How to keep roosters and hens separate

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CackleBabies, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. CackleBabies

    CackleBabies Chirping

    Mar 26, 2015
    I am a new chicken keeper, and have a flock of 8 different birds I purchased as day old chicks back in March. Two of the chicks turned out to be roosters: a black silkie and a bantam buff brahma. (The rest: buff orpington, black australorp, RIR, partridge cochin, white leghorn, and brown leghorn). The roosters are friendly and all the flock gets along pretty well, but I'm not ready for fertilized eggs or chicks, as I'm still new at this. I have enough space to keep the roosters (we live on 2 acres of land), and am thinking I'd get a pair of hens in each breed for the roosters (possibly next spring). For now I'm wondering how I can house the current flock so that when my hens start laying (which should be in the next few weeks), I won't have any unplanned broods. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  2. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Songster

    Aug 4, 2013
    Midwest America
    Welcome! Beautiful girls and birds!

    I say just keep them all together. This will allow the roos to do their job of keeping the hens safe. If you do not want chicks, just make sure you collect eggs on a regular basis (at least 1-2x per day). Eggs are only going to develop into chicks if a broody hen consistently sits on them for 21 days. Hence, gathering them on a regular basis keeps this from happening. If anyone does go broody (this can happen whether you have roos or not) just do your best to break the brood using information you can find here on BYC.

    Good luck with your chickens and keep the questions and comments coming!
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    The above poster is correct, fertilized bird eggs are not like mammal eggs in which upon fertilazation begin to develop. They just sit there. This allows a bird to build a clutch of eggs, by laying an egg for several days, and then when the clutch looks right, she begins to set, after setting for 24 hours, where the eggs rise in temperature to about 100 degrees, do they begin to develop. This allows the clutch to hatch all at one time.

    However, if you don't want chicks there is no need to have a rooster. Often times, it is better to start this hobby slower, and just have a flock of hens the first year until you and your darling girls get some experience. At that time, you may well want to hatch some chicks, or try a different breed. You can enjoy this hobby for years to come, no need to do it all at once.

    Sometimes roosters can become aggressive, you and your girls need to be aware of that. Even very friendly roosters as chicks can become nightmares in a very quick time. You should have a way to separate them.

    Personally, roosters are easy to come by, I would cull them until you are ready for them.

    Mrs K
  4. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Songster

    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    I agree with both posters above, but I'd also like to add that you can eat fertilized eggs. There is a common misconception that chicks will grow without incubation, that fertilized eggs taste weird, or that you are eating "rooster sperm." None of these are true, fertilized eggs are exactly like unfertilized ones. Just take the eggs from any broody hens, and they won't develop :)
    Like Mrs. K said, it may be difficult to keep roos first starting out, but it won't hurt to try and keep them if you want to. Be prepared that their personalities may change as they get older!

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