Chicken math....and my little flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by confusedturtle, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. confusedturtle

    confusedturtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so I have been posting on other threads about my little flock. I have 5 total, 2 have been identified as red sex link pullets, 1 red sex link roo, and 2 BO mixes (possibly with wyandotte?) one of which is a rooster. I am planning to take the BO mix rooster back to the woman who sold him to me and considering maybe sending his pullet with him because they just dont seem to like us and I would really hate to split up the pair. They are very close and roost, forage, dust bathe and do everything together, so Im afraid to seperate them and have my BO mix pullet possibly be bullied. When the 2 are foraging and the possible roo is on the other side of my raised garden beds the poor little pullet starts calling for him and looking for any portion of the group and then runs over to the BO mix roo. Im afraid to split up the pairing but 2 roos is not good when we aren't supposed to have any. Here is where the chicken math kicks in [​IMG] since I will be rehoming the roo and I found out another of my flock is a non-layer doesn't that mean they should be replaced by 2 pullets? LoL I am planning to try to keep the RSL roo (he is just the sweetest bird ever!) until he crows, if my neighbors say no then he will have to go. My question is, is it too late for me to pick up a few young, under 1 month old, pullets and eventually work them into my flock? My RSL's dont seem to care about pecking order, they get along with eachother fine and there has been no pecking for a few weeks now. They used to chase the BO mixes but never pecked or anything. Do you think it would work, and if so how do I go about doing it?
     
  2. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have sex-linked hens called Golden Comets, but the same hens are variously called different names by other hatcheries. Currently, I have 5 laying adults and 4 jueveniles who are not laying yet. They are sweet birds-- can't imagine better girls. Even though I have a few acres of land, I chose not to have roosters. This is my first year having chickens (always lived in town before), but my father kept flocks at various times in my childhood. The roosters seemed to complicate the relationship chickens have with their people. I'm certain I'll eventually get a rooster, but not in a hurry. That's the reason I got sex-linked hens. The males and females are different colors at birth, so very unlikely to make a mix-up and get wrong gender. So, you can get chicks-- I recommend sex-linked if you're just starting out & you really want eggs. They're pretty prolific egg-layers. Most days I get 5 eggs from my 5 layers-- occasionally 4 & rarely 3 eggs-- haven't had less than that in one day yet. And they are so tame. I pick 'em up, let 'em sit in my lap, perch on my legs... I'd love 'em even if I never got another egg! They are such a delight just to watch and be around. If you get chicks, you'll have to keep them separated from the older ones for quite a while. They should generally be the close to same size before you put them together, and you should never put a single new chicken in with an existing flock (at least 2-3). My 4 jeuveniles are going on 12 weeks & they aren't fully integrated into the adult flock yet. My husband built a mini-pen out of PVC pipe & plastic chicken netting (heavy duty) -- & the chicks stay inside that small run with their own little hootch (you can see it on my BYC page). That way the big girls get familiar with the smaller ones. I let them out together every evening, but the younger girls still keep their distance from the older ones. And as sweet as my girls are, there is still a definite pecking order, with the younger ones at the receiving end of the deal. So you can expect that. Just be gradual in the process & once you start integrating at about 9-10 weeks--- monitor them closely, making sure the little ones have a safe-place to run to. Don't ever just put them together and expect them to work it out-- they're chickens. Somebody's dominant, somebody's next in line, etc, etc, & somebody will be the bottom of the rung. They'll eventually work it out, but you'll save yourself a lot of agony if you just help 'em out a bit during the transition. Good luck!
     
  3. confusedturtle

    confusedturtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Virginia
    I actually have been trying to contact a person in my area who is selling gold sex links & black sex links. Since I already have the red sex links and they are super sweet I figured it'd be worth a shot. Good to know someone else has had such a good experience with them [​IMG] I will definitely do it gradually. I am not sure how old the new ones will be when I get them, they look very young in the picture (craigslist) but Im actually pretty excited about that since my others were older (4 weeks) when we got them and I never got the fluffy butt fuzzy baby time with them. I am considering getting 2, so that I wont have one that just gets beat up regularly, atleast it will have a friend from the begining. Thank you so much, I will start working on a baby run just incase we get some newbies [​IMG] Thank you!
     
