First Time raising chickens and creating coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dtgary, May 24, 2010.

  1. dtgary

    dtgary New Egg

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    May 24, 2010
    This is my first time raising chickens. My husband has raised them before but never had any brooders. We received chickens from a friend (six roosters and six hens) all about 1 year old. Two hens are brooding. We made the chicken house along with an outside pen. The chicken house is 8X6 - 8foot to 4 foot with slanted roof. Insullated since we live in upper Maine. The pen is 8X8 and 4 Feet tall with wiring and fencing. We also put wiring and fencing on the bottom of the house to keep out foxes. I need to get rid of 4 or 5 of the roosters since the are constantly fighting (we had two chicks who were killed by the fighting roosters). Since then I boxed in the 2 brooders (who are sitting on 9 eggs), keeping water and food in their brood. This keeps the roosters out. Just wondering if the 2 brooders with hurt each other's chicks when they hatch? They both are sitting together on the eggs.

    They are all very friendly. I have been separating the roosters, and trying to get them to free roam during the day. Only 2 or 3 will go outside. I always put them in at night, until I can get someone to take them, I'm trying to keep them separated during the day. I have one great rooster who is always coralling the hens together away from the other roosters.

    I'm still in the learning stages, but planting my flower garden, 2 of the roosters (free roaming) came to me, wondering what I was doing. They have all been raised together. My husband was telling me about the pecking order with the hens, but doesn't know a whole lot about baby chicks, brooding, and refuses to kill any of the roosters. (some hunter he is..)

    Since the first day I have had them (including the brooders), the 4 hens (that aren't brooding), have been laying eggs, so I believe they must feel comfortable. But I don't understand why a rooster sort-of pairs with a hen, helps build the nest, before she lays an egg. Its really awesome to watch.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of the 4 or 5 roosters, without leaving them out to nature. (I don't have the heart for that, plus they want to get back into the house every night, so I put them in.) I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    When I read the part about six roosters with six hens, I thought "uh, oh." With some of the bantam breeds, you can set up breeding pairs of one rooster with one hen, but I didn't think that would work with most standard breed chickens.

    Here's a great thread about "rehoming" excess roosters:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=3673948

    About your two broodies incubating together, I'd keep a careful eye on them. I have my hens with chicks separated, but one day one of them slipped out and got viciously attacked by another hen mother. They were fine with each other before the chicks hatched.
     

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