Free range Roosters??? UPDATE

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dianneS, May 30, 2010.

  1. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have way too many roosters right now, due to all of the hatching I and my hens have done last fall. I can't seem to find homes for these roos. I've advertised them for free, and even offered to throw in a hen or two if someone takes these roos, and no one wants them! They only want my hens, which I really don't want to part with anyway.

    I have an idea. I do allow my chickens to free-range at times. I've even left the coop door open all night and never lost a bird (thanks to my livestock guardian dog! [​IMG] ). The coop door has blown shut already before nightfall and my whole flock had to spend the night outdoors. Everyone knew to get up in the trees to roost for the night.

    My idea is to keep the roosters that I want in the coop with the hens full-time and kick the extra roosters outside to be full-time free range roosters. My coop wouldn't be over-crowded, my hens would be safe, and I'd still have birds outside to scratch in the horse poop and eat the bugs and ticks! If I lose one to a predator, no great loss, at least its not a good laying hen. The roosters have plenty of safe places to roost at night, and can bunk inside with the goats in the winter.

    Does that sound like a plan, or am I terrible for doing such a thing?

    *UPDATE* I actually managed to re-home several of my roosters, but I had to throw in a few hens to sweeten the deal in order to get rid of them all! I still have four roosters, all of which I'd like to keep for breeding purposes, but my rooster to hen ratio is still out of whack.

    I have two big EE roosters, and really only need one, but don't have the heart to get rid of either of them since one is my husband's buddy, and the other I raised from a chick and just don't want to see him go.

    Can I throw my one big roo outside the pen and let him free-range alone? Would that be terrible since he wouldn't have access to the hens all the time and would only be able to interact with the rest of the flock occasionally, when I allow them to free-range? I have a second bantam rooster that I could free-range to keep the other company. Would one or two free-range roosters be okay?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  2. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    I'm curious on this as well - we have 30 acres and the coop will be too small for more than one rooster. And I highly doubt I can get anyone to take a roo from me if I end up with too many. However, I DO have 30 acres of forest they could roam in and a barn they could stay in during the winter.. My concern is that they will cross on to another person's property, which they may not appreciate. [​IMG]
     
  3. carolina chicky

    carolina chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the exact same problem and I have let mine free range full time for 2 weeks now with no problems. I put up a little piece of fence so I could enclose them if I need to but everything has seemed to work out fine for the last 2 weeks.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Sounds like a logical plan to me as long as you understand that some will probably be lost to predators even though you have a LGD. I see nothing "terrible" about this. The roosters will have a great time, and the hens will give a sigh of relief.
     
  5. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I may give this a try, but I also think I may have found someone to take them, FINALLY! I do have to throw some hens in to seal the deal however.
     
  6. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    See my update above.

    Basically, would it be terrible to only have one rooster (maybe two) free ranging alone?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  7. laughaha

    laughaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope, not terrible.

    I do this with my extra roos/dogfood. They get a little scratch in the mornings and are then on their own. I think of it as an extremely cheap and almost organic dogfood that gets to have a good life before death. I have two white roo mutts that are faster than streaked lightening and will probably live a long time. My suggestion is to not get attached to the free ranging ones- I fully expect that someday these two will not be fast enough to outrun something and will disappear. Until then they are having a good life and cleaning up any wasted feed and stirring the compost pile and eating bugs for me.
     
  8. bigchicken2

    bigchicken2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should all be allowed out of the coop. With more space they won't fight as much. But don't keep the extra roosters out all the time or they'll fight too much because there are no hens to mate with. So leave their door open so they can go in and out.
     
  9. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    I took mine to a local poultry swap where some Hispanic gentlemen were delighted to buy every one of them. They're probably all bedded down in a nice pot of rice by now.
     
  10. echclosings

    echclosings New Egg

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    I have a few roosters that are about 3 months old. I desperately need to figure out something to do with them. I truly only wanted laying hens for eggs and compost. I wasnt planning and having to worry about my hens actually having chicks. Would it be awful to leave them out free-range? I can probably figure out some sort of roost for them at night but it would be very difficult. Any suggestions?
     

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