Nippy chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by peggymou, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. peggymou

    peggymou Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, I'm new to chicken raising, and my husband built a fabulous pen and run. But as my chickens get older they don't seem to get along as well. They were hatched together on Easter Sunday and are growing fast (RIRs) but now they are getting nippy and I have 4 roosters to get rid of! I do free range when I'm home, but that will be even less when I start back to school (school librarian) so I need to settle this group dynamic quickly. I"m thinking of just the letting the boys free range all day, whether I'm here or not...the hens seem more content without them. I've read a lot of FAQs and posts and I know there is no real answer, I just hope getting rid of the Roos will help quiet things down. Am I being overly optimistic thinking it's just a rooster issue?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    It could be a rooster issue or a space issue. There should be approximately 10 hens per rooster. If space is tight they'll fight no matter if there are roosters or not.
     
  3. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 only keep one rooster for every 10 hens you own. That way there aren't too many fights and so that the hens don't get too much attention.
     
  4. peggymou

    peggymou Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, we definitely have too many roosters, and once they are gone we will be well over the 4 sq. ft. per chicken in terms of space. So I guess I'll get rid of Roos first and then see how things shake out.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Definitely remove the roosters. You don't need roosters to get eggs. And roosters are generally alarms out in the field and don't really protect the flock physically. Many times hens are grabbed up quick without the rooster even knowing about it. So if you are only in this for the eggs, don't keep roosters.

    And yes, give them as much space as possible. Cramped chickens pick on each other aggressively.

    Good luck and welcome to our flock!
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some good advice above. RIR can be a pushy breed, especially if at all cramped, you might want to consider Pinless Peepers if it looks like it is getting out of control.
     
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. As ChickenCanoe said, the recommended ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens as more roosters than the 10 to 1 ratio can be very hard on your hens physically; over-breeding them, injuring them with their beaks and spurs, and battering them. When you get down to it, the only real reason you need a rooster is to fertilize eggs for hatching. I currently have 25 hens, no roosters, and I get loads of eggs without feeding any non-egg laying mouths, without the aggression, fights, crowing in the middle of the night, injuries, and over-bred and battered hens that frequently goes along with having roosters (especially too many of them). I think getting rid of the extra roosters will definitely quieten things down. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
     
  8. peggymou

    peggymou Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I had to look up what "Pinless Peepers" where - but now that I know, they might be just the ticket if any of my hens decide to be "Miss Pickies".
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  9. peggymou

    peggymou Out Of The Brooder

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    I have definitely decided to get rid of all my Roosters - I just wish someone wanted them!! They are really beautiful and "Rocky" ( a 1/2 RIR 1/2 Barred Rock) has enough personality for a flock! But I can see all of them getting more temperamental and possessive of the hens so they have to go. Thanks for all the support everyone.
     
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You'[re welcome.
     

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