Growing new flock - is this doable? Need timeline help...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PacsMan, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    I’d like to grow my flock and get 12-18 more hens. I’m thinking about buying 3 dozen RIR eggs and hatching them. (first attempt). But, where I live I can only have hens.

    Can someone give me the approx weeks that the following will happen?

    At what age am I going to be able to tell a roo from a hen?
    At what age will RIR roosters start to crow?
    At what age are RIR Roos big enough to cull and use for meat chickens?
    How young is too young to cull a bird for meat?

    Is my plan doable?
     
  2. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    Anybody have an answer for this?
     
  3. RHewitt

    RHewitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    RIR can be sexed fairly accurately at 8 weeks or so. The combs and wattles will be bigger than the hens by that age.
    They do not crow until maybe 3 to 4 months and eventhen it is not very loud.
    Most people cull roos for meat at about 18 weeks so you should be able to cull them at about or just before the crowing causes you any trouble. If you have to cull them earlier than 8 weeks you can still use the meat they just want they just want be big and full like they would be around 18 weeks.

    Your plan sounds good. if you hatch 80% of 36 eggs that's 28 to 29 birds and if half of them are Roos then you will end up with 14 or 15 hens. Maybe you will bet lucky and get 18 hens.

    Sounds doable to me.
     
  4. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
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    How about "little" Roos... when do they start to get into trouble (fighting) with each other?

    Before or after they start crowing?
     
  5. BirdMom

    BirdMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had eight roos we raised from a batch of straight run chicks, a cross between RIR roo and White Leghorn hen. They started crowing about 14 or 15 weeks, I think, and we started processing them at 16 weeks. The ones we processed at 18 weeks probably had a pound or two more meat, much plumper, all were delicious.

    They didn't get aggressive towards each other until about 17 weeks, and then only one or two were making sure the others knew they were the boss. No big fights, no wounds, just a bit of dragging by the comb or posturing.

    Good luck and have fun! It's amazing raising our own flock and meat and eggs. [​IMG]
     
  6. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:i got a little roo that is posessive over is girls already and he is only six week old. He will fight others.
     
  7. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    Quote:Sounds like there are several answers. How about crowing. Will they not crow until 18 weeks, or am I just dreaming there?

    Marty
     
  8. RHewitt

    RHewitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    All chickens may be a little differnent. The quick answer is 16 to 18 weeks a few may be sooner and a few could be a little later. Bottom line...when the roos become a problem it's time to eat. [​IMG]
     

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