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Flocks and Cockerels - Advice please :)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by malkered, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. malkered

    malkered Chillin' With My Peeps

    We rescued a hen last April, bought her some company, rescued two ex egg farm chickens and caught the 'chicken bug'

    We decided to try our hand at incubating hatching eggs with the idea of keeping the hens and using any cockerels for the table.

    However, when the chicks hatched and we watched them thrive we realised that there was no way that we could do anything other than nurture and take care of the little dears giving us the problem of finding good homes for the surplus roos.

    We ended up with 17 hens and 9 cockerels.

    Bo & Chip, two Light Sussex Roos and Tilly, a White Leghorn Roo were rehomed via a local farm and now head their own flocks.

    Pierre and Floyd two white Bresse Roos were rehomed via another farm along with Pinky, a Bresse hen.

    Pingu, a lovely Barred Rock Roo lives with 9 hens in our main coop and is going nowhere.

    In a seperate coop we have Patch, a Gold Spangled Hamburg bantam Roo who lives with Dotty, a Silver Spangled Hamburg bantam hen, Fuzzy and Ugg, two Pekin bantams, Fleur, a white Bresse Hen, Bobbie, a Light Sussex hen, Terry, a Buff Leghorn Roo and Matt a mixed breed crested Roo. These all hatched within a week or so of each other and have lived together since they were chicks but are growing rapidly.

    Our intention is to introduce the two larger hens to Pingu's flock when they are big enough to hold their own.

    Here is where I need some advice.

    Firstly, given that the two Hamburgs and the two Pekin bantams are and will always be much smaller than the other birds and that we intend to keep Patch would these be better kept separate from the main flock?

    Secondly, if we can't find good homes for Terry and Matt how advisable is it to have more than one Roo in the main flock?

    I love my birds and am determined that none of them Roo or hen will end up on the table and that unless I find good homes for Terry and Matt that they are staying put.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    This is why I don't hatch eggs unless I want roosters. You can keep a bachelor group separate as long as they grew up together. Introducing new ones into a bachelor group is tricky and requires the new one to be pen inside the coop in his own pen for a few months before being let out.

    Your main flock doesn't need another rooster with that many hens so keep the boys separate, they can be within sight, that's never been a problem for me, and if you lose your main rooster it's easy enough to pick a new main rooster out of the bachelor group.
     
  3. malkered

    malkered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok, great, thanks for the advice, I have the room to do that as long as they will be content, Terry and Matt have lived together all their lives. I'll just have to make sure that I rehome both at the same time or neither.

    I wouldn't have started the hatching process without being prepared to be responsible with it.

    So, In your opinion are the four bantams better kept as a separate flock?
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I always keep at least my bantam hens separate from my larger breeds, I do have a couple of extra bantam roosters in with my large breeds, they hang on the outskirts, and can handle being chased occasionally, and I make sure they get fed.

    The bantam hens can't take the rough stuff of large breeds very well, some can but I prefer not to find out the hard way. So always have a bantam rooster with bantam hens, there can be a few large breed hens if they grew up in the group and aren't aggressive.

    I have too many bantam roosters too, I do have a few I haven't figured where they are going to fit in eventually, they are penned together for now.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I re-read your original post, I would try keeping the two pekin roosters with the hens in that group, and remove the large breed roosters and see how that goes, perhaps later adding more bantam hens, or smaller breed hens to the group.
     
  6. malkered

    malkered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry, my original post was unclear. Bantam wise I have a Gold Spangled Hamburg Roo, a Silver Spangled Hamburg hen and two Pekin bantam hens.

    They are currently in with a Light Sussex hen, a White Bresse hen and Terry , a Buff Leghorn roo and Matt, a mixed breed roo.

    The Light Sussex hen and the Bresse hen, in my opinion, are still too small to move into the larger breed flock but the two roos I think are getting too big and frisky to be in with the bantams.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Now I got it, you are probably right, I would remove any large breed roosters than see what happens after that.
     
  8. malkered

    malkered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for your advice.
     

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