1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Know when to cull them, know when to hold them.... ?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FaerieChicken, May 21, 2016.

  1. FaerieChicken

    FaerieChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2013
    Central Coast California
    I need some experienced advice.

    I am wanting to raise my own self sustainable backyard dual purpose birds. My goal is, to not only have beautiful birds but also a colorful egg basket and some tasty meaty birds. I can't afford heritage, I don't think, and so far I have almost 2 of every kind, well obviously not EVERY kind lol.

    Recently, New Years, 3 chicks hatched from my backyard flock, hatchery quality no doubt, and the 3 turned out to be mixed, obviously. I don't mind the mutts, they are cute and the outcome of coloring and what they are going to turn out to be is quite fascinating. Out of the 3 hatched 2 are pullets, now laying! The rooster, Moe, although I have held him and treated him well over the months, is now coming into his own and is acting very aloof. I have another Rooster, Spock, whom is much less weary of us and is actually ok with me holding him when I need to.

    When Moe was growing, I would note that he was heavier than the other 2 hatch mates, I suspected he was a roo from the start but just wasn't sure until his wattles and comb became redder than the other 2 and he then started developing the saddle feathers and the tail. His stance had always been roo like as well. Now that he is reaching the 6 month mark, he isn't as robust as I thought he would turn out to be. He attempts to mate with the 10 week olds, I think, or perhaps just putting them in place? He runs from the other rooster, Spock, and I understand its territorial and dominance.

    I want to know that at what point, during the grow out phase, do you determine if his temperament and girth are worth keeping? Should I wait a bit longer and see if his behavior changes and/or if his demeanor calms? He does get it on with some of the other hens on the yard, but I am tired of him attacking the babies. I don't want to pass on unwanted genetics, so if I were to cull, I think I would put him in the grow out pen with my 4 slow growing broilers who are still open ranging and too young to process. Then when it is time to process hopefully he would have bulked up some to get some meat on his chest and thighs. He feels quite bony at the moment, I don't know if it is because of the other roo and he isn't going around the food as often, and just relying on the open range of food?

    Please, tell me, should I grow him out, lock him down for a month, and process him with the others, or give him more time to "grow up" and "grow out"?

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I like my young roosters to run from, it shows a healthy respect for me.

    Most young roosters reach a point in maturity where they have the urges but don't have the brain to process it and often become intent on mating and nothing else. Those roosters I lock up in a pen where they can see the flock. I will often leave them penned for months, occasionally letting them out to see if they have improved, if not back to the pen. Often they need to be penned up to the first winter when hormones wane and more mature decisions can be made.

    I always try to give mine up to a year old until I judge their final personalities and interactions with the hens. I've had horrible little roosters turn into nice flock additions that feed the hens and look out for them. So it depends how long you want to hold on to him and if you are willing to wait.

    I would definitely remove him if he's trying to mate or even harass the you ones. Being he's not a meat bird he will take some time to develop muscle, probably closer to the one year mark as well.
    1 person likes this.
  3. FaerieChicken

    FaerieChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2013
    Central Coast California

    Thank you so much for your feedback! He is definately a cross, between Barred Rock and I am not certain for the other as he has Barred feathers. I'm still learning how genetics work, because I had a Barred Rock Roo, I thought was the sire, but not sure as he is a darker barring so then I am thinking it is a Barred Rock hen and either the Egyptian Roo or the other one which I had no clue what he was.

    With genetics and feathering pattern and color, I thought in Barring, it is the hen that gives 2 copies and the roo contributes 1, so if it were a Hen BR then he would have 2 copies of the barring gene thus creating the barring feathers he has, or is it from the Roo BR gene?

    So if I lock him up for a while, and see how he grows out, and if his demeanor gets better, than he is could be a keeper. For my purpose, I would like to acquire both Meat and Eggs, for now. But if its going to take another 6 months at most to determine this, that seems a bit far, and I am not sure I have it in me to keep him caged that long! I am sure in another 6 to 8 weeks, those youngsters will be ready for mating! The 2 hatch mate pullets of his, different mixes as well, are already laying. They started about 3 weeks ago!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by