Questions About Sexing, Culling, and Integrating

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Calamus, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Calamus

    Calamus In the Brooder

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    May 12, 2019
    Mancos, Colorado
    At the moment, I have six chickens, all thirteen weeks old (hatched 4/20): I am certain that two are pullets, and I believe that the remaining four are roos. I am positive about three males that have consistently exhibited cocky attributes and behaviors, but I’m not completely sure about the lowest guy in the pecking order, a black frizzle (see the attached pics). The frizzle has not crowed and has a smaller, pinker comb than the other, so I am questioning its sex. It gets picked on a lot, although not to the point of injury (although I have concerns that it may escalate in the future) and it is extremely submissive when the other roos give it grief.

    I intend to keep my dominant roo (a black OE named Johnny Cash, the largest bird in the photos). He’s a great guardian and doesn’t act aggressively unless provoked. The other two boys are constantly challenging each other and pick on the frizzle. Culling is the plan for the aggressive guys, but I am also a bit nervous about it because I haven’t done it on my own before... and plucking aspect seems particularly daunting. I’m not confident about rehoming any of them because they’re hybrids (Easter and Olive Eggers) and everyone around here has roosters to get rid of right now. I think the frizzle probably has the best chance... if I can confirm that it is in fact a rooster.

    To further complicate the social order, a friend of mine has two older Wyandotte layers that he’s going to give to me. I’m not exactly sure of their hatch date, but they are about a year old. I’m wondering about how to make this transition as smooth as possible. I’m working on a holding coop for the new birds, but I am a bit concerned about having a space to separate roos if they become more aggressive or problematic. At the same time, I’d like to get the girls integrated as soon and as safely as possible. I definitely want to deal with the overabundance of roos before introducing more ladies.

    How long should the new hens be separated from the flock, and what is an appropriate distance for their holding coop? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

     
  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Calamus likes this.
  3. Calamus

    Calamus In the Brooder

    3
    16
    34
    May 12, 2019
    Mancos, Colorado
    Thank you for the helpful comments and resources!
     

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