a few rooster questions? sorry im a newbie...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HyperTree, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. HyperTree

    HyperTree In the Brooder

    Aug 7, 2010
    ok, i havent actually gotten any chicks yet (im planning for feb, when the coop is done) but my plan is in feb im going to order 4 chicks (all girls, the current plan is 1 BA 1 RIR 1 EE and 1 BR) if all goes well, i plan on (probably sometime in the early to middle fall) i want to get a silver laced wyandotte roo and *maybe* 1 or 2 more hens and i have a few questions [​IMG] :

    1. is adding a roo to an already established flock gonna be a big no-no?

    2. i chose silver laced wyandotte because i've read that they are very docile, quiet (as far as roo's go...), and the winters where i live can get very cold and bitter, so frostbite is a potential issue, and meyer hatchery.com said they have a smaller comb, reducing frostbite. (and also because they look stunning [​IMG] , but mainly the others) is this true? because i would absolutley hate to get a roo, get attached to the roo, and then have the roo turn out to be a total butt. i understand that chickens are individual, but what are your exspriances, oh wise exsperts? [​IMG]

    3. will 4 (or maybe 5-6, depending on me resisting the very tempting pictures of chicks online.... [​IMG] ) be enough hens for him? i've heard that if they dont have enough girls they become very mean, and my chickens (as all my pets) are going to be around young children.

    4. i am not sure i want them hatching chicks (ok i love the idea [​IMG] except i would never be able to cull the cockerals [​IMG] (sp?) and so far just about *everyone* who i told about me getting chickens (excluding my friends and parents who already know im nutz) thinks im insane, and that its a horrible idea) so is it ok to eat fertile eggs? if i collect them every day and dont allow a hen to go broody, will there be any chicks forming inside (i dont feel like spending the rest of my life in therapy because i made scrrambled eggs and a 1/2 formed chick popped out... [​IMG] [​IMG] )

    sorry i made you read an incredibly long set of questions, and thanks in advance. [​IMG]
  2. I've only had chickens just over a year but I have a few answers for you and keep your post at the top.

    1. I added a roo to an established flock of FEMAlES and it worked out great! It took a day or so for them to work out the pecking order.

    2. I am no help regarding the breed you are choosing. I would choose Buff Orpingtons only if I had to do it over, with perhaps an EE.

    3. I think roos may be individuals about this, and young roos are more...ahem...active, but that would not be enough females for my roo. Mine has 15 and still manages to wear the feathers off of his "favorites" so they look scraggly all the time.

    4. The reason to have a roo is to make chicks. If not, you would be dealing with crowing, loss of feathers in your hens and feeding one more bird who is not producing eggs. Fertile eggs and non-fertile eggs are just the same nutritionally.

    Roosters are pretty however so there is an element of beauty lacking in your flock without one, and I must say my hens do love their roo and vice versa, so there has to be something to be said for that, but he is also bossy and I'm sure a few of them on the bottom of the pecking order could take him or leave him.
  3. HyperTree

    HyperTree In the Brooder

    Aug 7, 2010
    well i the reason i would like a roo is because i live in a predator heavy area (coyotes, lots of weasels, turkey vultures, the neighbors really really badly trained dog (i love dogs, but he doesnt come to his name and he gets loose a lot, hes the reason im going to have to put my flock in an enclosed run), hawks, and some foxes) and a roo could protect the flock, warn them when a hawk is circling or the dog gets out (which is often). it was an idea i had, and i probably will wind up letting one of the girls brood, but not until i am more certain of what i know and comfertable with raising more.
  4. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

    Sep 12, 2009
    Nor Cal
    Yea I wondered the same thing. Having a roo is so you can have chicks. A roo can help to warn your flock, yes, but the best defense is a tight coop. I have strong wire grating over my vents and windows and the coop locks up super tight at night, and a well protected run is also critical. You can spend the money on a proper set-up or keep spending money on replacement birds. My gals do free range but only in a fenced area and only when they are big enough to avoid the hawks that frequent my area.

    For the rest of it... No. 4-5 hens is not enough for most roos but if you got a really mellow fellow (I got an ameraucana roo to breed EEs and they are supposed to be mellow but he is, um, a little too randy for most of my gals. Hoping he outgrows this). The suggested ratio from most sites I've checked is 10-15 hens per 1 roo. Fertilized eggs are fine to eat and I have never had any hint of a developing fetus inside my eggs but I collect them often and refrigerate them. It is unlikely that even an egg stored on the counter would start to develop, unless your house is very warm! More likely is that the hens these eggs were gathered from were free-ranged and not trained to lay in a nest but deposited the eggs wherever they felt the urge.
    I know folks who find a clutch of eggs that have been out, who knows how long, and gather them up to eat anyway. If the hen sat on them for a few days or the weather was quite warm they could have started to develop. I never eat the occasional egg my hens leave outside of the nest boxes just because I have no idea how long it's been there! I don't check the grounds daily because it rarely happens and when it does it's from a newbie pullet that hasn't realized what's going on yet. [​IMG] Of course if I actually saw the pullet laying the egg then I would collect it just like the others.

    Anyway, do it however you want. We all learn as we go along. It's not the end of the world if you have to get a few more hens to keep your roo happy! [​IMG]
  5. greenfingers

    greenfingers Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Wasilla, Alaska
    HyperTree, if you do end up having a roo and hatching some chicks, I don't think you need to worry about getting and/or dispatching the chicks that are roos. I prefer not to kill my roos so I just advertise them on Craig's list and there are many people who do want to buy them to raise and eat. That way I don't have to do the butchering and I make a few bucks off of them too! Hatching is very addictive and fun, so be warned! [​IMG]

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