New to back yard Chickens ( Jersey Giants)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jackie 10 hens, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Jackie 10 hens

    Jackie 10 hens New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2013
    Hi All.

    I'm new to this chicken back yard thing. I have gotten 10 jersey giant chickens. They are about 10 weeks... As they are growing .. I think I have 2 roosters. I only want eggs ..No Chicks...The lady I have gotten my birds from will take them back and I can have 2 new hens.
    But the more I read.. You should have rooster to help the flock safe...but I don't want chickies...so what should I do... Also my chickens are going to be free range and we have started that. And all is going ok so far.

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    It's entirely up to you if you want to keep a rooster or not. With your flock size, one rooster would be enough. You don't need a rooster for flock safety. Generally, hens will adapt and keep an eye out for danger if there is no rooster around. The only way you're going to get chicks if you keep a rooster is if you don't collect eggs daily and allow a hen to go broody and hatch them. If you collect your eggs every day, this will not be a problem. Enjoy your flock!
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you didn't want roosters, and are new to chickens, I say exchange for hens. You can always add roosters later, when you're more comfortable with the birds overall, but it's really hard to get attached and then deal with a mean bird. Personally, I love roosters, but for lots of folks they just add a whole new layer of stress to chicken keeping. I say stick with the plan!
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Just collect the eggs daily.

    Eggs need to be incubated, either under a broody hen or in an incubator, in order for chicks to develop. You could even gather every OTHER day without a problem. (several days, even, before development is enough to matter)

    But what donrae said above is really the best, as having a rooster (or more than one) takes some management. If you don't want any, and the seller is willing to take them back, take advantage of that offer.

    Unless you fall in love with a cockerel before you are sure you the chicks aren't all roosters. :D
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with donrae--roosters aren't necessary for the safety of the flock, and the hens will be fine without them. Roosters really are advanced chicken-keeping and if you're new to chickens, you may wish to wait until you've had chickens for a couple of years before you decide if you want to add one. I would trade your boys for girls (what a great thing for the breeder to offer!) and enjoy your birds!

    If you do decide to keep one or both of the boys (and you'll need at least 18 or so hens to have the boys live together happily) then collecting the eggs daily will ensure no little surprises in the eggs.
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the above. I would just add that adding two pullets to your flock will be easier then one. Exchanging both will give you a pair to spread the interest around during the integration.
     
  7. Jackie 10 hens

    Jackie 10 hens New Egg

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    Thanks everyone...so much help...the boys will go back...and im thinking i will stay with the ones i have...unless u can add 2 older ones that are all ready laying?
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I think you should be able to add two older ones with only a bit of fuss. Are they from the same source? If they are from a different source you will have to make a decision about whether or not to quarantine. Search BYC for quarantine and look in the learning center and you'll learn a lot about it.

    The biggest thing you're going to have to think about is feed. Your laying hens will need calcium in their diet, while excess calcium can damage the reproductive systems of your 10 week olds. Usually, 10 week olds will be on starter while the hens are on laying pellets. Alternatively, you could feed everyone Flock Raiser and provided oyster shell free-choice so the hens can take what they need. That is a more expensive way to do things, however.

    If you have figured out that you're going to add two hens, once they are out of quarantine you can just put them in with the younger birds. They'll peck at the babies and let them know who's boss, but then things should settle down. Always much easier to add older birds to a younger flock than vice versa.
     
  9. WisteriaPath

    WisteriaPath New Egg

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    i'm pretty new to chickens, and i like having the roosters around. The first flock i tried to keep, I had only 10 hens of various breeds with No roosters. some of the girls were just dumb and stayed out at night or wandered off alone and got eaten, quickly reducing their numbers to 3. So i added a good mutt rooster and my chore of making sure they were all home every sunset was gone! He escorts them around and makes sure they come home at night, plus keeps a lookout while they free range the yard. He's a good boy and isn't aggressive at all; a real sweetie. He'll yell at me sometimes if i'm too slow bringing them food or feeding someone else first lol. He loves his ladies and just clucks and guards them while they eat before he himself will eat anything.

    So i guess it depends on the rooster. I tried a Rhode Island Red rooster who was a little DEMON! Since i couldn't go near him to bring him in the pen one night he got eaten and my problem went away. He was the type to attack humans on sight and not quit until you kicked him away and ran for it. He would not stop attacking nor would he ever just mind his own business and leave you alone. He was such a little jerk that if he saw you doing something far away, he'd try to sneak attack you from behind! As soon as your back was turned, he'd peck and claw your legs! Feeding him never seemed to gain any kindness from him, and pushing him away or trying to be intimidating never worked either. He was the worst.

    Now I have a flock of 34 Jersey Giants (6 months old) with about half of them roosters. They are the nicest things ever. They do protect the girls too, guarding the door when they go in to lay and escorting them around the yard. Sometimes they will get jealous of each other and puff up or chase each other a little, but no one gets hurt and they don't fight-fight with each other, or with humans. They keep a watchful eye on whoever comes in their area, but that's a good thing! I never knew so many roosters could peacefully coexist, but they do. Then again i give them a very large area. Makes me feel kind of bad that we have to eat them...

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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  10. You most likely won't end up with chicks, if you are always gathering the eggs. Meaning once a day (twice if you have like 40 chickens). A hen will hatch eggs if there are about 6 - 12 in the nest. It takes 21 days for as chick to hatch. So you can just pull them off if you see that they are showing signs of being broody. If you have a free - range flock the roosters will protect them and make sure they never get attacked. If you don't free - range your roosters will still help the flock if an animal gets in there. And are you positive they are roosters? I have heard stories about people who have thought this is a rooster, but then the "rooster" lays an egg. It may be true that you have to roosters but I am never sure until I hear the crow! I wouldn't worry about chicks!
    Good Luck!
     

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