Hens first or roo first?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Weirdness555, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. Weirdness555

    Weirdness555 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello people,

    I wonder if you can offer some advice. We are looking at starting with chickens next spring, we want to get day olds so we can mix different breeds without having a long introductory process, as we don't have room for 2 side by side coops and runs.

    I really want a rooster because I think they're gorgeous, and I think it will be interesting to watch how he behaves with the hens, and eventually we might want to hatch our own eggs to restock.

    So we have 3 choices:

    Get a cockerel chick with our hen day olds - we're using auto sexing breeds/ breeds that give you a good guess at sex at day old. This will mean we get to raise him, but he'll grow up with the hens and I've heard that cockerels will mature faster and start to harass the hens if they're with them from chicks. We could potentially dump him outside before them if he gets too cheeky, but eventually our pullets will get too big for the indoor run we will raise them in and they'll definitely be outside in the coop before they start laying.

    Get an adult bird BEFORE we get the hens - potentially the same as above?

    Get an adult bird AFTER the hens are mature - problems with introductions again? Fighting with the head hen?

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    I'm thinking of getting a welsummer roo or a crested cream legbar roo as we'll have hens of both of these breeds and so we could produce pure chicks and both are red based so we could produce sex links with any white hens, and with the welsummer we could produce them with the cream legbar hens using barring, correct?

    Thanks guys
     
  2. TheReadyBoys

    TheReadyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say get the hens first then the rooster. This way, you can get to know your chickens, and understand their habits. When you get a rooster, put him in a separate area such as a dog kennel or something similar. This way they can all get used to him before letting him into the flock officially.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    To me it's easiest to just order the roo and raise it with the rest of them. That way there's no integration issues later, they all know each other and the pecking order is not disrupted. Yes, roo's mature a little sooner then the hens and want to start mating before they are interested but I've never had that prove to be anything more then a minor irritation for a little while. The hens catch up pretty quickly.

    The other issue is that if you get the roo as a day old along with the rest you do not have to worry about bringing in an adult bird later, having to quarantine him and worrying about the potential of him bringing along some kind of nasty disease which will stay in your flock and on your premises indefinitely.
     
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  4. TheReadyBoys

    TheReadyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good point, I didn't look at it this way.
     
  5. humphrey farms

    humphrey farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Smart advise![​IMG]
     
  6. Weirdness555

    Weirdness555 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, should I make a particular effort to find an unrelated chick? I know a couple of different farms round here that sell the breeds I'd like
     
  7. TheReadyBoys

    TheReadyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you know some farms, you might as well ask. It would be a pain to find out the rooster came from the same batch!
     
  8. Weirdness555

    Weirdness555 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I'll see if anyone has one going free [​IMG]
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I have done it both ways. I really think you get better roos, from flocks that have multiple ages in the flock as he grew up. Older hens teach a lot of manners, and keep them from getting cocky too soon.

    I would just get hens, let them get big and start laying, and add a rooster from a well cared for flock. If the roo is mature, he will handle any fracas, and with in days those silly hens will be in love with him. If you get an older roo, you can pick for temperment. It is quite easy to raise a mean rooster.

    Mrs K
     
  10. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why whats wrong with them being from the same batch?
     

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