Allowing a rooster to visit for a while...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ModernScientist, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. ModernScientist

    ModernScientist Hatching

    Jun 21, 2008
    Lehighton, PA
    I have a flock of hens, 5 buff orpingtons, 5 barred rocks, and 6 silver laced wyandottes. In the spring they will be two years old. I purposely did not get a rooster because my neighbors are a bit close and I didn't want to generate any noise complaints.

    So now I'm thinking I want to "borrow" a rooster for a little while. I'd like to replenish the flock and watch my hens raise some young.

    My questions are:
    Is borrowing a rooster a good idea?
    *Should I worry about the flock accepting him?
    *Should I worry about introducing disease?

    When is the best time to bring him over? (I'm guessing mid spring, I live in eastern PA and it can be pretty cold in March and April)

    How long should he stay? I only want 8 or so healthy hens out of this in the end.

    Thanks for your advice!

  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Do not borrow a roo! Your reasons are right! Any time you bring a roo in you would be risking the health of your hens! Get fertile eggs from a friend that has a roo then let your broodies hatch them out or incubate!
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I agree. Any new bird coming into your flock should be quarantined for 30 days. That factor and the upset to your flock when the roo is added and then again when he is removed; just not worth it in my book.
  4. mightieskeeper

    mightieskeeper Songster

    Mar 6, 2009
    Clio Michigan
    It would be easier to buy hatching eggs. Lots of great people here sale them.
  5. ModernScientist

    ModernScientist Hatching

    Jun 21, 2008
    Lehighton, PA
    I was concerned about this idea, thanks for the input.

    So when would be the best time of the year for me to order hatching eggs? I'd like my flock to raise their own chicks. Is this a good idea? Do I just pick the broodiest hens and place the eggs under them?
  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Get hatching eggs of a breed you want. When you have a flock of hens of different breeds and you breed them to a rooster you will soon have replaced your flock with mutts.
  7. Quote:If you want a broody to hatch them, just time it for when you have a broody. Spring is always best, as you have the nice weather. And then the chicks are feathering out at a time when the weather is nice and warm. But i currently have four moms with chicks at various stages of development and a broody sitting on eggs. i just move them into our shed at hatch time and keep them inside until they're about four weeks. Everyone seems fine so far.

  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Quote:You have to wait until a hen actually goes broody. A hen will not go broody just because you put eggs in a nest. Broodiness is caused by hormones and no one is sure exactly what causes the hormones to kick in. It does not require a rooster for a hen to go broody. I think more will go broody in spring and summer, but some will go broody in any season. Some go broody although there are no eggs in the nest. Some never go broody.

    Your Orpingtons are a breed that often goes broody, but it is very much up to the individual chicken when or even if she ever goes broody. I certainly would not get any hatching eggs until I had a hen I knew was broody.

    I'll include a link to a thread that talks about hatching eggs with broody hens, one that discusses how to store and incubate eggs, and one about raising chicks with a flock. I know they are a little premature for you, but I think you will find them interesting. The one about storing eggs for incubation applies whether you use a broody hen or an incubator.

    Good luck!

    Isolate a Broody? Thread

    Texas A&M Incubation site publications/b6092.pdf

    Raise with the Flock? thread

    Opa brings up a good point. If you want purebreed chickens, you need to be careful where you get your eggs. If you get eggs from someone who has a rooster a different breed than the hens, you get what are called mutts. That's important to some people, but we all have different reasons for having chickens. I personally like mutts.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Also, just because you think a hen is broody enough to accept eggs does not mean she necessarily *is*. So if you are really interested in doing this, it would be worth starting now to find a local (rather than mail-order) source of hatching eggs, so that when AND IF you get a hen that is really seriously broody (not just 'sorta kinda') you can phone up and say Hi, can I drive over and pick up a dozen hatching eggs tomorrow? and get them under her with a minimum of expense and stress.

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. ModernScientist

    ModernScientist Hatching

    Jun 21, 2008
    Lehighton, PA
    Quote:Thanks for everyone's input thus far. So how many eggs can 1 hen hatch? I see you mention a dozen. That is more than I would have expected.

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