Picking roosters - ugh!

Mrs. K

Crossing the Road
14 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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western South Dakota
Oh my, I have 7 rooster chicks about 9 weeks old. I, of course, do not need that many roosters. I keep saying to myself:
  • remove the ones you don't want first
    • problem, one of them that never made the list, seems to be having some good characteristics?
    • Some of these roosters are going to be gorgeous eye candy
    • all are being raised in a multiple generational flock
  • I kind of want my choice to stay in the flock, not the bachelor flock, as I think they get better manners there
    • do I keep two cockerels?
  • I have to grab them at night, off the roost
    • this just might be the first 6 I get a hold of.
Decisions, decisions. south western South Dakota people or eastern Wy, looking at $12 eggs in the fall, do any of you want a Brown leghorn, a White leghorn, a Barred Leghorn, or a Exchequer leghorn?

Mrs K
 
Oh my, I have 7 rooster chicks about 9 weeks old. I, of course, do not need that many roosters. I keep saying to myself:
  • remove the ones you don't want first
    • problem, one of them that never made the list, seems to be having some good characteristics?
    • Some of these roosters are going to be gorgeous eye candy
    • all are being raised in a multiple generational flock
  • I kind of want my choice to stay in the flock, not the bachelor flock, as I think they get better manners there
    • do I keep two cockerels?
  • I have to grab them at night, off the roost
    • this just might be the first 6 I get a hold of.
Decisions, decisions. south western South Dakota people or eastern Wy, looking at $12 eggs in the fall, do any of you want a Brown leghorn, a White leghorn, a Barred Leghorn, or a Exchequer leghorn?

Mrs K
I love roosters and I'd be willing to take a trip across the world to get one that I really want, but I'm afraid I simply can't take any right now. Already have three full growns, one cockerel, and I'm incubating seven eggs. I know how you feel, though. Perhaps it would help if you posted pictures.
 
So if you cross a white egg Leghorn rooster over a blue or green egg layer, what color of eggs do you get?
If you get pullets from that cross you could get blue, green, white, or brown eggs and that green or brown could be many different shades.

I think you already know most of this but I'll try to put it together. The base color of an egg is either blue or white. A green egg is brown laid in top of a base blue egg, brown is brown laid on top of a white egg.

To put it graphically, the symbol for the dominant gene for the Blue shell color is upper case "O". The symbol for the recessive not-Blue (default is white) is smaller case "o". At that gene pair your Leghorn boy will have o,o so he gives all of his offspring an "o" gene. And he should not have any brown. That part is simple. The hen is not so simple though. Typical woman.

If the hen lays a blue egg she might have either O,O or O,o. With the blue dominant it could be either. But since it is a blue egg she should have no brown. So when combined with the o,o rooster her pullets might have either O,o or o,o. O,o and she lays a blue egg. o,o and she lays a white egg.

If the hen lays a green egg she could either be O,O or O,o. same as the blue egg laying hen. But she also has brown to pass down. With the o,o rooster again a pullet could wind up O,o or o,o. But the brown complicates it even more. There are several different genes that affect which actual shade of brown gets passed down, if any. It's possible none get passed down. You just don't know what that hen's brown genetics look like. It is possible you could get a blue, green, white, or brown egg from that green egg laying hen's pullet.

Look at it as Forrest Gump's box of chocolates. You never know until the pullet starts laying.
 
You don't owe me any answers on any of this. I'm just throwing things out you might want to consider.

Oh my, I have 7 rooster chicks about 9 weeks old. I, of course, do not need that many roosters. I keep saying to myself:
  • remove the ones you don't want first
    • problem, one of them that never made the list, seems to be having some good characteristics?
At nine weeks old? What characteristics are you talking about? My goals and personal preferences have nothing to do with this, it's totally about yours. I personally like an early maturing cockerel but I raise them for meat. You don't. I also think an early maturing cockerel is more likely to be able to win the girls over when they all mature by personality instead of force, but that's a long way down the road for you. They can be "active" during puberty. I don't put much faith in how they act until they are past puberty anyway. Those hormones can change them dramatically.

    • Some of these roosters are going to be gorgeous eye candy
The boys are supposed to be. That way they attract the predators while the dull colored hens can hide on the nest. The way they've been bred some hens are eye candy too.

    • all are being raised in a multiple generational flock
  • I kind of want my choice to stay in the flock, not the bachelor flock, as I think they get better manners there
Then leave them there until you see a reason to remove them. My tolerance for adolescent behavior may be higher than yours and I can't remember what your facilities look like or how much room you have. I only separate some of my boys out every three or four years, otherwise they are in the flock until butcher age at 23 weeks. Make these types of decisions based on what you actually see, not what you think you might see.

    • do I keep two cockerels?
Totally your decision. That would not change anything I said above.
 
I too keep the cockerels in the main flock as they grow, and make decisions based on behavior, physical faults, and then my breeding goals. And it's always hard!
If you know who the mother of each individual cockerel is, then think about her as part of his genetics too. Early maturing is good, as is having maternal genetics that you value.
If you only keep one, something will happen to him, and then there's no rooster until another one comes along. If that's fine, okay. If not, consider keeping two, as long as they can get along.
Mary
 
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