Newbie, hello all!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mlcrowley, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. mlcrowley

    mlcrowley Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! New to chickens and BYC. We've been talking about chickens ever since we bought our property 8 months ago. Done a ton of research, but never owned any ourselves. Anyhow, the coop was almost finished and I happened across an ad for 5 happy healthy 3 year old laying hens in need of a home. Their previous owners were moving and they had to go. Hubby finished the coop Saturday morning and we picked them up Saturday afternoon. We're really excited for this new journey. We also wanted a rooster, as we have a lot of predators around and would like the hens to at least have an early warning system if a predator comes around. The hens have never had a rooster around, they were suburban backyard chickens before. We found a rooster that also needed a home or was headed for the crockpot. My bleeding heart couldn't let that happen, he's young and healthy and beautiful. Added bonus, he's really friendly. He let's you pick him up and carry him around. We brought him home but haven't put him in with the girls. We read new birds should always stay separate for a while to prevent illnesses that haven't presented themselves yet as well as to let them get acclimated to each other from afar before a real introduction. We plan on a couple weeks of separation. He's never had hens of his own before, but lived with ducks, cats, dogs and goats. I expect when we do introduce them there will be some fighting while they arrange who's in charge. My only question is how much fighting is normal and at what point should we intervene if they're just not getting along?

    Any advice is much appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined our community! The BYC jury is split on the usefulness/effectiveness of having a rooster in the flock with regard to protection of the hens. You mentioned an early alarm system....for that reason I think keeping one around is a good way to hedge your bets. I posted on BYC earlier today that if a rooster takes on a predator and loses his life...but that his sacrifice allowed the others to make it safety - then that rooster died a hero.
    In terms of the keeping the hens separate from the rooster for while, here's a link from the Learning Center about quarantining: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...often-underestimated-part-of-raising-chickens It is well worth the read! And here's a ink to an article about integrating chickens:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method
    I am not sure how much actually fighting there will be. Usually a rooster at breeding age "rules the roost" so to speak and instantly is at the top of the pecking order.
    One word of caution....egg production really drops off after age two and your hens are now three. Just don't want you disappoint if you aren't getting 4-5 eggs/day from your ladies. They'll lay, just not as frequently as then they were "spring chickens."
    Finally, if you'd like to chat with some local poultry folks, find your state thread in this link and say howdy: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you
    Best wishes and thanks for joining BYC!
     
  3. mlcrowley

    mlcrowley Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2017
    Thanks redsoxs!

    Most of the predators here are hawks and owls. We do get coyotes, but so far none have ventured up to our property, the neighbors have had run ins though. I think the rooster is about twice the size of the hawks we've seen, but we're really not expecting much more from him than to warn the girls to run for cover, hopefully he'll run as well and not put up a fight, but as you said, if he lays down his life for the girls, than he died a hero. It does help I'm at home nearly 24/7 so he won't have too much protecting to do without some backup nearby.

    As for the egg production, thank you! We weren't sure what age they really slow down, I've read conflicting reports online. We do know we more than likely will not be getting 4-5 eggs a day though, and that's ok. We plan on some younger hens in the future, but figured an established flock (these girls have lived together since they were hatched) with healthy hens might be a great place for us to start being new at this.

    Thanks for the welcome and the links!
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
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  5. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    It sounds like you've done a lot of homework already in preparation for your flock, good for you! Hope the rooster is a real gentleman with his new ladies.

    Thanks for joining us!
     
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under mlcrowley [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some great advice and links, I will just wish you all the best.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Hello, and welcome to Backyard Chickens! Please make yourself at home here and enjoy yourself! :frow

    ~Cuz
     

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