1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Quick chicken questions... please answer

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cavendish Chickens, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Cavendish Chickens

    Cavendish Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    382
    0
    119
    Apr 24, 2010
    Summit County, Ohio
    Ok, we have 3 chickens, plan to get more in spring. We have a speckled sussex roo, a white leghorn hen, and a light brown leghorn hen. They are laying excellent eggs now that things are in full swing with them. My questions are... If we decided to hatch some of their eggs in the spring so there could be more hens for both the roo and for upping egg amount... what can we do about the roo babies? Is it possible to keep roo's together if they are raised together and no hens around them, or would they fight to death. And if we can't keep them together, our only option would be to get rid of them, and my guess would be that no one would want them for anything but meat birds because they are "mutts". So would the roo mutts be good meat birds for those who want that? I want the hens, but not the roos... and I'd like to let them (the new hens) be the babies of the chickens we have now, since all we want are the eggs. We personally would not kill a chicken for meat or otherwise, but if people who purchase them for that want to.... And since the chicks would be cross breeds, would there be a color (sex-link) thing to tell genders apart other than looking at wings and combs?

    And the chickens we plan to purchase in the spring are silkies. I know there are different colors of silkies. If there is a mixed color flock, then would the babies be considered mutts even though they are still silkies no matter what? Like if a blue silkie hen had chicks with a black silkie roo... would they be mutts? The reason I ask is because the person closest to us with silkies has blue and black hens with a black roo. So we're trying to decide whether to get them from this person or somewhere else.

    Our plan is to purchase a good sized shed this February and have it professionally installed in the yard. Then in the spring we will be fixing it up for the chickens, with fenced walls to keep the breeds separate from each other. And I am also considering keeping another fenced off area where we can safely keep a heater for next winter. We would keep the small flock we have now on one side of the shed, and the silkies on the other. Thanks for everyone's help and advice. I look forward to hearing back from you.

    1) Can roos raised together with no hens be housed together?
    2) Would a leghorn/sussex mutt be a good meat bird for those who want that?
    3) Do people use roos as meat birds or just hens?
    4) Would there be a color (sex-link) thing to help tell genders apart in these crosses?
    5) Would the chicks of 2 different colored silkies be considered mutts?
     
  2. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,246
    101
    213
    Jun 15, 2010
    Western Wisconsin
    I wouldn't think a leghorn cross would make a good meat bird, but people eat pheasant and grouse and they don't have much meat. As for the silkies, if you breed black and blue together you would just get some black chicks and some blue chicks (no weird colors).
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,645
    1,174
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    1) Can roos raised together with no hens be housed together? Yes, as long as the hens aren't in with them.
    2) Would a leghorn/sussex mutt be a good meat bird for those who want that? Yes, but don't expect the amount of meat you get in the store. People eat bantams, so I don't see why not.
    3) Do people use roos as meat birds or just hens? Yes, we eat most of our excess roosters. Haven't eaten a hen yet as they give us eggs.
    4) Would there be a color (sex-link) thing to help tell genders apart in these crosses? No sex link. Here's the info on making sex links
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=261208
    5) Would the chicks of 2 different colored silkies be considered mutts? Depends on the colors crossed. Blue and black can be mated and you will get blue and black offspring.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  4. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,176
    56
    221
    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Quote:1 - Yes, you can house the roos away from the hens. Not with the hens.
    2 - Leghorns are very small slender birds and not at all feed efficient for meat. A Sussex makes a good meat bird. If you cross the two, the chicks will be some where in between.
    3 - Many people like to use young roos (4-7 months) for their meat birds.
    4 - They would not be sex-links. The White Leghorn's chicks will be white, and the Brown Leghorn's chicks will be brown.
    5 - What BlackBrookPoultry said.
     
  5. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    I just want to add that my RIR roo and EE hens have crossed and when I give away roos i have no problems. Just did this past weekend and had at least 8 calls. They went to a local man my first 2 extra roos went to. He doesnt much care what the breed is as long as its not bantem, he has a large flock. My roos live together with the hens till about 6-9 month or when they start to challenge each other. My last one went with his sister to this man because they just never got along well with the group. The one before left when they started to fight, the hens didnt like him either. He found ladies of his own with a farmer whos roo had died. I always get lots of calls, people like them as pets. I understand that roos together without hens should be fine, they fight for the hens. I cant answer any of the meat questions though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  6. Cavendish Chickens

    Cavendish Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    382
    0
    119
    Apr 24, 2010
    Summit County, Ohio
    Thank you everyone for your insight and advice. It gives me more to think about before spring comes. I am planning on housing all chickens in the shed, but separated by fencing. I just need to decide if I am going to hatch eggs from the chickens I have now, and if so decide what to do with the roos. Whether to keep them with their own section in the shed and own run, or to rehome them. I really only want the hens, and I thought it would be easier if they were their own chicks rather than introducing new strange hens to the ones I have now. I'm glad the black and blue silkies wouldn't be mutts. Makes me more comfortable about getting them from the person close by. (Can you tell the genders of silkie chicks by the wings like other chicks, or do you have to wait until the combs grown in on the roos? This person isn't very good at telling genders when they're little babies.) Thanks again all!
     
  7. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,176
    56
    221
    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Quote:Silkies are known for possibly being the hardest breed to sex, even when they're mature, LOL.
     
  8. Cavendish Chickens

    Cavendish Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    382
    0
    119
    Apr 24, 2010
    Summit County, Ohio
    Oh that sounds fun. The person I'm talking about just got his a few months ago and you could only see the comb on one, and he said that one was the roo. I want to be sure we only get one roo when we get some. What can we do to be sure? Is there anything we can do to be sure?
     
  9. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,176
    56
    221
    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Quote:I don't know. Some Silkie people can maybe answer that for you. I do know that My Pet Chicken Hatchery sells sexed Silkies, but their accuracy isn't 100%, and they're kinda pricey.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by