New Speckled Roo & Hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sarevan, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Niece and I found an ad on local Craiglist for Chickens and Roos ALL had to go. By ooking at the pictures that were posted they had a variety of chickens, phoenix, english gamebirds (didn't know breed name), some that llooked like our hens, beige, white etc. Anyway we made a time to check them out in person, they gave us time to show up. She texted that they were game birds...

    It wasn't until we were gettig a tour, and being shown they were all healthy that it dawned on me what was meant by "game birds". Roosters over a year of age had had the combs and wattles removed. Some of those in cages had obvious blunted spurs. I didn't see any obvious equipment or ring for fighting. I was a bit horrified. The woman acted like it was no big deal for the way they were being raised.

    I continued asking questions, and was surprised all that they were being fed was corn and alfalfa hay. I was examining the Speckled Sussex hen, to me she was under weight for breed but still laying at 10mo of age, the rooster she was penned with was injured in the past walking on just his curled toes of one leg. The thigh muscles of that leg are larger then the other side He is still able to do rooster duties, and move fairly fast and get onto roost. Both were healthy no external sign of illness, mouth eyes clear.

    We left and thought about it over night, we decided to get the Speckled Sussex pair and at least provide them a good home. The Roo was not happy being caught and put in a cat carrier, the hen was upset but didn't throw a fit after being held. The Roo earned the name PoS (pot of soup) if he doesn't settle down, hen is feisty and called Shirra.

    Wehave the pair in a large dog crate in sight of our girls so the can get used to each other. The crate is externally lined with screen so no pecks can get through. The pair was given worm meds as we had dosed our girls. They were given mash from the food we give ours just water and some probotics. A seperate waterer for them.

    Immediate hell broke loose when they noticed each other and he did his rooster dance. At least 3 of our easter eggers tried acting like roosters flaring neck feathers and trying to go at new couple who were also trying to get the threat displays. Putting in their treat before night almost went unnoticed they were so upset.

    Today (Saturday) was better but still not happy either way with new additions. However, more of our hens were doing the squat and wing flair to us, so maybe they are happy about a rooster.

    They Speckled Sussex pair love the food and go insane over the offerings of the mash and pellets. They aren't totally upset seeing the girls as they were preening. The girls are still upset and attempt to make it known they don't like them.

    I was thinking of keeping them seperate in sight of each other for about a month. Then putting them all together. Is that long enough? I know pecking order will still come when all together but hopefully not violent.

    As for the gaming birds I did notify LE but as no fighting going on nothing can be done as you have a right to cut birds, much like they cut pigs, cattle ears for identification.

    Any other hints to try to integrate these 2 into our flock? If the roo goes after any of us after this time he is headed to the pot.
     
  2. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    How far away from each other are your two lots of chickens. Just thinking it sounds like they are very close when they are reacting to each other which means they aren't really quarentined.

    If they have come from some sort of fighting farm then they could have been in contact with who knows how many other birds from other breeders all if whom obviously don't care a thing for their birds or they wouldn't be involved in breeding for fighting. . Huge disease risk to your existing flock. I wouldn't let them anywhere near them for the full six weeks and only then would I have them close like it sounds like you have now.
    Actually to be honest I wouldn't have risked bringing them home even though you did it with the best of intentions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  3. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree we screwed up that way by having them way too close to our girls. Right next to them seperated by the wire of crate and fence may have just put the dog crate inside for how badly we messed up.

    After we realized the error Friday night late, we decded to take the consequences. Even if we need to start over in the Spring with new pullets. We may be a bit too confident over this but, our rescue mentality we have over helping animals over rode our caution. One of these days it will serioulsy bite us in the butt and we won't be able to handle the sickness that may overcome our flock.

    We are going to be putting up another A frame wire coop/run in the Spring that will be the quarentine/confinement area. Also working on a dome coop that will be the main housing for the girls. It will take a bit as the siding/exterior plywood is going to be the largest expense and we miscalculated the amount we needed.

    I have a feeling we may never be able to get the rooster to tolerate us, we are taking it slow to get him to see we bring him food, aren't threats. Hopefully we can rehab him to at least put up with us in his area.

    Other than being too close any and all criticism is requested, ideas, pointers, otherwise how does anyone learn except by making horrible errors.
     
  4. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Another thing to think about with your rooster is that aggression can be bred into birds and if he is aggressive (as they could have been breeding that into their birds) you really don't want to breed that into future generations.

    My boss has a rooster who won't come near you, he is very nervous of humans. I can walk past him with no fear at all.
    We had a rooster we hand raised as a pet that had no fear of us at all and as he matured he started trying to show he was dominant over us by attacking us. He had no fear of us so thought he could go above us in the pecking order and attacked everyone.
    .
    I would be tempted to not try too hard to tame him so he avoids you rather than being brave enough to try and prove he is top bird by attacking you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree with not making the rooster a pet. He can learn to tolerate you, but roosters really don't make good pets. I'd far rather have a respectful rooster who keeps a healthy distance from me than a rooster that feels comfortable invading my space.

    Since you're not doing quarantine, I think a month is way too long to wait to put everyone together. In your situation, I'd give it a few days and toss everyone together. Lots and lots of space, hiding places, maybe an extra feeder and waterer so no bully can guard the feed or water.
     
  6. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2013
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    I figured a week of them seeing each other through the wire was enough. Also full inspections of the girls to check for anything different all turned out negative. I keep a notebook with a pic of each chicken to note any changes.

    The new roo and hen aren't really what I was expecting. The hen is still a pullet but close to laying she still makes "chick" sounds. The roo othen then his deformed foot is actually nice for a roo. We had to cut his claws on his bad foot and he didn't throw a fit about it at all. He did peck at me but was after my ring on my finger.

    All now in same area after a bit of ruffled feathers they are accepting of each other. He crowed and got the girls attention. They are doing the squat more often, and what looks like chicken flirting with the roo. He has even danced and had them all watching. Reminded me of a scene in "Magic Mike" where the women were all watching one of the male strippers.

    The roo isn't agressive as I feared he would be, acts like any other that I have seen that doesn't trust me YET. Time will tell how this works out but his name is still Pos.

    The only problem we are having is getting them to eat the pellets, after having corn they look for seeds. So we make a mash of the pellets add some seeds and then they eat it like crazy. Our birds think it is great silly things like the food mushy it is the same thing in the feeder basically.
     

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