Is it too Early to Give Him Up?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ClareScifi, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just got a call from a woman who wants one of my roos. Sounds like a good
    set-up. Not too far away. She has a greenhouse in addition to a coop and has 5
    hens of different varieties, some Rhode Island, one sounds like a Plymouth Rock,
    and an opalescent brown. Has raised them from 2 days old in July and wants
    chicks. Says she absolutely would not eat my guy--wants pets.

    She wants to keep a rooster in the greenhouse with one hen to carefully control
    the breeding.

    Has big dogs but keeps them in a separate run and they don't interact with the
    chickens.

    Has a chain link fence all around the property to keep dogs inside. Bricks
    underneath would keep raccoons out.

    Husband seems involved & supportive-- volunteered in background that they have
    Rhode Island Reds.

    I asked for visitation rights-- she said yes. Agreed to my coming by to check
    out the set-up.

    She thought I was giving away Baby, though. I don't know whether Guy's or
    Charlie Brown's looks will appeal to her as much?

    Should I take Guy with me today for her to meet?

    My number one concern is moving him this cold time of year. Do you think it
    would traumatize him? Is he old enough to leave his siblings and StepMama
    without undue trauma? He'll be 15 weeks old on Tuesday.

    Her coop isn't heated, but mine isn't either, and she got an egg today from the
    opalescent hen, she said.

    I'm mostly worried about the stress Guy will experience from leaving his family.
    Is he too young?

    Should I take grower food with me? She might not realize he needs grower until
    20 weeks.

    Since he seemingly tried to mate with StepMama yesterday, do you think he could
    be sexually mature, or should I wait a few weeks to give him away? I do believe
    he's maturer than Charlie Brown-- he crowed quite a while before Charlie
    started, and he's such a good protector, and he did seem sexually charged
    yesterday.

    All advice will be appreciated. Might he be happier with his 5 own hens? I
    sure hate to give him up, but I also have to think about Little Pect. Or
    would it be better to give away Charlie Brown? He's a gorgeous roo, too. I'm
    afraid she may not like the white leghorn feathers? Are they a turn-off to
    many?

    Would it be better to give her the more aggressive rooster or the less
    aggressive rooster? I'm thinking the less aggressive rooster might be a
    better bet, since he probably knows he's not the #1 roo, and becoming
    her #1 (and only) roo would be good for his self-esteem? He's less a
    protector of my flock, and so I would be keeping their protector. However,
    he crows more softly and might be better to keep here. She said she can have
    roosters, no problem, so the crowing wouldn't be a problem.

    I guess I could tell her if he doesn't work out, she can call me and I'll take him
    back? What do you think of my taking him over in a box today when I visit
    to see how he does when let loose with her 5 hens?

    Clare
     
  2. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    IMO you're over thinking it. Keep the one that will fit your needs and give her the one that doesn't. He will be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  3. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Neither one of them fits my needs, really. I already have a rooster. I love both of these boys that I have to give up. They each have different characteristics/attributes I admire. I want to place the one that would be the best fit to the prospective adopter's needs. I'll bet she'd like the fact that the one is part Easter-Egger. And it might be great fun for Charlie Brown to get to be my Head Honcho around here for a while. I'll bet she's wanting chicks ASAP since she's already getting eggs. If a hen sits for 21 days, that would make the chicks hatch in February. I think that's too soon, with no heat in her coop?

    When do most people start hatching chicks who live in a cold area like Salt Lake City?

    Clare
     
  4. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    Quote:I think you've answered your own question.
     
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    You're overthinking it too much. He's plenty old enough to go. Let her decide which one she likes if you want to make it easier.

    If you do bring one with you don't just dump him in the run with the hens. He's better off being introduced to them with some sort of fence between them - either by crating him in with them or putting some wire fence between them. That way the hens can get to know him but can't peck him.

    Also, chickens don't need heated coops. I had broodies hatch out chicks at the beginning of November and didn't lose one. The chicks even went outside with mama. She won't get chicks in February anyway unless she currently has a broody.
     
  6. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. It is good to talk these things through.

    I think we can do a trial run and see how Guy fits in with her hens. Since Good Guy is more mature than Charlie Brown it would make sense that Guy should be the first to fly the coop. Right?

    It does worry me that her big dogs could possibly get loose at some point and kill the chickens. Do you think I should wait for a more suitable set-up with no dogs?
     
