I have a rooster! now what?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by swany1313, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. swany1313

    swany1313 Hatching

    Jul 28, 2011
    To my kids amazement and and my neighbors concern one of my barred rock hens starting crowing yesterday. We are excited to have chicks ( if the neighbors will put up with him) but I have no idea about breeding or hatching. There are 14 hens that are older (both RIR and BR) living with the new flock of what I believe are 6 hens (BR) and 4 roosters (BR). Only 1 rooster has started crowing but there are 3 others that are the same light feather color but do not have the developed comb as the big boy. My questions are, will they lay and hatch chicks naturaly( I mean around the other older hens)? Should I seperate the new flock from the old? Does it matter what time of year it is? I would appreciate any assistance anyone could give.

  2. mikensara

    mikensara Chirping

    Jun 16, 2011
    New York
    It depends on you theres a few upsides to keeping a rooster being that he protects his ladies, will alert you if anything is amiss, the downsides can be wether he is aggressive with your family and some are notorious for being a bit rough with the girls.
  3. wava1vaughn

    wava1vaughn Songster

    Jun 24, 2011
    Cairo Ga.
    Hi from Ga. If they are getting along leave them alone. You might consider getting rid of some of the roosters. They will all start laying when they're ready. [​IMG]
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    Some neighbors get upset over it.Personally I think it is no worse than the hens sqwaking or dogs barking.Definitely do not put up with a mean rooster. I got my free roo off of craigslist.Drove to PA to get him.It is amazing how nice he is after hearing all the horror stories of attacks,but still we are wary knowing he might spur us one day.

    As for inbreeding I don't know a thing about that.

  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing 7 Years

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You will probably find the younger chooks will need their own night shelter until they are older. We had to keep free range times separate until the young were 10 weeks too. Now they all range together and we put our roo in with the hens at night (dark coop keeps him quiet until let out at 8 am). The pullets roost in a make shift playhouse coop on plywood; the grow out coop or "summer home".
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

    We all have to start from somewhere. Don't feel bad about not knowing about breeding or hatching. And expect to get a lot of conflicting advice on this forum. We all have different goals, different circumstances, and different experiences. We are dealing with living animals, each with distinct personalities. There is seldom one answer that fits all of us.

    I don't know how old your younger flock is. Some roosters start crowing at a very few weeks and some wait a few months. Some of us do not mix young chickens with adults until the young ones are fully grown. Some of us do it when they are really young. There are different reasons for that, but a lot depends on what experiences you have had and how much space you have. Each flock is different. If yours are already living together with no bloodshed, I would not change anything. You've made it through integration, which is sometimes a pretty peaceful process but sometimes a process where chickens wind up dead. It's one many of us dread but which usually works out.

    You could write books about your questions. When the roosters mature, they will mate with all the hens. Any of the hens may lay fertile eggs. If that is the concern about separating the flocks, don't worry about that. If you have another reason to be concerned about separating the flock, please let me know what that reason is. Until a younger rooster matures enough, older hens may beat him up unmercifully, but again, they may not. They are living animals. Who knows what they will do? We have had a lot of different experiences with that.

    Not all hens will go broody. Broody means they want to hatch eggs. Whether a rooster is around has nothing to do with whether they go broody. A rooster just has to do with whether the eggs are fertile. When the hormones kick in, they go broody and will set on a nest and try to hatch eggs. It doesn't matter if there are any eggs in the nest or not. When the hormones kick in, they will set on their imagination.

    Does time of year matter? Some. More hens will go broody during the spring and summer than the fall and winter. But several of us have had hens go broody and raise chicks with snow on the ground.

    I know. Short answers to some pretty complicated questions. But hopefully they will help you some. And once again, [​IMG]
  7. [​IMG] Welcome
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011

  8. swany1313

    swany1313 Hatching

    Jul 28, 2011
    Thank you everyone,
    Ridgerunner I picked up the chicks at the end of March and they do seem to be getting along ok with some minor skirmishes here and there. This is my fourth year with chickens but first with roosters. I would like to let nature take its course but I am also unsure how to check eggs (candle). Thank you for taking the time to educate.
  9. jimpad

    jimpad In the Brooder

    Apr 22, 2011
    dahlonega ga
    Welcome,and good luck

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