Another Chicken Dilemma

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Peneliva, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Peneliva

    Peneliva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey guys.

    so I started my chicken adventure off rocky. After buying 3 batches now and weeding through the roos and stuff I'm left with 6 beautiful hens/pullets (different varieties) and 1 amazingly sweet rooster who I have a love hate relationship with.

    Said Flock.

    [​IMG]

    So whats my dilemma... my coop size. I have a 4 foot wide by 12 foot long run and a 4 foot by 4 foot coop. It has a sand run, two outdoor perches, and hanging feeder. The second story aka the coop has two nice laying boxes and two staggered perches. Along with poop mats that I spray off daily.

    Said Coop and Run
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So... I have 6 girls and 1 boy. I don't have enough square footage for them all. I guess as much as I don't want to I need to weed out two birds.

    I originally got into chickens because I wanted pets and eggs..My variety includes.
    1 Barred Rock
    1 Silver Pencil Rock
    1 speckled sussex
    3 6 week old Easter Eggers
    1 Easter egger rooster.

    Who do I sell/trade? I know the obvious answer is the rooster but like I said I really like him and toyed with the idea of hatching... but if I never hatch hes useless but again I like him and my girls love him too.

    Anyone??
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    You don't have room for the chickens you have - what would you do with more if you plan on hatching? That's the first thing you need to figure out. Too many people hatch or buy chicks and all of a sudden don't know what to do with them once they start growing! Is your rooster an adult bird? (If you mentioned it, I missed it - sorry!) If not, you need to think about personality changes. Sweet little cockerels can turn into mean roosters. With the size of your setup, you don't have much room to work with or get away from him if he decides to become an attack rooster. What about the hens? Are there any with fun personalities that you absolutely love? Any that are just kinda there? Really, you are the only one who can make the choice on which ones you want to keep. Or, you could keep them all and expand your run (or let them free range)!
     
  3. Peneliva

    Peneliva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    See I originally bought so many because I kept getting boys.

    The rooster can go I guess :(. Hes 4.5 months old ish.

    as for the girls. I absolutely love my speckled sussex,barred rock and two of my EE girls.

    the brown ee is boring and the silver pencil is a butthead.

    however the silver pencil is actually my oldest and shows promise of laying soon!!
    Thats one of the reasons I wanna keep her.

    also I let them free range about 3-4days a week.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  4. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First you need to decide if you want to hatch out chicks in the future. If so, you obviously need the rooster. If you don't want to hatch out eggs, the choise is clear. Get rid of the rooser and the Easter Egger pullet you don't care for.

    You can post an ad on Craigslist to sell them or trade them for something you need.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    If you can sell a couple of point of lay hens, well then, you have gotten a little return on your investment![​IMG] Always a good thing.

    With your set up, you are about to run into not enjoying having the chickens at all, and I admire you for addressing it now. As the chickens get bigger, they need more space, and you are very much short of space for the number you have now. When chickens are kept like that they develop all sorts of horrible behaviors and that might very well be what is wrong with the silver one. Another behavior that will show up, is your hens will become bare backed, as in their feathers pulled out of their shoulders, sometimes until they bleed, and from the back of their head, all from too much rooster, not enough hens.

    I think I would get rid of the roo, and 2 of the EE, that would leave you with 4 hens, all different breeds. That will give you close to 2 dozen eggs per week, give or take. You don't say how many eggs you need, but happy chickens lay more than stressed chickens.

    Mrs K
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Now if I could just apply logic to my own flock and set up...... want to keep the dominique rooster, ....... but really liking the delewares...... ugh!
     
  7. Peneliva

    Peneliva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thing is..I want to keep my 3 6 week old EEs until I am sure they are girls. Ive had the worst time with getting all Rooster EEs. So..I mean would it be okay if I got rid of the rooster for now.

    my pencil is 5 months old. My sussex and barred rock are 2.5 montha old and the 3 ee are 5 weeks.

    I figured I would know for sure since they are pullet colors already... but been tricked before. But I figure at 12 weeks I would know.

    is that okay? Do I need to bite the bullet..I thought since they were all so young it might be okay. I just really do not want to rehome the EE and end up keeping the a rooster in hiding!!!
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    You can wait a .....while, mostly because you have different ages. I think your silver pencil is beginning to show the stress of the space. As the younger ones get bigger, and take more space, those stresses are going to rise. When they rise, more of them are going to be butt heads.

    You may have a couple of weeks, I think you need to make a decision within a month, but I think you will notice when you HAVE to do something. In my own set up, I can keep 12 head, kind of. It just depends on the 12 birds, 8-10 birds, and everyone gets along much better, things are more relaxed, more calm. If I get up to 13-15 full grown birds, there is lots of fighting, the pecking order gets vicious, I really don't like being with them near as much, it makes me tenser too. I found it out by trial and error. Once I had a predator get in (before I had fort knox) and took out 4 birds. Now you think that would upset the flock, but within a couple of days, they were all much calmer.

    I cheat too, when I am adding chicks under a broody, in the summer when they are out and about free ranging, you can cheat, the chicks are small, don't eat as much. But come winter, the days are short, they spend more time on the roost with the long nights, than on the ground, then you have to have the numbers right.

    Mrs K
     
  9. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am very impressed by your maturity! Thinking ahead before you actually have a problem, which you certainly will with cramped quarters, especially when winter rolls in.
    My opinion thoughts are, you have two options...

    1) Enlarge your coop and run to allow 4sq.feet per bird minimum (coop floor space...don't include nestbox measurements in that figure)--more space is always better. Then you should be good...until chicks arrive, and then you're back to square one. Of course, you might never have any chicks to deal with if you gather all the eggs every day, and no one goes broody on you so may not be an issue.

    2) Reduce your numbers, like you are already thinking about--if it were me and flock reduction was in order, I'd re-home the rooster and the silver pencil if you don't 'click' with her--sounds like your flock is in the pet category...why keep one that you don't really like? Someone else may be the perfect fit for her and you'll be getting eggs, just have to wait a little longer but it would be worth it. Once you know whether the young EE's are girls or boys, make your decision about them...and if the older brown EE is the same as the silver pencil, sell her!

    Good luck with your decision!
    By the way---very cute set-up! Love the purple:)
     
  10. Peneliva

    Peneliva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I should be able to figure out gender of the EE within a month. Ill sell my rooster tomorrow at the stock sells.

    my silver pencil what I mean by a butthead is shes just flightly. My other birds are so sweet.
     

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