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. 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!