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post #48491 of 49746
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leahs Mom View Post
 

I need some ADVICE from those of you that may have had this situation.

 

BACKGROUND:

-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.

 

IMPORTANT:

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.

 

 

 

ADVICE PLEASE:

 

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.)

 

 

Or

Should I just leave them altogether (sounds like a bad idea)...

 

 

OR....

 

Please comment on how you have handled that - or thoughts on how you would handle that.

 


@jchny2000

 

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!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTodd View Post

We went to the local fairgrounds for the flea market/Animal swap.
Picked up 10 RIR, 2 Buff Orpingtons and 1 Barred Rock. All pullets.

Congrats on your new additions!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenthumb83 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jchny2000 View Post

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 hit.gif . 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. sad.png 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.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leahs Mom View Post
 

@Faraday40

 

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?

 

Smiley with chicken animated emoticon 

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.

Live Life Gracefully big_smile.png

Indiana BYC'ers HERE!

Come visit the Indiana thread!

Indiana BYC'ers Members Page

See our members list, local events and much more information that we've shared!

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Live Life Gracefully big_smile.png

Indiana BYC'ers HERE!

Come visit the Indiana thread!

Indiana BYC'ers Members Page

See our members list, local events and much more information that we've shared!

ADGA MEMBER

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post #48492 of 49746
Thread Starter 

I have a heavily molting muscovy duck hen, low pecking order too. Saw that my older duck hens are actually plucking her! I have pulled her out. My scovys get higher protein feed so this was really odd. She is removed from the coop. Another issue from confinement, ugh.

Aside from my one adult guinea cock and the geese, all my birds are confined to coops now. Am modifying coops so I can allow more free range time selectively. am adding low level doors to my coops so thy can enter without being confused.

Live Life Gracefully big_smile.png

Indiana BYC'ers HERE!

Come visit the Indiana thread!

Indiana BYC'ers Members Page

See our members list, local events and much more information that we've shared!

ADGA MEMBER

Reply

Live Life Gracefully big_smile.png

Indiana BYC'ers HERE!

Come visit the Indiana thread!

Indiana BYC'ers Members Page

See our members list, local events and much more information that we've shared!

ADGA MEMBER

Reply
post #48493 of 49746

I am having issues deciding what to do with my cockerels as well. We have 4 and planned on processing 2. I have read that there is a particular time when I "should" process for flavor, so we had planned on doing it at 4 months or so. Well now that they are 12 weeks, I am seeing behaviors that make me unsure of who to keep.

 

Red, my runty BR, will come over to a dust bathing pullet,scratch around her and lay down. It looks likes he's making it comfy for her.  He is shy but not mean to people.

 

Also, Blue (BR) seems to alert and gather the pullets most. He is the top dog, always has been. He won't be held. He will peck and bite your hand if you reach for him. He also seems to be getting very interested in the girls..

 

Those were to be our eating birds....

 

Our keepers: Bob (BR)...big, pretty, food obsessed, will let me hold him. Is starting to get a little more assertive with the other chickens. Mostly he doesn't seem to care about anything though. He's like our couch potato lol. No one is crowing yet, but he honks/grumbles constantly.

 

Lastly, Granger (Australorp), the one I thought would be mean, is bottom of the pecking order. He is super sweet and a beautiful bird. He lets me hold him and lays with the pullets a lot. He doesn't let the girls boss him, but he usually backs down to the boys.

 

I am pretty sure we will keep Granger either way, but which BR sounds like a better roo? I know it will all start to change, but are there any behaviors that are giveaways for future good or bad behavior? Any insight at all would be much appreciated. We want a rooster that is going to court his flock and definitely protect them. Lot of predators here.

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

Happy wife, mother to 3 wonderful kids, 2 cats, 1 dog and 28 chickens...that were originally supposed to be 8. Not sure how that happened, but we love them all!
Reply
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

Happy wife, mother to 3 wonderful kids, 2 cats, 1 dog and 28 chickens...that were originally supposed to be 8. Not sure how that happened, but we love them all!
Reply
post #48494 of 49746
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leahs Mom View Post
 

I need some ADVICE from those of you that may have had this situation.

 

BACKGROUND:

-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.

 

IMPORTANT:

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.

 

 

 

ADVICE PLEASE:

 

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.)

 

 

Or

Should I just leave them altogether (sounds like a bad idea)...

 

 

OR....

 

Please comment on how you have handled that - or thoughts on how you would handle that.

