Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by tjhayden1955, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. tjhayden1955

    tjhayden1955 In the Brooder

    Dec 18, 2014
    Hi. I'm new to chicken farming and I have some concerns. First of all I got my chickens as a gift for Mothers Day this year from my family. I got eight chicks. I was afraid that I wouldn't end up with a rooster, well let me tell you, I ended up with 5 hens and 3 roosters.lol Very happy. They have become very large and beautiful and are very healthy. One morning I heard a racket out in the coop and when I went in I found one of my hens on the floor dead. She must have just died because she was still warm and limp. I have no idea what happened. Anyone have any ideas? I also have been getting 8-10 eggs a day until she died. Now I'm lucky of I get 1 a day. Again, any ideas? Before she died the chickens had been out in the yard and I didn't notice anything unusual in behavior.

    My second concern is my roosters have black spots on their combs. Is this usual? If not what can I do to take care of that.

    Next I live in Michigan. I have insulated the coop but my chicken run is only fenced in around and over the top. Should I make a solid roof over it and wrap the sides with plastic during the winter months (leaving a little of the top of the sides open for ventilation or can I leave it completely unwrapped and still let them out in the snow? Anyone know?

    How many nesting boxes should I have in my coop...4 hens?

    The coop has a cement slab for flooring, should I use straw or wood shavings...they are in a wood crate in the coop right now with wood shavings for flooring but I'm going to be removing the crate and building a different perch and nesting boxes.

    Also, mu roosters seem to be fighting with each other a lot lately. Is this normal?

    I would appreciate any and all suggestions, help, advise, etc. that you can help me with. I really want to be successful at this. I did not start chicken farming for profit, they are my pets and I am loving everything about them...Thank you. [​IMG]
  2. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    Welcome to BYC. Just some random thoughts. What breed(s) are your chickens? Depending on Michigan weather, you may be seeing frostbite on the roosters' combs. If that is the case, a coating of Vaseline on combs and legs might help.
    If I read you right you now have three roosters and four hens, which means you have waaaay too many roosters for the number of hens you have. Too many roosters will overbreed your hens, resulting in stressed and maybe even injured hens. They won't be happy and egg production will suffer.
    Ratios vary but usually ten hens for each rooster is enough to keep everyone happy. Some roosters will get along. Some won't and will fight causing injury or even death.
    If you separate your roosters and hens and have a bachelor pad,(unless you want to rehome some.) housing them separately, the roosters should get along better. Again may depend on the breed.
    Not sure why your hen died. Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes a hen will get egg bound. You didn't see any injury on her did you?
    There's a wealth of information in the BYC archives. Good luck in your endeavor.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Too many rooster - too few hens. Hens will lay eggs without the presence of a rooster. If you plan to hatch eggs you need a rooster so the eggs will be fertile. Otherwise hens are much better off without one
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. X2 on dekel18042 and drumstick diva. Black spots on the comb are classic frostbite symptoms. Vaseline on the combs can help prevent that. Also you need to make sure that your coop is dry and well ventilated so that moisture does not build up in it. Feathers are wonderful insulators and cold is not nearly as great a danger as moisture is. Also, I would definitely put a roof over the top of the run. As for your roosters, the recommended ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens. As they mature, too many roosters will become very hard physically on your hens; over-breeding them, biting and plucking the feathers from their necks and backs, battering them, and potentially injuring them. As drumstick diva indicated, the only reason you need a rooster is to fertilize eggs for hatching, and 1 rooster can easily handle 10 hens in this regard. I currently have 25 hens and no roosters, and I get loads of eggs without all the aggression, fights, biting and feather plucking, feeding of non-productive mouths, crowing in the middle of the night, drop off in egg production, over-breeding and battering of hens that goes along with having roosters (especially too many). My hens are stress free and enjoying life without a rooster around. 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.
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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

    Enjoy this new adventure you are on and we do welcome you to our flock!
  10. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.

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