first time raisning chcickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Farmer cam, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. Farmer cam

    Farmer cam Hatching

    Aug 8, 2014
    hi! fellow chicken lovers. I recently started raising chicken I have meat, layers and a bunch of roosters and two older rooster. plus two 3yr old hens. I have them all in fenced yard. so far I had them over a month and only got two eegs from the layers. do I have to separate them all. or let them live all in one fenced yard. I know that my meat chickend well be ready in September.
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to BYC. First off your flock is very lopsided, way too many roosters, and to few hens. One rooster can handle 10 hens, if he has less he will overbreed and severely damage or kill some. Your hens are probably slowing down egg production because of their age, or molt, or just because the roosters stress them too much.

    Unless you intend to eat some roosters, you are paying for feed and not getting anything back from them. One fine rooster would be plenty and about 6-8 new hens, and you should be doing fine.

    The meat breeds should be separated form the regular chickens. Meaties just about eat themselves to death and will eat up all the feed for the layers. Meaties are not the most pleasant birds to have around. They just live to eat and poop and be processed at an early age before their heart & legs give out.

    You might want to visit the Learning Center above for information about having chickens.
    Then it would be good to visit the meat bird threads to see how best to manage them - some leave feed out for 12 hours a day, and remove it for 12 hours a day, so the meaties don't literally die eating.
    2 people like this.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Drumstick Diva seems to have you covered. So I will just welcome you to our flock!
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.
  5. Rocky Rhodes

    Rocky Rhodes Songster

    Oct 5, 2013
    North Georgia Mountains
    [​IMG]Welcome from Georgia!!
  6. ShaylaFox

    ShaylaFox Chirping

    Jul 5, 2014
    Welcome from Arkansas!! It may be hard to eat your roosters, if you have grown attached. I have two young cockerels that I have raised and will be talking my older rooster to my grandmothers to he turned out. You could try to sell/give them away. I too have meat chickens and I keep them separate if not they a) would eat laying pellets not the feed I want them to and have kidney failure from then large quantities of calcium in the feed b) get picked on and not be able to run away because they are so fat ;)
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Drumstick diva has given you the straight facts on roosters. The ratio of roosters to hens should be no more than 1 to 10. The only really good reason to have a rooster in your flock is if you want fertilized eggs for hatching. Roosters can be very hard on your hens physically; over-breeding them, injuring them with their beaks and spurs, and battering them. I currently have 25 hens, no roosters, and I get loads of eggs without feeding any non-egg laying mouths, without the aggression, fights, crowing in the middle of the night, injuries, and over-bred and battered hens that frequently goes along with having roosters (especially too many). As far as the claim that roosters protect the flock from predators, and lead hens back into the coop, there may be some value in that among the aggressive breeds like game chickens, but with the docile breeds I have raised over the past 50 years, I have never yet seen a rooster that was worth a dime at these things. I lost just as many hens to predators with or without roosters (and sometimes it was the rooster himself who ended up as the victim), and my hens went back into the coop just as well without a rooster as with a rooster. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.

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