Hey Gang! Whatcha think of my plans and Rooster issue?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TonySorrento, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    Hi all! New chicken family here [​IMG]

    So here is the deal: Changes in plans in red Second changes in blue

    My family and I moved to the country last summer in Western New York. My brother, slabcrappy on BYC, lives in a suburban neighborhood and he got himself some chickens. I went to see them and I was instantly intrigued. I asked him a ton of questions as I could not get enough of these feathered beauties. I wanted to get some immediately, but the wife wanted me to wait until this year so we could become acclimated to our new home.

    After seeing all the eggs he got and tasting those that he gave me, the fever only got worse. [​IMG] Whenever we went to my brother's home, it was all chicken talk. I bought every magazine and many books on chickens and just ate them up.

    Fast forward to after Christmas ... the creative juices started to flow and the wife is starting to catch the fever now. I have a barn that used to be used for a few horses the previous owner had. There are 2 sections to the barn and I eyed up the part I am going to use for the coop I will be building starting this weekend, weather permitting.

    So I ordered my chickens last week for a mid March delivery:
    2-Australorp pullets 3 Aussie Pullets
    2-Buff Orpington pullets 3 BO Pullets
    2-Barred Rock pullets
    2-Partridge Rock pullets Cancelled by hatchery
    2-Light Brahma pullets 3 LB Pullets
    2-Buttercup pullets
    2-Ameraucana pullets 4 Easter Egger Pullets
    1-Buttercup Rooster
    1-Dorking Rooster
    2-Cuckoo Maran Pullets
    2-Black Sexlink Pullets
    Are ya jealous yet? [​IMG]

    The coop will be 10'x9' (12' x 9.5')... it already has tremendous venting and my brother gave be a brand new window to put in the coop [​IMG]I will be designing the coop like the one thread with the 2' poop boards and the sweet PDZ

    I am making a run that will be 8'x28' with a height from 7' to 6' ... I will be using 4x4s for the posts and 1"x2" welded wire (1/2" hardware cloth). I want to put a tin roof on it and as of now, that is my last piece of the puzzle to find at a decent price.

    So being a newbie, I have a few questions for my newest, favorite group ... BYC Peeps! [​IMG]

    What do you thinks of my flock choice?

    What do you think of my coop and run thoughts?

    I wont be getting 6 of my birds due to availability until 4 weeks after the first group .... I am a little worried about that ... any help on how to integrate those six with the 10? Being so young, will it be easier, harder or just as touchy as with mature birds?

    One last thing ... my wife went to the town hall to meet with the building inspector and because we are zoned agricultural, we don't need any permits so it wont cost me anything and nothing has to be inspected ( I overbuild things anyway, so there was no worry there) .. but here was the catch ... Roosters are not allowed in the Town of Wales!!![​IMG] My closest neighbor if 700' away and I am surrounded by pasture!! The inspector was apologetic and he said that it will only be a problem if neighbors complain ... since I am friendly with my ONLY 2 neighbors, I am hoping there are zero issues ... how far does a Rooster's crow carry? What age do they start crowing? I hope they are at least big enough to eat if I have to get rid of them .... thoughts?

    (Talked to neighbors and they have ZERO issues with us having a rooster)

    I eagerly await ANY suggestions y'all have for me with the above questions .... I CAN'T WAIT!!![​IMG]

    Thank you in advance [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  2. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    First: Congratulations on listening to your wife's advice, She is the one who has to be happy.
    Second: welcome to the world of chickens.
    Third: To avoid potential rooster complaints, get the neighbors on board, give them eggs once in awhile, or let thier children collect the eggs for a treat. Note also that the sound will travel with the wind, so your downwind neighbor may hear it louder than the others. They will start to make noise by 5 months, which is also a good time eat any problems that can't be avoided.
    Good Luck and enjoy those eggs when they come.
  3. Egg Crate

    Egg Crate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    I find it odd that your property is zoned agricultural but your town still won't allow roosters! The bigger the rooster the louder the crow has been my experience. When I take our dog dragon for a walk I can still hear our rooster from a half-mile away and we live in a heavily wooded area. Thankfully he is a relatively calm rooster that does not crow incessantly like his brothers (currently residing in the freezer) did. During warm weather we put him in the storage barn at night so his 4:00 AM wake-up call is contained. He does crow from time to time during the day but not nearly as much as some previous roosters did.

    Integrating two batches of similar-aged chickens will make for a few days of clucking and flapping and pecking but the girls will work it out and should settle down without much serious injury. Integrating batches a month apart in age is a little more dicey. It will help if you can keep the two clans separate but within close proximity for several days prior to actual contact. Also integrating them while they are asleep so they can all wake up together helps a lot.

