I need some advice from some old time chicken keepers.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BettyR, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    We moved to a new house and had to start all over with our chickens…the new house had no chicken coop or fence and was densely wooded so it was going to take some doing to make a place for the chickens.

    Fast forward 3 years and we have the coop built and 3/4 of an acre mostly cleared and the fence almost built. I ordered my flock from Ideal in April…32 pullets (lost 3) and 4 roos, which I plan to cull down to 2 roos.

    My problem is deciding which of the roos to keep and which to cull. I have two roos that are plain looking birds but both are the more masculine of the 4. The other two are drop dead gorgeous birds but are more laid back and total pushovers with the ladies.

    The two pretty birds are larger birds, which is what I was looking for in a roo, the larger the better. We eat our excess roos, some of the older hens and a young hen from time to time. I may be full of beans but I think a larger roo throws larger chicks that grow into larger adult birds.

    My last flock was a mishmash of Lord only knows what but by keeping only the larger birds I had a really nice flock of large meat birds that were also good layers; which is my aim again.

    But I’ve never had to start from scratch before on my own; my grandmother gave me a couple dozen chicks from her flock when I got married and I just kept on with what she had been doing. She’s gone now and so are her chickens so I’m a little lost here.

    Should I keep the two larger more easygoing birds or the smaller more aggressive birds?

    Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

    Edited to add Pictures:

    These are the four roosters I'm trying to decided which two to keep; they are all 14 weeks old.

    This boy is an EE

    This boy is a Black Australorp

    He is a New Hampshire Red

    He is a Buff Braham
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  2. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:Rule of thumb is 1 roos to every 8 - 10 hens . SO , really 4 roos is not a real bad number for around 30 head . SINCE they were raised together , I would keep ALL 4 , incase you decide to get a few more pullets and add to the flock .

    As long as the roosters don't out number the hens , its really not that bad to have close to 1 rooster to every 8 hens .

    I really think ( my opinion only ) , I would KEEP all 4 since they were all raised together . NOT like you would have 10 roosters to 30 hens .
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  3. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Songster

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I'd keep the least aggressive...
    But I'm just a Young time chicken keeper! [​IMG]
  4. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    If I kept all four I’m afraid the wear and tear on the ladies might be a bit much, am I wrong there?
  5. amyquilt

    amyquilt Serama Mama

    May 17, 2008
    Amarillo, TX
    Well, to me, what cajunlizz said makes complete sense. Especially if you like all 4 of them and the are't too aggressive.

    If you are worried about wear and tear on your girls, why not add just a few more pullets?

    If I had the space to have that many chickens, that's exactly what I would do [​IMG]
  6. bkterry

    bkterry In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2008
    I have brahmas and they get to be very LARGE birds, but they are pretty easygoing and non-aggressive. It's just part of their personality.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Keep the larger, more easygoing roos. The larger birds are probably just maturing slower. They'll get their manliness in time.
  8. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    If I were you, I would only keep two cockerels. If you plan to hatch eggs, you'll soon have many roosters anyway, and there will be favorites among those that you may want to keep.

    To my eye, mature Australorps roosters are absolutely gorgeous with the iridescent black feathers and blood red faces. Assuming he has a good personality, I'd keep him for certain. Of course, that's just me. [​IMG]

    I also have 4 cockerels, and have decided to keep one of them just because he is bigger and more mature than the others his age (15 weeks). Like you, I felt that maturing to a larger size early was a good quality to breed for, since we will be eating extra roos.

    Are the EE and the Brahma your "Big Boys"? If so, that's a tough choice.

    Keep us posted. I'm interested to know what you decide.
  9. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    I'm old, but not an old-timer! lol Wow, that EE is bloody gorgeous! Love the brahma and australorp, too! Those would be my picks and it sounds like you have enough hens to keep them busy. Good luck! [​IMG]
  10. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Quote:Yes the EE and the Brahma are my Big Boys and they are both very easy going birds; I'm leaning toward keeping them. I also have about 8 little "packing peanut" roos that came in with a shipment of Guineas. They are 8 weeks old and all of them are going in the freezer.

    I really hate to part with two of my boys but I really think it’s going to be a problem to keep them and I would hate to have to lock them up, that’s no way for a chicken to live.

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