 


@jchny2000

My advice is to separate them.  No need to rotate any in with the young girls.  If you want to see how they will be with females, once they start crowing, rotate them in with your adult hens.  My adult hens are not shy about putting a young roo in his place.  Also, be aware that in my experience, there is no such thing as a young roo that is nice with the girls.  Once they hit a certain level of maturity, they turn into ambush predators.  If they seem 'nice', it's because they aren't high enough on the pecking order to get what they want.  It's only after a roo matures (read 1plus years old) that he realizes he can get as much with sugar as with a stick.  And even then if you have mutltiple roos, only the dominant one or two are 'nice'. The lower order roos still resort to ambushing any hen unwise enough to get off by herself.  It is also possible to get a roo that never learns to leave his ambush days behind.  I've had to get rid of a few of those, and am monitoring a couple now that need to shape up pretty soon.

 

Please take my advice with a grain of salt.  Due to my issues with chicken math, I've never had just one roo looking over a flock, so it is possible that a young roo that doesn't have competition might turn 'nice' sooner.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenthumb83 View Post
 

I am having issues deciding what to do with my cockerels as well. We have 4 and planned on processing 2. I have read that there is a particular time when I "should" process for flavor, so we had planned on doing it at 4 months or so. Well now that they are 12 weeks, I am seeing behaviors that make me unsure of who to keep.

 

Red, my runty BR, will come over to a dust bathing pullet,scratch around her and lay down. It looks likes he's making it comfy for her.  He is shy but not mean to people.

 

Also, Blue (BR) seems to alert and gather the pullets most. He is the top dog, always has been. He won't be held. He will peck and bite your hand if you reach for him. He also seems to be getting very interested in the girls..

 

Those were to be our eating birds....

 

Our keepers: Bob (BR)...big, pretty, food obsessed, will let me hold him. Is starting to get a little more assertive with the other chickens. Mostly he doesn't seem to care about anything though. He's like our couch potato lol. No one is crowing yet, but he honks/grumbles constantly.

 

Lastly, Granger (Australorp), the one I thought would be mean, is bottom of the pecking order. He is super sweet and a beautiful bird. He lets me hold him and lays with the pullets a lot. He doesn't let the girls boss him, but he usually backs down to the boys.

 

I am pretty sure we will keep Granger either way, but which BR sounds like a better roo? I know it will all start to change, but are there any behaviors that are giveaways for future good or bad behavior? Any insight at all would be much appreciated. We want a rooster that is going to court his flock and definitely protect them. Lot of predators here.

Generally. starting about 5 months, most roos that you are going to eat are ready to process. (some bigger breeds take a bit longer)  Before that, they have their bone structure, but haven't put a lot of flesh on them.  I've found 5-7 months is fine as far as toughness and taste.  You won't get a tender fryer like you have with cornish crosses, but they have developed much better flavor.  After about 7 mths, you are really getting into slow cooker/crock pot territory.  We've processed roos over a year old that ended up tasting great, but you are talking long slow cooking, more for chicken soup/casserole/pot pie, not roasting.

 

As far as which roo to keep.  Are you going for a flock protector or for breeding?  I don't hear anything disqualifying personality wise  (with the possible exception of Blue if he pecks any other time than when he is defending himself) in any of your boys.  For Breeding, it is hard to judge confirmation until they are at least a year old, so you probably need to go with the best looking one that you also like.  For a flock protector, go with your whoever your favorite is.  If he's your favorite now, that probably won't change. (whoever you keep, he will probably be rough with the girls for a while once he gets a bit older - see above.....)

post #48495 of 49746
Quote:
Originally Posted by racinchickins View Post
 

My advice is to separate them.  No need to rotate any in with the young girls.  If you want to see how they will be with females, once they start crowing, rotate them in with your adult hens.  My adult hens are not shy about putting a young roo in his place.  Also, be aware that in my experience, there is no such thing as a young roo that is nice with the girls.  Once they hit a certain level of maturity, they turn into ambush predators.  If they seem 'nice', it's because they aren't high enough on the pecking order to get what they want.  It's only after a roo matures (read 1plus years old) that he realizes he can get as much with sugar as with a stick.  And even then if you have mutltiple roos, only the dominant one or two are 'nice'. The lower order roos still resort to ambushing any hen unwise enough to get off by herself.  It is also possible to get a roo that never learns to leave his ambush days behind.  I've had to get rid of a few of those, and am monitoring a couple now that need to shape up pretty soon.

 

Please take my advice with a grain of salt.  Due to my issues with chicken math, I've never had just one roo looking over a flock, so it is possible that a young roo that doesn't have competition might turn 'nice' sooner.

