Is it possible to keep my roo?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickLit, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. ChickLit

    ChickLit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good morning everyone! I have a question about how you manage having hens & roosters together...

    As some of you know, one of my birds from the last batch of babies turned out to be a cockerel, and since my hubby & I had discussed it previously, I immediately figured I needed to farm him out to a good home. Welllllll, I've really been dragging my feet on that one, because, in my heart, I really don't want to lose him. Lester is a gorgeous boy and makes me laugh and is very sweet.

    [​IMG]

    So my situation is this: I have 6 2-yr old RIR hens. I have 3 pullets the same age as Lester, about 10 weeks old. I've kept the babies separated from the big girls so far, of course, and when they get a bit bigger I'll start letting them co-mingle so they all get the run of both big yards.

    So is Lester going to "go after" the bigger girls? I really don't want to have a bunch of little cross-breed chickies around (though it would be fun!). My thought was that if we took the eggs, there won't be babies, obviously, so when the hens lay their eggs could I just gather them as usual? I know people eat fertilized eggs...opinions on that? Are there problems with cross-breeding?

    One of hubby's points, if we were to just "let nature take its course" that some of the chickies that hatch out wouldn't make it...being weaker or injured or whatever, and that I would have to get used to losing them. It would be sad, and I'm fully aware that not all chicks are going to survive, but I don't see it being as big a problem as he foresees.

    Should I just let Lester hang with the girls, or would it be best to keep him separated (that would mean putting up another fenced area & a coop for him)? ...or adopt him out as originally planned...?

    I'm sorry to sound so "in the dark" but I really would like to know everyone's opinions on this. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. smokeykk

    smokeykk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you should keep him. Just collect eggs as usual. Fertlized eggs don't taste different. And you don't have to let them hatch if you don't want to.
     
  3. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got rid of 3, 3 mo old RIR roos that were extremely aggresseive. The largest of the 3 was bigger than my 9 mo old Barred Rock and she let him know she was the boss. I mixed the 3 mo olds with the 9 mo olds in the run about 2 weeks ago. There was some pecking, but nothing nasty. If he is bahaving and you enjoy him, keep him. I read somewhere on here that eggs need 4 days at about 90 degrees to begin to develop, so as long as you collect the eggs everyday, you shouldn't have a problem when selling them. I don't know anything about cross-breeding, so maybe someone else will have that answer for you.
     
  4. ChickLit

    ChickLit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both!! That is extremely helpful.....yep, I collect eggs every day, so we'd be just fine on that point - yay! [​IMG]

    I expect that once I start putting them all together (supervised until I see how it goes!), that there's bound to be a few scuffles. They've all been getting to know each other through the chicken wire, so hopefully they're getting used to each other somewhat. I just hope the big girls aren't too territorial!
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    You'd be surprised how fast those adult hens put that young whippersnapper in his place.

    My adult hens that just lost their roo hand butt whoopin's to my three young cockerels daily. [​IMG]
     
  6. ChickLit

    ChickLit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    I bet my big girls will make sure everyone knows their place ... I wonder how "cocky" Lester's going to be with no fence between them! [​IMG]
     
  7. Rocky Road

    Rocky Road Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With cross breeding there is a lot higher chance of defects (mainly in the beaks and legs). You can definately still hatch some healthy chicks but there is a bigger chance that you'll have extra toes/legs, crooked and deformed beaks etc.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Back in the day, farmers had a roo they liked and hens that were productive. They didn't worry so much about breeds mixing or the genetics soup that resulted.

    I have a bunch of mix breed chicks running around. It normally gives them something called hybrid vigor. Other than the fact that some are turken/brahma crosses and kinda funny looking, all are healthy. I'm not showing so I couldn't care less that a chicken has a half single/half pea comb. [​IMG]
     
  9. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    You can probably keep them all in the same coop. Like you said there will be a few scuffles, but they should settle in. Eventually Lester will grow into his rooster role.
     
  10. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cross breeding should not make the chicks weaker, or less healthy. As Gritsar pointed out, hybrid vigor is a good reason TO cross breed chickens. The only reason I can see, is you wouldn't have 'name brand' chickens anymore. They would just be 'chickens' that are probably adapted perfectly to the area/climate/situation they are in. (Yes, due to some dying off. This is the whole definition of 'suvuival of the fittest')
     

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