11 Chicks, 4 cockerels!?!, Not all the Same Age.....

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by MedSchlFarmers, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. MedSchlFarmers

    MedSchlFarmers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Because of city ordinances, we cannot keep roosters.

    I'm trying to build my first flock of 5-8 hens.

    Thinking I was "lucky" or not thinking at all, I let my 4 year old select 7 chicks from a straight run of EE, Orps, and Silkies from a private breeder. They will be 4 weeks on Sunday. 2 are already clearly cockerels (and I'm new to this) 2 others raise serious suspicions. Leaving 1 Lavender Orp pullet, 1 EE pullet, and 1 Silkie (I have no idea the gender at this point). Because I was fairly certain several were cockerels after a few weeks, I purchased 4 more sexed babies who are 1.5 weeks old (2 Barred Rocks, 1 Choc Leghorn, and 1 Black Sexlink) from a local chicken store. I currently have 11 chicks total.

    Currently, I have the 1.5 week olds in one brooder and the 3.5 week olds in another brooder in the same room. They can hear each other but can't see each other. At what point can or should I put the known pullets together? or when should I remove the roosters than I know we are not keeping? Should I put the known cockerels in a 3rd brooder until someone takes them or we eat them (they aren't big enough yet)?

    Thanks for your help. I don't know what's best for building my flocks dynamics.
     
  2. AuntNomi

    AuntNomi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have a place big enough for all of them I would try integrating them and see how things go. I would keep a close eye on them to make sure that they are not drawing blood or anything. I brood mine outside in a coop, so I have alot of space. There about 3 weeks between the last chicks I got. I had no problems at all with them so far and now they are 13 and 10 weeks old and doing great. But I also use one of those old plastic milk crates when I have a bully, I just place it over the top of them and put food and water in with them. Then the next morning I turn them lose and see how things go and usually its all well. I never had to do that with this flock tho. But just an idea incase you need to seperate for that reason. I always seperate the one doing the bulling not the one being picked on, unless of course blood has been drawn which I guess you might have to do differetn, but I have not had such a problem yet. Good luck to you and enjoy your chicks.
     
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  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    If possible, it would be good to put the younger ones in some kind of wire cage, so both groups can see each other and keep things like that for a few days. As long as you have a couple of feeding stations (reduces fighting over competition for food, which your older chicks would ensure they win) things may be ok for them to mingle but having a lot of space is likely to be key.

    I've not had experience with integrating two groups of chickens that are so young, but as long as you monitor whats going on when you do mix them, and be prepared to separate them again if needs be, then your judgement should guide you. I don't think theres much point in separating the cockerels to be honest - they have a different hierarchy to your girls, so when they do get the chop, it will not affect their dynamics.

    I hope others with more direct experience can chip in and help you out.

    All the best
    CT
     
  4. MedSchlFarmers

    MedSchlFarmers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone! That is really helpful. I let the older pullets in with the babies for a few minutes this morning while I watched. Everyone was frozen. They just stared and didn't move. The older silkie cheeped loudly and protested. I'll have to get a wire cage of some sort.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    You are welcome - didn't sound like too traumatic a time but then the issues are likely to arise concerning access to food i would imagine.

    CT
     
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  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Frozen is not bad, battles are bad.

    Personally, it does depend on your set up, but I think I would sort them as to what you are thinking is a rooster (and in my experience if you ever have that thought, hmm, then it usually is! Don't feel bad for not recognizing the roosters, I have had chickens for 8 years, and late last summer I was looking at some chicks that were going on 4 weeks and realized that THREE that I had with the hens were in fact, roos!) and the other pen for hens.

    Your three hen chicks that are older, will be slightly outnumbered by the 4 younger chicks, which will be slightly smaller. I think that if you set up a box or a hide out or two, you could just put them together rather sooner than later without too much trouble. Watch them. So you must have two pens now, one for the older chicks, and one for the younger, just split them one for the roosters and one for the pullets. You want your pullets to start forming the flock bonds.

    As for eating, they would not really be ready until close to 4 months. And the EE and silkie, I don't think will amount to much even then. The BO might be better. Thing is, you will really need a coop and run set up for them if you keep them much longer. That would be a lot of roosters to have with the pullets in one coop/run set up. I think I would see if that private breeder might take them back, or advertise them and don't ask questions.

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  7. MedSchlFarmers

    MedSchlFarmers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Mrs. K! My gut was saying, put the pullets and babies together since this is essentially the flock I am trying to achieve (assuming the babies are all female, time will tell). I hope I can find someone who wants the cockerels soon. I'll text the breeder and see if she wants them. If you have time, do you mind looking at my older ones and confirming my rooster and pullet suspicions? I'll post pics below.
     
  8. MedSchlFarmers

    MedSchlFarmers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Beauty" at 3.5 weeks, Orp.........Roo?

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    "Mrs. Potts" Lavender Orp at 3.5 weeks, Pullet?

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    Brownie EE at 3.5 weeks, Roo?

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    "Jasmine" EE at 3.5 weeks. Pullet?

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    "Stripe" EE at 3.5 weeks, Roo? He crows

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    Zaxby at 3.5 weeks. EE. Roo? I'm in denial, we really want this baby to be a pullet.

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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My guesses in bold italics within quote.
    A little young yet but cockerels combs should really redden up at about 5-6 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  10. MedSchlFarmers

    MedSchlFarmers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! That's good to know. They are 4 weeks today, so 1-2 more weeks and we should be pretty certain who is who.
     

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