    Post before and after pics of the coop & run.
  4. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    This thread will soon be inundated with pics [​IMG] .... your comments on the chicks is what makes me the most nervous ... I will be able to keep them seperate in the run and I suppose I can rig up a separator in the coop with chicken wire where they can get acclimated with each other .... does a rooster ever "referee" the hens?
  5. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    Luckily, you should only have 1 or two roosters for that group, so they won't make a ton of noise. The sound travel really depends on the geographic location. For example, we live on a hill. The neighbor at the bottom can only hear an echo of our rooster. On the other hand, we can hear the neighbors talking to each other if they are outside. Sound will travel up rather than down.

    Just a side note that I have been starting to worry about for myself. We bought 12 hens at a time and they will be hitting 2 years old this May. We did not take into consideration what will happen when most of them stop laying. Are you going to be willing to get rid of the entire flock in 4-6 years? That is the average age they will slow with their production. If you do not want to sell them off or dispatch them, what are you going to do with a large group of (basically) useless birds?

    Personally, I'm getting really worried about this. My bird are pets and I will soon have 16 hens that are no longer laying (we already have 4 that basically stopped). When I need to redo my flock I think I'm going to get 4 hens every 2-3 years. That will stagger the ages so that by the time the older ones are on their last leg, I will still have layers.
  6. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    I am ready and willing to butcher them around 3 years of age and in the mean time, I plan on getting a dozen or so more in about 2 years time. We have a butcher that will take care of business for $2 a bird, so that will take care of me trying to kill them myself, tho I will without hesitation if I get any mean birds .... We are looking at purchasing an additional 9 acres to add to our 1 acre in a few years as my wife id getting into the plant selling business ... and farm fresh eggs around here go FAST ....
  7. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    Any other thoughts??? Any "good jobs" ??? Any "you may wanna try this" or "you might not want to do that" [​IMG] .... posting in a new forum is like being a new rooster in an established hen house .... [​IMG]

    There are always one or two that remember how it was tho and will answer .... thank you Nail, Egg, and Katie ... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  8. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    [​IMG] and the World of Chickens!!!

    I am glad another family has caught the chicken fever! It is one of the few "sicknesses" I enjoy having! And it is one of the only sicknesses that brings in benefits.

    As to your coop and run situation, it sounds fine by me. However, I would suggest, if at all possible, that you free-range your chickens when they turn 2-3 months old. The first couple months of their life in the coop and run will teach them where home is, so that the remainder of their lives they can just climb in the coop at night. This system has worked out very well for our chickens.

    Secondly, about the rooster situation, I would consider getting a larger breed of chicken. From what I have heard (don't call it fact!), bigger roosters have deeper, lower-toned crows that might be more bearable for neighbors. My Oriental cock is a big boy with a deep, throaty crow that cannot be heard very well unless you are like forty or so feet away from him. He doesn't crow very often and is probably the least vocal of all my roosters.

    I have heard that Oriental gamecocks do not crow very often. From my experience, this is true. Oriental cocks are, as a rule, calm and friendly around people and are good to their females. (However, it is VERY important not to house one gamecock with another. For more info about this, you can PM me or any of the following BYC folks: Saladin, Lollipop, Gallorojo, or Cuban Longtails. These are just a few.)

    Hope all goes well with your chickens!

    God bless,
  9. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    Thanks Gresh! I will be free ranging them for the last hour of the day, I think. My place is surrounded by pasture, and there are MANY raptors that fly over every day. We also have seen alot of fox and a few coyote around ... add that to the wife and her flower gardens and I will be out there when they range to protect them from previous mentioned predators and me from the wife [​IMG].

    As far as the Roosters, if neither of these two I purchased work out, I will DEFINITELY try one of the breeds you mentioned [​IMG]

    As I mentioned before, I will be posting pics as I go ... cant wait to get started!
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I like your choice of 2 of each kind, cause it does make it easy to count them up at night when you are locking them up. I always have a mixed flock. I really think you could get by with one rooster. Which might cut your problems with the neighbors in half. Although if you have your heart set on it, two roosters, generally (not always) do better that are raised together. Some roosters will fight to the death, and it can be ugly. And lots of people just start out with hens, and don't have a rooster, they are not necessary. If you have small children I would strongly recommend no roosters. They can be dangerous, especially dangerous to small children.

    Well, I have had my share of wrecks, so only offer this on an attempt to avoid one for you. I would cancel the late chicks, when you are just finding your feet in the whole new chicken business, the introduction of new birds is tricky. And there is the temptation to hope they will just like each other, they won't. Roosters will keep peace, but those are mature roosters, roosters that are about 18 months old. Young roosters (6 months) are like wild teenage boys with beer. Undependable and interested in sex, but not much else. And even a mature rooster may not accept chicks that do not come with one of his broody hens. It can be very ugly.

    I do the three year rotation, kind of, getting chicks each year, a few, about 1/2 of my flock number and let them grow up with a broody hen in the flock. It works quite sweet. And then cull out the older ones. I tend to enjoy the flock, more than make pets out of individual birds, but to each his own.

    Good luck, take a deep breath, realize that some won't make it, it is a bit pricey to start with, but can be a life long hobby, and the first egg, well that is priceless! I still love checking the nests to see if there are eggs.

    Mrs K

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