A good time to get a rooster? And other breeding questions!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jennabeth77, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Jennabeth77

    Jennabeth77 Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Oct 18, 2012
    Hi!

    We have 10 reds, 6 Delawares and 3 bantam cochin/frizzle mixes (1 Cochin is a rooster).

    Okay...technically, the bantams are at least half brother/sister. They have the same roo father and we got them all together as chicks. Is it okay to breed them or should I give the roo away and find another bantam for those ladies? They love each other dearly. I would hate to separate them, but...inbreeding?! Is this an issue in chickens?

    Secondly, we want to get a rooster for our 'big' hens, but is it important to try to keep the lines pure or do people like and appreciate mixed breed chickens? I know it is good for genetics, but...

    And if we do get a rooster of a different breed than the Delaware or reds, what suggestions would be good for meat/egg birds? It is December...should we wait until Spring to get a roo for them or is anytime good? The reds are 2 1/2 and the Delawares are not yet a year. But we would love to keep the reds going before it is...too late.

    Wisdom, please!
     
  2. Yes, inbreeding is a large problem with chickens. It will cause defects, deformities, bad hatches, and even early death. Inbreeding is caused by breeding siblings, line breeding is when you breed a father to his daughter, or a mother to her son. Inbreeding is a huge no-no. Line breeding is bad, but it's better than inbreeding. Ideally you should just have a couple roosters for your hens so you can keep some diversity in the gene pool. I would get a new rooster for the bantams.

    I LOVE mixed chickens. They are hardy, they live longer, they're better at evading predators, smarter, they don't lay as many eggs but they lay longer, and they seem to eat less. And you can play around and get some cool colors and traits (some of my mixes have cool spots on their necks of backs, and my little Campine/EE roo is adorable) BUT, a lot of people would rather have pure breeds. If you're really looking to breed and make money, you should get the right breed of roo and keep the breeds separated. (Unless you are looking to sell Easter Eggers, which are actually just mutts that carry the blue egg gene, and are actually very popular.)

    Also, what are the "reds" you are talking about? Rhode Island Reds? Production Reds?

    You can get a new rooster pretty much any time, but they will eat more this winter, so if you're on a tight budget that might be something to consider............

    Another thing to consider is that if you want to breed purebreds (which I suggest if you are looking to make money) you will need to keep the "reds", Delawares, and Cochins separate.

    Also, the risk for deformities or other issues with chicks is higher when the parents are over 2 years old. So I would be careful if you plan on selling the eggs/chicks from the "reds".

    Best of luck,

    ~~Ms. B :)
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member



    Actually, mating them would be fine.
     
  4. Jennabeth77

    Jennabeth77 Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Oct 18, 2012
    Thank you so much! That helps a ton! Is it even worth getting a rooster for the little girls since there are only two?

    The Reds, I am assuming from research, are almost all truly Production Reds and not true Rhode Island. I do believe they are Production Reds.

    At this point, we just want great birds that are healthy and lay well. Both the Delaware and PRs lay up to 260/year. They have been great! I have made contact with someone who has Sussex, Buff Orp and Americauna roosters. I am leaning toward the Buff for its disposition and hardy nature. I am leery of the Americauna because they tend to be more protective and we do have kids (at least this is what he shared). And while the Sussex sound interesting to me, they are a little smaller.

    I will look into trading with someone regarding the bantam rooster. :( I am sad to separate them,though...well...I suppose I do not have to breed them at all.. I could just keep them as pets.

    Maybe down the line I will get some more PRs since they are getting older. Then I can make use of the rooster with the younger ladies for good stock.

    Again, thanks so much for your reply! It really helps!

    How often do you switch out your rooster, then?
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,532
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I bred half siblings and had no problems. It wasn't "breeding" breeding, like to standard or a huge volume, it was letting the broody hatch out some chicks. I had no problems. You'd want to bring in some new blood every few generations, but it's really not much of an issue.

    I have a mixed flock and have hatched out mixed breed birds. If you plan to sell them, you'd probably do better with a pure bred bird. For my purposes, eggs and the odd cockerel to eat, mixed breeds are fine. I like the different colors I get.

    I believe if you put a red rooster over your Dellie girls you'd get sex link chicks.........I think. That would be good from a selling standpoint, you could guarantee pullets when selling day old chicks.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    This. This rooster could serve both your reds and your Delaware. My only supposition is that they are all hatchery grade?
     
  7. Jennabeth77

    Jennabeth77 Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Oct 18, 2012
    Fred's Hens...what could service both? The Buff Orp?

    And how could I guarantee pullets a day old with a red roo and the Del's? Just by sexing them, you mean? Or are you saying that because people like the Sex Links? I do not know a whole lot about other breeds at this point!
     
  8. Jennabeth77

    Jennabeth77 Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Oct 18, 2012
    Oh wait. Do you mean I should get a Sex Link?
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you put a pure Red (gold) rooster over a pure white (silver) hen the chicks can be sexed at hatch. The cockerels are white, while the pullets are golden/reddish in color.


    [​IMG]
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,532
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The red rooster over the silver-based Delaware hens would give sex linked babies. Roosters will be silver based, or more white, and hens will be red or gold colored. You can tell the difference at hatch, just by the color, so you could sell pullets if you're so inclined. Your red rooster over your red hens would just give you more red birds, you'd have to wait to sex them.

    The breeds and genetics section has a great thread on sex link info, started by tadkerson. If you're interested, read it but go slow cause there's lots of info and it can get confusing!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by