  4. Sheepy

    Sheepy Out Of The Brooder

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    All I have to say is you should keep the two buddies together. We were all wired to need friends. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  5. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I am going to join the gang and say you could probably integrate new kids in with your sexlinks. I have 4 Isas and they let my seramas (smallest breed of chicken in the world) beat them up. I also stuck a lone serama pullet in with them when they were young and they didn't even notice. I've never seen the 4 of them squabble at all in the 5 months I've had them.
     
  6. confusedturtle

    confusedturtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sheepy: so you think I should let both of them go back to the lady and get 2 new ones? That is how I felt, they are so close and I hate to break them apart. She did let me pick her up for a few seconds today which is not normal but I am afraid she will be bullied or feel alone when she loses her buddy [​IMG]
     
  7. confusedturtle

    confusedturtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ended up giving back the little BO mix roo today, I contacted his previous home and she was coming out to my town anyways and picked him up. Her husband is familiar with chickens (wish he was there the day I bought them) and he said that looking at his tail feathers they were very long and curling under. He said he was most definitely a rooster. When I told him the other one had shorter tail feathers and very light pink comb he said with that breed ignore the comb coloring and just watch her tail feathers. He is pretty sure she is a pullet though. I did go ahead and keep her and she doesn't seem to be bothered by her roo's leaving. **edited** I wanted to add that the BO mix pullet seems a little less skittish after her roo left, and it does not seem that she is going to be bullied after all. She is acting like nothing happened and is hanging with my RSL's. Im glad she is not lonely or bullied [​IMG] She has been foraging with the other girls all day and even let me pick her up for a minute. I did buy 2 more little chickies today. The feed store said that they order from Ideal Hatcheries and that the ones I was looking at were black sex links and golden sex links. I chose one of each and I tried to pick the ones with the lightest combs and chose from a group that was relatively the same size. They assured me that Ideal has 99.9% sexing rate with their sex links (gonna look that up) and that the entire group was pullets. The BSL's were 1 week older than the GSL's and you can see a slight difference in their size & feathering. The BSL has turned out to be quite the bully and pecked the poor GSL on the way home. Granted they were stuck in a box for quite awhile but the BSL's seemed to be pecking at eachother in their seperate brooder. That has me a little concerned about how they will be when they are bigger. My son named the BSL Olive and I named the GSL Goldie. Goldie is fast becoming my baby as she is happy to sit in my lap and be petted and fall asleep [​IMG] I love it [​IMG] Olive did a number on Goldies wing so she has been brought inside until it heals. Olive is staying in a large dog crate that is set near our current run, the older flock has been very curious about our new pair. I will keep them seperated as quarentine for awhile and let them feather up some more before I begin to integrate them. **edited again, sorry** I am not leaving the crate outside at night. They are not feathered in enough but I want them out during the day when it is very warm and they can see the other girls and forage and stuff. If I am doing something wrong or you think I need to do something more or differently please let me know, I want to do what is best for my "peeps" [​IMG] Here is a few pics of my new girls including one of her little wing that got pecked, if you have any suggestions for how I can help her please let me know.
    [​IMG]
    Goldie
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    Olive
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    Here is Goldies beat up wing. It is on the top ridge of her wing. It looks like her back is pecked but it is her wing. She is still feathering in [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  8. confusedturtle

    confusedturtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It has been 9 hours and so far so good...actually great! My BO mixed pullet is doing great, she is hanging out with the flock, foraging with them and dust bathing with them. I was so afraid she'd be lonely and be picked on and nothing of the sort has happened. Here is a pic of the flock (- the 2 lil peeps) she is sitting on the planter with one of my RSL pullets. So glad she is doing so well. I hope that when I integrate my 2 newbies to the flock it will go just as smoothly. Im sad to say it but getting rid of the BO mix roo has done wonders for my lil flock. They were a little easier to put back in their coop tonight which is nice [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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