cross breeding concerns - an unexpected guest has arrived

SDFarmgirl

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
4
0
7
san diego, ca
I live in a small rural town in San Diego County; my neighboring properties consist of large fields and a large Latin family that corners my yard - this family has an incredible amount of chickens with varying breeds that run wild & free between their yard, the open fields and my horse pasture. occasionally hens hatch chicks in my yard, I used to try and rescue the chicks because predators were fine dining on them but there were so many babies popping up I couldn't keep up (I tried to speak with family but no one spoke English though I know they understood my concerns but the animals lives were inconsequential - they collect eggs and eat the birds and there are tons of them so a few casualties seems acceptable to them. and animal control was to no avail) and the majority are not a particularly friendly breed - athletic and excellent foragers but want nothing to do with me or my domestic breeds even when raised from hatchlings.
I currently have 4 black sex link, 1 americauna, 1 rhode island red, and 1 speckled Sussex hen that live with my 10 year old grumpy female bunny in an enclosed outdoor henhouse with side pen. I have chickens for eggs and solely for that reason - dont get me wrong I love my girls and they will all happily be picked up and pet or garden with me but i dont want tons of chickens or two separate enclosures, so no boys). a week ago this tiny little rooster showed up and has not left my hens fence line since. thankfully my dog has not killed him (I have 2 great danes - the female totally gentle not concerned over her but my male is like Lenny from mice and men and will clumsily break their necks and have no idea why they don't want to play anymore. he once carried one of the wild hens that came into our yard for 30 minutes before we realized it wasn't one of his stuffed animals - she was alive and uninjured but completely saliva soaked). I am concerned for this little guys safety, he easily let me catch him and was not aggressive so my fear is he will be killed by the doofy dog or the many other predators in the country (coyotes, hawks, owls, cats). I know its pointless to throw him back over the fence (tried that first day) as he wont be penned and I believe the other larger roosters that are roaming are picking on him. they have huge beautiful roosters but they don't dare come into my yard past the pasture because of the dogs; coyotes are a big problem in the area so those big guys are cautious. sorry for the novel but I wanted to explain my scenario so I can do the right thing.

My Q:
The rooster which has taken residence in my yard is a Serama - he sort of cracks me up as I've never dealt with this breed before, he stands tiny and proud outside their pen as my big girls tower over him. If I put him in their pen could he successfully breed with them? I don't want babies so if its likely he can fertilize their eggs than I can't provide him a home, but I will find him a home. I have tried to stop the over breeding of feral chickens around me to no avail but a friendly chicken who clearly wants a home deserves some extra effort. I'm happy to keep the little guy if he doesn't corrupt my egg supply despite his extremely high pitched and comical crow.
 

nicole camp

Songster
6 Years
Dec 19, 2013
429
30
103
I'm not sure if a bantam is large enough to breed with them. That's a good question my guess is no, but it is possible with some skill on the little guys part, lol.
 

1muttsfan

Free Ranging
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,067
7,046
677
Upper Peninsula Michigan
He would certainly breed with your hens, but that would not mean the eggs could not be eaten. I have 6 roosters right now and every egg that is not incubated is eaten or sold for eating. As long as the eggs are not incubated, they will not develop.
 

SDFarmgirl

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
4
0
7
san diego, ca








here is a picture of my hen house and side pen. as you can see the bunny and hens are much larger than he is, and when I picked him up he was even smaller than his proud little stature. he was pretty fluffy and about the size of a lovebird beneath all those feathers.
 

SDFarmgirl

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
4
0
7
san diego, ca
I didn't know that thank you. my dad slaughtered the roosters for food out of our straight run mixes from the feed store so i've never dealt with the breeding side of chickens. hmmm..I will definitely look into this further..my only other concern is how he will get along with my bunny though she is a female; the bunny is pretty dominant and humps the hens sometimes (this may be how Cadbury eggs came to be). when the little guy first showed up she would hump them in front of him, and he would get kind of fired up and crow, ruffle his feathers but over the past week they have simmered down and when she comes to the fence he doesn't peck her nose anymore.
 

1muttsfan

Free Ranging
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,067
7,046
677
Upper Peninsula Michigan
the bunny is pretty dominant and humps the hens sometimes (this may be how Cadbury eggs came to be). when the little guy first showed up she would hump them in front of him, and he would get kind of fired up and crow, ruffle his feathers but over the past week they have simmered down and when she comes to the fence he doesn't peck her nose anymore.


You will find many people here on BYC keep roosters, they are quite nice to have around if they are good-tempered, and it sounds like the neighbors are unlikely to complain about a little crowing.
 

mithious

Songster
6 Years
May 12, 2013
981
82
158
Great North Woods of New Hampshire
The Cadbury egg thing was very funny! I wouldn't worry about it. He obviously has adopted you and your flock since he is outside your coop constantly. Even if he did do his thing, it's doesn't "ruin" the eggs. Most flocks, layers that forage, have a flock rooster or two for protection. A rooster will protect them from predators. That little guy even would try to if they ranged.

The only way you would get chicks, is if one of your hens decided she wanted to set the eggs and you let her do so. Otherwise, just take the eggs away, every day, like usual.

Since he is already outside your coop, if he has any diseases, he has already spread them to your flock, so if you want to keep him, I don't see the issue? JMHO
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,900
581
Southern Oregon
Basically, you're worried about eating fertile eggs? If that's the case, no worries. You'll never, ever be able to tell the difference. Folks looking to incubate pour over pics of fertile eggs and try to see if their eggs are fertile. It takes quite the practiced eye. The majority of eggs eaten over the last thousands of years were fertile and no one cared. I've had rooster in my laying flock for 20 years and have never--NOT ONCE--had anything nasty when I've cracked an egg. An egg has to be incubated for several days at a steady hundred degrees for an embryo to start to develop.
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,364
27,112
982
On the MN prairie.
Agreed - if you collect your eggs every day, there will be no babies. Your hens are contained so you don't have to worry about one sneaking off and hatching a clutch somewhere. He is a cute little guy.
 
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