New Roos

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MainelyChicken, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. MainelyChicken

    MainelyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2013
    Wells, Maine
    My Coop
    Morning All,

    I recently ordered new chicks for my hen house, well i did not know they came with "warmer chicks" which happen to be all Roo's. So now im stuck, what to do with them??? I have 13 of them. I need to know if there is anybody out there that needs some, would like to raise them for meat chickens or can offer some advice as to what to do with them. I live in Southern Maine and cant ship long distance. Any ides or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Steve

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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    St. Louis, MO
    I used to buy straight run. I now hatch all my own that are 50/50. The extra boys I'm not using for replacement breeders taste just like chicken when they start crowing.
     
  3. MainelyChicken

    MainelyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2013
    Wells, Maine
    My Coop
    So you raise for meat, if i were to do that, do i separate them or raise as usual, and for how long?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    How much room do you have? How many pullets do you have? There are some “if’s” here.

    If you have lots of room you can probably raise them all together, especially if you have a lot more pullets than roosters. That’s basically what I do, hatch them and raise them all with the flock, including the adult birds. Sometimes I have more cockerels than pullets, just depending on how they hatch out, like this past season. I find having an adult mature rooster and some mature hens helps calm things down some.

    But when those cockerels hit puberty, things are going to get exciting. They will fight some to determine which is dominant. As long as they have sufficient space to run away if they lose a fight, that’s generally not a real problem, but many people get really upset when they see any fighting. If you house the cockerels by themselves so they are not fighting to impress the females and lay claim to the females, there is usually a whole lot less fighting.

    In addition, the cockerels will start mating with the pullets. It’s more complicated than pure sex too. The mating ritual is a dominance thing, the one on bottom accepting the dominance of the one on top, whether willingly or by force. The cockerels will almost certainly mature earlier than the pullets so they will be trying to establish dominance over the pullets and the pullets will not have matured enough to understand what is going on. It can get fairly violent with a lot of chasing and forcing. Once the males work out their flock dominance issues and the pullets mature enough to start submitting instead of resisting things normally calm down, but with a lot of cockerels and not a lot of pullets, it can really get messy for a time. Depending on their personalities it is likely to stay messy with a lot of roosters compared to hens. That’s one reason I suggest you keep as few roosters as you can and meet your goals.

    I’m kind of guessing on the numbers of pullets but I suspect you will be better off housing the boys in a bachelor pad. No females allowed. If you do that the amount of fighting should drop dramatically. It’s pretty much like keeping a flock of pure hens. They’ll still establish a pecking order but all that fighting over the girls goes away.

    How long will you need to keep them? You can eat any chicken at any age and any size, but you’ll not get much meat off a really young one. Some people target 12 weeks as a good processing time. They are still young enough you can cook them about any way you want to, but there is not much meat there. I personally like to wait at least 16 weeks and preferably a month or so longer. There is a lot more meat there but you have to be more careful how you cook them. The older they get they more flavorful, tougher, and stringier they get. You need to cook them slower, at lower temperatures, and with more moisture the older they get. With birds maybe 16 to 22 weeks old, I generally rub them down with herbs, put them in a covered baking dish with a little water, and cook for 3 to 4 hours in the oven at 250 degrees. Others can give you plenty of other recipes that work great, but for someone probably used to those really young tender birds from the grocery, err on the side of longer and slower with moisture.
     

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