feed and I said only over my dead body, so...

Anyway, yes, am rambling...craigslist was my recommendation.


My goodness, where are you.  I would LOVE to find someone who would process my birds, and I would pay more than that!  I cannot find anyone.

I am in West Virginia.

Catherine

4 Italian Greyhounds: Penny, Huckleberry, Becky, and Tina; 1 Scottish Deerhound:  Nancy; 2 Kitties: KoKo and Katie, Chickens, mostly R.I. Reds; 7 Peafowl; One husband; 3 adult children, (son just back from Iraq); and 2 Granddaughters. 
West Virginia
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4 Italian Greyhounds: Penny, Huckleberry, Becky, and Tina; 1 Scottish Deerhound:  Nancy; 2 Kitties: KoKo and Katie, Chickens, mostly R.I. Reds; 7 Peafowl; One husband; 3 adult children, (son just back from Iraq); and 2 Granddaughters. 
West Virginia
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post #8 of 13

Good luck.  I think it is just the luck of the draw.

My husband teaches statistics, and gosh, sometimes it just doesn't seem to work the way it is supposed to!

Catherine

4 Italian Greyhounds: Penny, Huckleberry, Becky, and Tina; 1 Scottish Deerhound:  Nancy; 2 Kitties: KoKo and Katie, Chickens, mostly R.I. Reds; 7 Peafowl; One husband; 3 adult children, (son just back from Iraq); and 2 Granddaughters. 
West Virginia
Reply
4 Italian Greyhounds: Penny, Huckleberry, Becky, and Tina; 1 Scottish Deerhound:  Nancy; 2 Kitties: KoKo and Katie, Chickens, mostly R.I. Reds; 7 Peafowl; One husband; 3 adult children, (son just back from Iraq); and 2 Granddaughters. 
West Virginia
Reply
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by peachychick 

I'm just going to throw another wive's tale out there. Have you heard of the ring/string test? You suspend a ring on a thread and hold it over the being (works on people, chicks/ens, dogs, cats, horses that I know of) and the ring will swing in a circle for female, straight line for male. We did this on about 36 eggs that we set last Wednesday as an experiment. When we move to the hatcher I will separate into two layers by suspect gender. I so in about 18 days I'll report back to let you know how it comes out.
Don't give up searching. There has to be a reason we get so many roosters out of the incubator. You wouldn't think in nature that it would take SO many boys to keep the species going!


The ring and string wive's tale is just that. You unknowingly move the string to confirm what you already think to be true. Nature would be tough on your roosters. Imagine your flock without fencing and enclosed coops to sleep in. The roosters job is to protect the flock and fertilize eggs. How many wouls lose their lives too predators? How many would die in battle against other roos to be the flock king? How many would wander off on their own to look for their own flock leaving them alone and vulnerable? Watch a flock of wild turkeys. You'll see three or so gobblers watching over twenty five hens. There will be juvenile birds in the summer with about a even number of male/female birds. By the next summer you will see that most of the juveniles that made it through the winter will be hens. The wild world is tough on guys.

post #10 of 13

I've heard of a test to do over a bunch of chicks to see which ones may be roos. i read somewhere that if you fly something over the chicks (a hat or something) that the pullets will crouch and the roos will stand up tall. i have yet to try this.....but i DO wonder if it would work.

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