First attempt at raising Hens which turned out to be Roosters!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by balance, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. balance

    balance Hatching

    Sep 15, 2009
    Sussex County
    Well I'm not new to the site. I've been reading and checking out for almost a year now, but this is the first time that I decided to post anything in the forums. I feel that this is a worthy story and would like to share.

    I live in northwest Jersey and have had dreams of having my own small chicken farm since I was a child. The idea of grabbing fresh eggs from the coop always seemed fascinating. I was born on a farm in Maryland but moved to suburbia Jersey when I was five. In suburbia, owning chickens was not allowed, and when I moved to northwest Jersey I felt that I finally had my chance. All I had to do was convince my wife. That took about 4 years and in April I finally had my chance.

    I was given approval from the wife and went to a local feed and supply shop that was selling Ameracuana/Aracuana baby chicks. I talked to the owner o f the shop for a little while and he told me that he was selling these for a friend of his and that he wasn't 100% if she "sexed" them out properly or not. But I decided to take my chances and get a few. Part of the deal with my wife was that we start out very small. So I purchased just three baby chicks. I brought them home and put them in my basement workshop and had them under a heat lamp in a 20 gallon fish tank. We named them MARSHA, JAN, and CINDY. They grew so fast. Before you knew it I had to put them into an open top bathtub box that I had from a recent renovation. Again they just kept growing and growing and I realized that I had to get them out of the house.

    But I didn't have a coop built yet. This was something I wanted to build myself. I had a general design in my head and decided to go for it. It took me about two weeks to finally get the coop built (I can post pictures later) and after about 6 weeks of raising the chicks in my basement, I was able to put them outside. Ahhh, the smell was finally out of my basement and my wife was nagging me anymore.

    I took them a little while to get used to the coop but after a few days they seemed to fit right in and everything seemed great. For the next two and a half months I just kept feeding them organic feed and vegetable scraps. They loved it. However I started to notice that their tails all kind of shot straight up which seemed odd to me. I also noticed their combs getting very big and especially noticed their attitudes changing. At first I only really noticed these changes on the one bird. Then I saw it on another one. But I never heard a "crow" from any of them. At least not until the first week of August. That was when I was leaving at 6:00a to go to work and walked outside and thought that I was about to be attacked when the "crow" came out of that chicken.

    I must of been in denial for a few weeks because I started researching and found that even some hens crow. And then another bird started to crow. Now the two crowing birds were in sync with each other. One right after another. It would start at 5:15am and would continue off and on until about 6:00pm. My neighbors are going to kill me is all I was thinking. My wife was just as upset. I mean it took me four years of convincing her into this project and I don't know how many times that I told her that the chickens would be quiet. And now this. What am I going to do?

    So I went back to the local feed and supply store where I purchased them and talked to the owner who told me that he would help me find a home(or table) for the two roosters. He also told me that he would help me in finding a couple of replacement hens. A few weeks later and I finally received a call back from him. He gave me the number of a lady who would take the roosters from me, but had no info on replacing them with some egg laying hens. He also felt that the other chicken that I had was probably a hen and was too busy being harassed by the other two roosters to be able lay eggs.

    Last Friday I called the rooster killer and she came over and cooped up the two within minutes and was off. Now I was left with just one chicken. I was hoping that eggs would start coming. But then I woke up the next morning to a completely different sound that I've heard before. My wife grabbed my arm while in bed said "I can't believe this! Get rid of him!"
    And again I went into denial. What are the odds in buying three baby chicks and having them ALL turn out to be roosters? I kept checking the nesting boxes for eggs. Of course nothing was there. And every morning the new "crow" was getting louder and louder. Now I'm going to have to call back the rooster killer. And I'll be left with nothing.

    This is just so disappointing. I've put in so much time and energy raising these guys and it all seems completely worthless. I have this coop built and a penned in area. All for what? So I'm thinking of just ending this whole dream that I had and giving up. I definitely don't want to start raising new chicks again from babies. I have looked for egg laying hens in my area but haven't found anything. This sucks.

    And so that's my story and where I'm at now. I started raising MARSHA, JAN, and CINDY but ended up with PETER, BOBBY, and GREGG!!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009

  2. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Songster

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    Here's a story,
    of a guy named Balance
    who wanted to raise
    Three lovely girls
    They would all lay eggs
    like their mother
    He'd give it a whirl...

    Its a story,
    of a guy unlucky,
    whose girls turned out not to be..
    They were all boys
    and so noisy
    so they really had to leave

    Next time, maybe you should try for Alice...she was always handy. [​IMG]
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Oh wow balance, your story really sucks!!! I would be so disappointed, too. But don't let go of your dream!

    You already have a chicken coop, so you simply must find some chickens.

    There must be a BYC'er somewhere near you who can help you out with a few laying hens. Have you posted in the buy/sell/trade section? Or in the Where am I? Where are you? section? There should be a thread for your state, and you could introduce yourself there, and make a plea for help. Craigslist?

    Can anybody help? Come on people! [​IMG]

    I so hope you can find some nice hens.

    Welcome to BYC.
  4. Southerngirl

    Southerngirl Songster

    Mar 25, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    I know how you feel. When I was a teenager I went to the sale barn and purchased 6 four week old chicks all for $2 ! Who could resist. They too were all roosters !! That old farmer knew they were roos looking back. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] If you lived close I would give you 2 hens just for sympathy. [​IMG] Don't give up though. Sometimes people on BYC will pair up and split a hatchery order. You may want to try that especially since you can order only pullets.
  5. DDRanch

    DDRanch Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    I am sorry for your experience, but want to encourage you to check on this site for members who are close to you and can help you replenish your coop. You have done all the work with the coop, you have the desire (and the approval) AND all you need now are some lucky hens.

    Your raising of the roosters is very good experience as it is no different from raising hens so whatever you learned can be used again and again. Bless those roosters for teaching you.

    Let us know when you get more and pictures please!! Don't give up.


  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    It sounds like the friend of the guy at the feed store DID know how to sex checks. Quite well in fact. And kept the hens for his/herself, while selling the roos at the feed store.

    There are a couple of hatcheries that will ship chicks and offer a 90% sexing guarantee. If I were you, I'd see if your zip code is one they will ship to.
  7. balance

    balance Hatching

    Sep 15, 2009
    Sussex County
  8. andbab

    andbab Songster

    I bought 12 chicks this spring and ended up with nine roosters. Only 3 itty bitty hens. I might let them hatch some eggs and see what comes out of them. Luck of the draw.
  9. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    Sorry It is hard to believe that out of three you got all roosters. Put an ad on Craigs list that you ae looking for pullets or hens I bet you get a ton of calls.

  10. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Hi - sorry to hear about your bad luck! I got 8 chicks, and 6 of them were roo's! I think this is "the year of the rooster" isn't it?? [​IMG] Don't give up!! I have a bunch of chicks that are going to need homes. I can't tell if they are pullets or cockerel yet, so you'd need to wait a little longer, but they will be available [​IMG] I'd be willing to meet you somewhere if you'd be interested...

    Keep an eye on craigslist. Definitely post a wanted ad on here!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by