 

Generally. starting about 5 months, most roos that you are going to eat are ready to process. (some bigger breeds take a bit longer)  Before that, they have their bone structure, but haven't put a lot of flesh on them.  I've found 5-7 months is fine as far as toughness and taste.  You won't get a tender fryer like you have with cornish crosses, but they have developed much better flavor.  After about 7 mths, you are really getting into slow cooker/crock pot territory.  We've processed roos over a year old that ended up tasting great, but you are talking long slow cooking, more for chicken soup/casserole/pot pie, not roasting.

 

As far as which roo to keep.  Are you going for a flock protector or for breeding?  I don't hear anything disqualifying personality wise  (with the possible exception of Blue if he pecks any other time than when he is defending himself) in any of your boys.  For Breeding, it is hard to judge confirmation until they are at least a year old, so you probably need to go with the best looking one that you also like.  For a flock protector, go with your whoever your favorite is.  If he's your favorite now, that probably won't change. (whoever you keep, he will probably be rough with the girls for a while once he gets a bit older - see above.....)


Great advice! Thank you! We do want to breed on a small scale, mostly for our own needs. But we will sell barnyard mixes locally, as well as hatching eggs. That is just hoping we get some good mommas. I do not plan to incubate just yet. Protection is more of our concern. We really want to be able to free range. I also know that I will have issues with a roo that mistreats his girls (aside from onset of puberty).

 

I am leery of Mr Blue. He doesn't seem like he will ever be nice. I was just worried since he acts "more like a rooster" that I should keep him. Red was never a keeper really, because he is so small. He is half the size of Bob and Blue.

 

I think I will stick to the original plan. :thumbsup Bob is like my baby. He has been handled more than any chick we have. Granger is just too pretty not to try to get chicks from lol. If nothing stands out to change it up, we will probably process Red and Blue about 5 months, instead of 4. If things get stressful for our girls while they are all together, we will put those 2 boys in a tractor on the other side of the barn. We have already been making plans to build a small one for reasons like this.Thanks again!

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

Happy wife, mother to 3 wonderful kids, 2 cats, 1 dog and 28 chickens...that were originally supposed to be 8. Not sure how that happened, but we love them all!
Reply
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

Happy wife, mother to 3 wonderful kids, 2 cats, 1 dog and 28 chickens...that were originally supposed to be 8. Not sure how that happened, but we love them all!
Reply
post #48496 of 49746

@jchny2000, you have some great Rooster Wisdom that really helped this newbie! 

Plus, your posts are funny.  Thank You!  :)

post #48497 of 49746
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leahs Mom View Post

I vote for interior lining...and maybe even some insulation between the metal and the lining.

Metal is really cold in the winter...  And the insulation won't hurt anything for summer either as far as keeping things cooler because metal is really hot in the summer sun!  smile.png
I would have to agree, it's more work for sure, but worth it.. My parents have a steel framed steel barn and its hot to the touch from the inside yesterday while my coup is cooler inside than out it seems! So I'm doing the same thing to my next
SS, EE, Wellies, GLW, Muscovies
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SS, EE, Wellies, GLW, Muscovies
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post #48498 of 49746
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leahs Mom View Post

@Faraday40


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?

Smiley with chicken animated emoticon
 
I didn't with my last group this spring... My one pullet has a bald back of the head! I got rid of so many roosters so fast and she's looking better
SS, EE, Wellies, GLW, Muscovies
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SS, EE, Wellies, GLW, Muscovies
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post #48499 of 49746
Trying to catch up but not going to be able to. Had to have my bicep reattached so not been on with limited use to arm and hand. All I've been able to do is watch my babies grow. So wife has learned how much work that I do outside. I may have loss my zero turn to her she enjoys using it. I just picked up three eastern turkeys to fatten up for the holidays. Hope everyone is doing good try and keep cool
post #48500 of 49746
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennislambert79 View Post

Trying to catch up but not going to be able to. Had to have my bicep reattached so not been on with limited use to arm and hand. All I've been able to do is watch my babies grow. So wife has learned how much work that I do outside. I may have loss my zero turn to her she enjoys using it. I just picked up three eastern turkeys to fatten up for the holidays. Hope everyone is doing good try and keep cool


Wow....that sounds painful!!!!   Hope it heals and you're back in the swing quickly!

Do Not Wait to Honor and Learn from Those Who Have Experience.  Then, in Turn, Pass it To Others Because....

"When an Elder Dies, a Library Burns to the Ground"  (Old African Saying)

Reply

Do Not Wait to Honor and Learn from Those Who Have Experience.  Then, in Turn, Pass it To Others Because....

"When an Elder Dies, a Library Burns to the Ground"  (Old African Saying)

Reply
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