please help a small time backyard chicken keeper

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by coolchick, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. coolchick

    coolchick In the Brooder

    Mar 29, 2008
    I have a few questions so, if you would, please bare with me. We can have up to six hens according to our city ordinance. I would like to get away with 3-4 hens and one rooster (ordinance says no roosters). The reason I want to sneak a rooster is because I would like to free range the things in a six foot fence and am worried about cats, and not so much, but about skunks and raccoons as well. this may be naive, but for chickens to work for us they need to be as self sufficient as possible and we would like to get away without having to round them up in the coop every night if the weather is ok. It seems that they like to stay up a little later than we do and I feel bad pushing them in there coop at 830 in the night. I willing to change my opinion on the putting them in at night if I lose one. Is a rooster going to be benificial in our quest? can I get away with a rooster with a nosy neighbor? I heard that without a rooster the hens will crow anyway. I don't sense a big threat from predators. My biggest fear is the neighbors cat and he would strike in the day time when they would be out anyway. Is it ok to leave their coop open at night? Any help would be appreciated.
  2. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    A rooster is loud and can only do so much. I highly reccomend you follow the
    ordinance and let your girls in at night.
  3. turnerstar31

    turnerstar31 Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    If your ordinance says no to roosters than i would not tempt it. It really is not worth it. First off many people on here only let their chickens range during the day so locking them up at 8:30 is a good thing. Even if you did have a roo their is not garantee that he is going to be able to protect against predators that is why people lock theirs up at nights to protect them. They usually will go to their coop at night by themselves when it gets dark so really all you would have to do is shut it up for the night. Hens don't always crow they really most of the time are pretty quite except when they are laying. I can not tell you much about the crowing thing as I have never had a hen do it. Good luck with everything.
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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Cats generally won't bother full grown chickens - only babies. That's no guarantee, but a generalization...

    I don't think you need a roo for protection - if something wants to eat your chickens, the roo may give his life to protect the hens, but then whatever it is will just be back later to take out a hen or two or 5...

    My girls all put themselves to bed when it gets twilight - whatever time of evening that is. They like to be safe and snug in the coop by the time it gets dark, as they don't see in the dark very well. I think if you just open the coop door in the morning and then close it up again before you go to bed it'd work well for you - you'll have to check feed and water daily anyway...

    If you are in a very urban/suburban area, then you biggest predators would more than likely be cats (when they are small) and dogs, and flying preds like hawks during the daytime, and racoons and possums at night.

    If your coop is reasonably secure, then you can close up the girls at night and you won't have a problem with racoons and possums, as they tend to be nocturnal.

    Suburban chickens' biggest predation threat based on what I've read here is roaming dogs. Bar none. There are daily posts it seems about somebody's dog eating chickens...A reasonably strong 6' fence should take care of the dog problem for the most part...
  6. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    Roos won't save your hens from raccoons or many other predactors. You'll just have a dead roo.

    Roos are loud and if you've got close neighbors they will complain and you may lose your chicken priviledge all together.

    MHO - I say that chickens are a commitment and they do need protecting... they need to have a safe place at night. I live in the suburbs and I know that I would lose mine, with or without a roo, within a few weeks if I didn't lock them away each and every night. In fact my DH forgot one night when I was away and I lost one that evening. Seems that predators are pretty smart and catch on to the opportunity for chicken for dinner and lurk around on the off-chance.
  7. coolchick

    coolchick In the Brooder

    Mar 29, 2008
    Thanks for all the help. It looks like I have a few Buff Orp Roosters to get rid of. Should we eat them? They are 12 weeks , or should I try to find them a good home elsewhere?
  8. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    Personally, I'd try to find them homes. BOs are loved by many people. I just parted with one last weekend. 12 wks would be a good age if you were to use for meat.

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