I need some ADVICE from those of you that may have had this situation.
-I have 6 12-week-olds that consist of 3 cockerels and 3 pullets. SFH
-I have a group of 6, 6-week-old Buckeyes, sex not known yet.
--I have 5 adult hens; three are 4 yo, two are 2 yo.
-I intend on keeping 1 SFH cockerel and possibly 2. I will keep all 3 until they are about 7 mos old before I decide who goes.
-I intend on keeping 1 Buckeye cockerel.
The SFH won't be let out with the main flock to free-range until they reach 17-18 weeks. That means 3 boys, 3 girls cooped together if I leave them as-is... :(
No matter how many pullets are in the Buckeye group, the ratio of cockerels to hens will be too many.
Current SFH aren't randy yet but soon.
Should I remove the 3 SFH cockerels to different housing and only rotate one in at a time? If I do that, how will that affect pecking order when they rotate in?
(I could put the boys over in the hen shed which is on the other side of the fence from the ladies.)
Should I just leave them altogether (sounds like a bad idea)...
Please comment on how you have handled that - or thoughts on how you would handle that.
If you want to have answers as far as how the boys will be, and flock mechanics in general its best to get them together gradually. There will be a high rooster number, but your mature hens will be controlling those boys a lot. Rooster pen is the best idea, but then you don't see who is the best rooster choices. Mister was a perfect example, calling his ladies for food, not eating until they did. My old fella EE would prepare a nest box and look at all of them before his hens laid. He sat in an adjoining box until the hen was done.
Most teenager roos are jerks, so cycling is another idea, but until the roosters are mature you won't know who your "best picks" are for temperament and how he treats his girls. Thats the main reason I am slow to give up roosters, I want the best fellas for the job!
Congrats on your new additions!
Had the Vet out today, checked my neighbors herd and my Cow Fanny. Heartbroken! Fanny's ultrasound explains why she hasn't went into cycle. She has a "mummyfied" calf that died and never passed, rather stayed inside. The vet said the mummy is old, possibly a year or more.. He confirmed she will not be able to breed again, and to look at alternatives for her.
Fanny will go up for sale, I cannot keep a 1,000lb pet . Our other alternative is the freezer, even DH is struggling with that option frankly. She really stole our hearts, been a good girl.
I'm so sorry. I hope you can find a buyer. Poor girl.
Thanks! We have found a few other possible options..stay tuned! I put in some time researching this and have a glimmer of hope yet.
Good info and I'm using some of it!
But what I'm really wanting to know is about the cockerels. There will be too many cockerels for the number of pullets so I'm wondering if folks house them separately in that kind of situation until they decide which one(s) to keep?
If you decide on penning and cycling roosters, that will put you in charge of controlled breeding. It allows you to look over who fits type and conformation.. the 1st hurdle for me is temperament. With a rooster pen, you will see temperament also, and who is dominant, more aggressive etc. The age difference in roosters could effect your immediate outlook, but will level out as the youngsters mature. Bottom line is the more roosters you have, less chance of human aggression. But its not good on the hens.. so pen the fellas together, and watch how they interact. I have all my extra adult boys in 1 pen now too.