questions about growing on the now evident roosters....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Autumn Mama, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Autumn Mama

    Autumn Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2009
    British Columbia,
    Hi all :)

    We have a small flock growing again and currently we are clear that we have two growing roosters. Evidence of the red comb and spurs growing in, and now the hormones are kicking in. Four years ago we had a flock for the first time and mixed the roosters in with the hens when they were old enough to go in the coop, and when the roosters were about 15 weeks we processed them. We allowed the mixing to go on too long I think, as the hens weren't enjoying the clumsy coming-of-agers and it was sometimes mayhem as the roos tried to establish dominance with each other.

    So, now my 4 week old roosters are harrassing the 3-4 week old hens. They aren't quite fully feathered to be outside yet (I don't think?), and I would like to grow them on to process them at the right age. What would be the ideal age (they are Easter Eggers), and how do you manage the flock, house the roosters, separate them individually or not, etc

    Any experience in this area would be great, we are hoping to do things better this time around with less stress and bother to the current hens (4 years old) and the new 3-4 week olds we have growing on. Thanks!


    **and i did post this in "managing your flock", and after receiving no replies, I thought maybe it was supposed to go here :)
     
  2. Autumn Mama

    Autumn Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2009
    British Columbia,
    bumping this, hoping for any input:)
     
  3. Grampa with chickens

    Grampa with chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2008
    Brooksville, Florida
    Well let's see........

    My spare roosters are housed in a separate pen all together. They grow up together so it's not a big deal and I don't get much fighting. As far as age to processing them, the old saying "old enough crow, they got to go". This is around the 5 to 6 month range.

    My breeding rooster stays in the pen with the hens.

    I haven't had a problem with my chicks fighting so, I 'm not sure on that one.

    Hope this helps
     
  4. Autumn Mama

    Autumn Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2009
    British Columbia,
    the saying is great ... although mine are 5 weeks and crowing! i think i have sorted out what we'll do. we have them in a simple portable chicken tractor with a division for two spaces. that way i can keep them pastured until maturity and move the tractor around every couple of days.

    if i can minimize on the feed they eat, and have them develop a more pastured quality i will be pleased. (we eat pastured chicken from friends).

    thanks!
     
  5. Dingo

    Dingo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've got a couple of 9.5 week old boys, they're in with my pullets and do just fine. I have one that looks after the girls, today he confronted the cat to keep them "safe." The boys do spar a little but they usually leave the girls alone, and it hasn't gotten serious. The pullets aren't afraid to tell them off if need be.
    Unfortunately I can't have a rooster, so they're going to freezer camp next weekend or the weekend after with the cornish x's. They'll be 10-11 weeks old.
    My handsome boy, Babs.
    [​IMG]
    Betty(L) the EE and Babs(R) the wyandotte?, the boys
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  6. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Our Black Java boys (we ended up with 6 cockerals and 5 pullets) all grew up together in the same brooder. Once they hit that 10-12wk old mark, they started to 'change' and not necessarily for the better. I kept them all together to try to figure out which of the cockerals would stay with the flock - and they mostly left the pullets alone, as they were too busy pecking one another, not the pullets! I had to choose between two cockerals to stay - and mercy that was a hard choice! The remainder of the boys left our farm for another to grow for dinner. Knowing what I do now, I'm kicking myself - whoever got those cockerals ended up with only 3wks worth of feed costs! Grrr.....lesson learned.

    If you have a second tractor, or a way to divide the space - try that. However, if the boys can still see the girls, their behavior isn't going to change. Perhaps a solid divider (like plywood or cardboard?) might help...it's hormone driven, so it makes little sense to us humans. However, I've heard of folks keeping a bachelor flock - just so they cannot see the girls!

    As you're further north than I am, I'm not certain if being outside in a tractor yet is possible. I think in a tractor that had some decent draft-protection (there's that cardboard again), they'd be fine. Howver, if there's only 2 of the cockerals, they might need some additional heat for a time....again, I'm in northern Illinois, so we're already warm enough (mostly) for 4wk old chicks outdoors. As for my 10day old chicks, they're still in the barn! You know your situation best, make the best judgement you can.
     
  7. Autumn Mama

    Autumn Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2009
    British Columbia,
    thank you everyone, i've got some great suggestions to work with here...i appreciate all of your responses. :)
     

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