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Have roosters - need help with hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mysterybirds, May 6, 2007.

  1. Mysterybirds

    Mysterybirds Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2007
    Hi,

    This is my first post here. During January I became the very accidental keeper of two large roosters. I live in a rural area but alwo near a large university population, and I found these guys while I was out hiking. Their location (and the fact that they were all roosters) leads me to believe that they were dumped. So I took them home, let them live in our old shed, tried to keep them fenced, but now have a pair of inquisitive free range roosters. My kids love them and haven't had any problems with them to date.

    My problem is that I really want hens but I think that both these guys are here to stay (imagine very heartbroken kids). So I'm wondering what the logistics would be to add hens into the mix. I don't know what breed the boys are - they are big birds, white with gold highlight on their backs, a few long tailfeathers, large red combs and yellowy feet. I have no sense of whether they would beat each other senseless if we got hens, or if it is simply a question of numbers. We live on three acres, so they certainly have plenty of room. If there is no easy way to add ladies then I will go without.

    Also, is there a way to guestimate age? One of them is certainly mellower, and he has long spurs, while the other seems to be much more full of himself and has no spurs at all.

    Thanks for any help at all. I'm loving having Bert and Ernie around and would really like to have more.
     
  2. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    The one with no spurs...are his comb and wattles as big as the other guy's? How about his tail and hackles? If they are on the smaller side, then he's probably around six months, maybe even less. The other one is most likely a year or older. As far as hens, the rule of thumb is at least 7 - 10 hens per rooster and I don't see any reason why you couldn't get some ladies for those gents! They may battle over who's going to be head roo but my guess is they won't since they already have bonded with each other and if there's plenty of hens to share. Good luck with Ernie and Bert. They sound so sweet. Lucky guys to be found by you!!
     
  3. Mysterybirds

    Mysterybirds Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2007
    Thanks so much for the reply. I'm glad to know am not crazy to want to keep both my noisy guys. Can I ask some follow up questions?

    So if I expand my flock it will have to be through chicks. How long will it be until they are mature enough to join the big guys? I'm assuming it is somewhere between 6-12 months. Once they were old enough to be outside would I keep them visible to the roos but unaccessible?

    Also, I'm assuming that I would need to get large breed hens to go with them. I had been envisioning Opingtons and/or Austerlorps, do those seem like good options?

    I'm getting very excited to have more chickens around. I love watching the guys scratch and strut around the yard.
     
  4. Hotwings

    Hotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Buff Orpingtons and Australorps are very good birds to start out with, they are quiet and docile hens.
     
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I'm no expert on breeds but it sounds like you may have Red Star roosters. If so, you might want to try Red Star hens. They are smart, friendly, quiet and lay like crazy. Also, we have 8 roosters; two are small fancy ones and in their own pen, (they don't play well with others) and two are youngsters we haven't let out with the free range flock yet, but the other four get along just fine; we don't have quite the quota of hens per rooster you're supposed to have, but so far they seem to be ok with that. After they established their pecking order, they hang out together and sort of divide up the hens. We love our Black Stars and Shaver Reds, too...also very friendly, funny, tame and quiet..good for kids.
     
  6. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Here is an awesome link that will assist you in choosing breeds: www.mypetchicken.com Just click on the button that says "Which Chicken"

    They should be old enough to go in the coop by 3 or 4 months. They are fully feathered at 3 months and, since it's summer, should be able to handle the coop then. However, it IS a good idea to keep Ernie and Bert separated from them at first. 5 months is when they begin to lay so they should be able to mix by then. Just stay out with them to monitor at first. If they're like all the roos I have known, they will want to start mating with the girls right away. And if the girls are like mine, they'll scream and run away until they learn it's part of chicken life. Some roos will lay off if the girl runs away and others will go for the chase. You'll soon know which personality your guys have! Have fun and let us know when you get your babies!!!
    Ellen
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2007

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