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Adding a rooster & mixing breeds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KimPahl, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. KimPahl

    KimPahl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2015
    Jefferson, NC
    Hey all!

    So, we currently have 2 red sex link hens and 1 leghorn hen. We have an opportunity to get a Dominique rooster and I was wondering if it matters that we are mixing breeds. Our goal is just to raise up more chickens for eggs so does it really matter? Our hens are about 1 year old. The rooster is 1.5 years old and has a proven fertility record. Assuming that he breeds w/ the red sex link hens we would know the sex of any chicks. I assume that will not be the case for the leghorn. And...if you get some roos in the bunch what do most people do with them? Sell them...give them away...eat them??? We don't want a bunch of roos!!!

    We've never added another chicken to our flock and I know he must be quarantined which we are going to do. I am a bit confused because a bunch of people were saying how they just put the roo in with the hens the first night and they didn't quarantine him. But everything else I'm reading suggests it. I would hate for something to happen to my hens due to our mistake.

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    Southern Oregon
    I'll let other folks advise on quarantine.

    Mixing breeds in a backyard setting is perfectly okay.


    None of the offspring will be sex linked, sorry. The white Leghorn will give you white chicks, probably with some "ghost" barring. The sex links will give you mostly black barred chicks, but you'll get some red and white leakage in the babies also. But if he's a pure Dominique rooster, all his chicks will be genetically barred, so no difference between males and females. You need a barred hen and a non-barred rooster for that to happen.

    You're wise to start thinking of a plan for the cockerels before you hatch. You've pretty much covered the options---sell or give away, or butcher. You can euthanize cockerels young if you don't intend to eat them, and use them as compost or fertilizer. That may be a good option with the part Leghorn cockerels as they'll not give you much in the way of meat.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with Donrae - if you're not showing or selling chickens as purebreds, it's no problem to mix and match your backyard flock. Quarantine is a choice you have to make. Some do, some don't. If you can't properly quarantine (separate coops, 100' - 300' apart, separate equipment and changing shoes and possibly clothes between coops), some will tell you there is no point in doing it in the first place. I don't quarantine, but I also rarely bring new adult birds into my flock.When I do, it's birds I get from a friend of mine. If you'd be devastated if something happened to your flock, you may want to figure out how to quarantine. My flock is not that big, they're barnyard mutts, and it's a chance I'm willing to take. I don't have a bunch of expensive show birds, and my chickens are livestock, not pets.

    We eat our extra roosters. It's very good that you are thinking about that before hatching. Too many don't, and then there are the "Help! I have a rooster and can't keep him!" posts. Again, you are the only one who can decide what to do with them. Around here, you can't give them away. I don't want to spend my time and money on them just to give them away, anyway. If I'm feeding them and caring for them, we might just as well process them here as give them to someone else who will.
     
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  4. KimPahl

    KimPahl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2015
    Jefferson, NC
    Thanks you guys, I appreciate your feedback. Our quarantine area would not be 100-300 ft away. It's maybe 50 ft or so on the other side of the barn which is separate from where our current flock's coop is. He would be in a temp pen setup. It's not perfect, I know, but it's the best we can do. We will think it thru and figure it out. I've heard so many horror stories about not quarantining. I would hate for something to happen to my 3 hens. They all have names and we have them for eggs so they are kind of pets.

    Thanks about the suggestions for the roosters. I figure they will be chicken soup! LOL. But, we have never butchered chickens before so that will be a fun experience.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    There are great threads on the Meat Bird section on butchering. I think you can even find some tutorials on YouTube. (I was a city girl, married a farmer who grew up raising chickens for meat, so he taught me how. He can get the scald water temperature just right every time!) It will definitely be a learning experience for you! Good luck and enjoy this new stage in your chicken keeping!
     
  6. RoosterDon

    RoosterDon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Austin Texas
    We just added a new rooster today to our flock and all went well. We have two other adult roos and mixed breeds of hens. I had a rooster turn really mean and I did the deal with him, slitting the neck, cleaning, and all I can say is it was a ton of work for very little meat. That being said, if I do it again I will just quarter the roos or cut out the meat. No more plucking and all.
     
    1 person likes this.

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