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My hens are really roosters!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by invernessleander34452, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. invernessleander34452

    invernessleander34452 Out Of The Brooder

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    Being new in this chicken business, I was given 5 chickens and told they were 4 hens and 1 rooster. 2 of the hens do lay eggs but the other 2 did not. They are 6 months old. One began to crow the other morning and I asked the question on this site and was told that sometimes hens will crow. In researching the site further, I read that at this age roosters has a little nub of a spur and the hens just have a little spot there. Well my 2 huge dominecker hens have spur nubs for sure. So now I have total 3 hens and 7 roosters. They have become pets and they all have been named (I had to rename to 2 domineckers). I can't make chicken soup out of them because they are distinct animals with their own personalities. How do all of you handle a situation like this? I need to get rid of a bunch of roosters but I don't want them destroyed. Does anyone take them for any reason other than food? I am sure there is not a shortage of roosters so I don't know what to do. In reading the various posts it seems that most of you consider your chickens as pets just like cats and dogs. looking back I should have been more determined to be sure I was getting hens but hindsight is 20-20. What are the problems if I just kept all 7 roosters and only 3 hens?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, best get rid of the excess roos. They'll fight over hens, could over mate them, destroy the girls back and neck feathers though over maiting, and just stress out the coop. I just eat my extras, but you might be able to find them a "pet home". However, before discounting them as all roos, maybe you should post pics of your suspected ones for verification. Some hens will grow spurs too, just less likly than the boys who will.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I agree with silkie. First make sure your suspected roosters really are roos, then start telling everyone you can meet that you have free roos to give away. I posted signs at the local library branch and on the post office bulletin board (small town).
    My three extra roos went to a pet home where they now rule the roost over 80 hens!
     
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    First off, [​IMG]!

    Quote:Silkiechicken has covered the main problems I was thinking of. Ideally, each rooster should have at least 10 hens if you're keeping more than one rooster in your flock. With less than that, the roosters use the hens to assert their dominance over all the other birds in the flock. They do this by mating the hens in the presence of the other roosters. It's sort of like "laying a claim" to the hens: "This hen is mine, see? Go get your own!"

    In trying to achieve dominance over the flock, your roosters will over-mate the hens. One rooster will jump on a hen, then another will, then another, one after another, in a "gang rape" style scenario (it sounds graphic, but it's really true). Your hens will end up being stressed and traumatized. They may refuse to come down from the roosts (for fear of being jumped on), and may stop laying eggs due to the stress. They may also be injured by the roosters; certainly over-mated hens lose a lot of the feathers off their backs.

    I'd choose your favorite rooster and keep him with the hens, then either re-home the other roosters or keep them in their own bachelor pad.

    Of course, you could always consider getting 67 other hens for the roosters to share. On BYC, we seem to be enablers! [​IMG]
     
  5. invernessleander34452

    invernessleander34452 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all your information. I think I will try to find pet homes for the extra roosters because I don't want any harm to come to my girls. 2 are mid-size, and a beautiful peach-orange color, the other it a little white and black girl without a comb.....actually she has no red on her face at all. She is not laying yet. I must get a digital camera so I can post their pictures. They are free-roaming and don't have an official coop - just a shelter when the want to get out of the rain or Florida sun.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. HighSpringsChix

    HighSpringsChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know the Morningside Living History Farm in Gainesville, FL is looking for a dominecker rooster. That would be a really good home.
     
  7. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    Think they would want a Barred Rock rooster instead? I have one of those I need to get rid of. [​IMG]
     
  8. invernessleander34452

    invernessleander34452 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have e-mailed the Gainesville historic farm re: my Dominecker roosters. I had arranged to take them to a friend who would not eat them tomorrow. I hope to get a response Friday am so that perhaps one of them could go to Gainesville.

    They are beautiful boys, big, pretty, crowing with much enthusiasm and ready to be alpha males, for sure.

    Thank you for your information and I hope one of them can go to Gainesville where they feature historic breeds, and the Dominecker chickens were present in early America and witnessed the Revolutionary War. So I understand their interest in this breed. I will let you know the outcome of this situation. Karen
     

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