  7. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Chickens are never "too young to leave their family". When I have a hen hatch chicks, I take them away as soon as I find them so they don't get hurt by the other chickens or eaten by predators. He won't die of grief. Moving will be a little stressful, but that's normal. He will get over it. After a day or two, he won't even remember what happened. At 15 weeks he is nearly an adult bird, he's not a baby anyway. The temperature has nothing to do with moving him, you can rehome him any time of year.

    As for which one to give her--decide which birds you want to keep and which you don't. Don't give away one you don't want to give away because the person likes that one better. It's your bird, so it's your right to decide to keep it or not. Let the person receiving the bird choose which one they want if you're giving away multiple birds. If they don't like what you've got, then they can choose not to take them.

    You also have to realize that once you give the bird to someone else, it is not your bird any more. What they choose to do with it is their right, including what they feed it. You can offer advice, and give her some of the food you are feeding to get through a few days and help transition the bird to what the new owner will feed, but in the end, it is their animal now and you will have to let them choose what to feed it. I don't feed "grower" feed at all to my birds, ever, and they are just fine without it. There are lots of different methods of management that work. If you are not comfortable with the way this person keeps their birds, then certainly you have the right to not give them one of yours. But you also can't hover around telling them what to do for the rest of the bird's life. It sounds like you are very attached to the roosters, and not really wanting to let them go. You've got to decide what really will be best and do that.

    I would not take a bird to her house and set it loose with her hens for a short time, then bring it home. Too much could go wrong. You could introduce a disease into your flock by accident when you return the bird to your property--even though her hens are healthy, what if they are carrying a bacteria, virus, or parasite that they are resistant to but your birds are not? Are you willing to risk that? Also, you can't really judge how the bird will do in the long term by an hour or so of interaction--he and the hens may fight with each other at first, it's normal when strange chickens meet each other. That doesn't mean they won't get along once they work out who's in charge.

    I would never give an aggressive rooster to someone else (except if it was going to be food)--aggressive meaning it does not respect people and attacks/chases them, or is excessively aggressive to other birds (unless it's a game breed and expected to be aggressive to other birds). You're just setting up a bad situation by doing that.
     
  8. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info about introducing the hens and rooster slowly. The prospective adopter did say she wanted to keep the rooster with just one hen initially, to carefully oversee things, so it sounds like she's cautious and a thinker, which I really like.

    I did ponder the fact that Guy is more aggressive than Charlie and might scare her, if he was overly aggressive to her hens, being more sexually charged than Charlie. In that case, might it be better to give her Charlie and let him adapt to the hens before his hormones have kicked in? So the owner doesn't get scared off by aggressiveness in the rooster?
     
  9. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Chicken Obsessed. All great considerations.

    Do you think I could just take Guy in a box to her house for her to look at and keep him in my car the whole time? Would that be safe enough? Or could she transfer her chickens' viruses/bacteria just by petting him herself?

    Guy is not a bit aggressive to people. He's very sweet. What I meant by his being aggressive is just that he likes to peck at my Baby that he wasn't raised with, because he doesn't know him and feels threatened by him. He doesn't peck at the chickens he grew up with at all. I've never seen him peck at StepMama until yesterday, when he was pecking her neck, and I think it was an early mating attempt. She didn't really acted liked she minded that much.

    So I think his hormones are kicking in.

    I guess I can give her the rooster (I'm not selling him) and let her know that if she decides she doesn't want him, that I will take him back. I hate the idea of him being passed around without my knowing what has become of him. Of course, as you say, this would introduce the possibility of disease... But at least I'd know he was safe.
     
  10. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    P.S. I should clarify that when I wrote that Guy likes to peck at my Baby, I meant my Baby roo, not a human baby. The roo hatched with Guy and Charlie but was nearly pecked to death by his StepMama and brother (Charlie, I think, did the pecking, not Guy). My baby roo is a different breed from them and was sort of immature at hatching-- one eye hadn't opened and he was tiny. But he has matured and the big brothers don't care for him, not having grown up with him outdoors. My Baby roo was raised in the house. But today he's enjoying the sunshine in the coop with the Bantie who is too small to let out. The big brothers and StepMama (who still doesn't care for my Baby roo, either) are outside free-ranging. This arrangement seems to work well. The two other hen chicks don't peck my Baby roo, but they are a bit scared of him, not having grown up with him, but I think they'll soon adjust to having him around. He chases them a bit, and they run, but they don't peck at each other.
     

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