RIR A question or two.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by nicodemuschickenfan, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. nicodemuschickenfan

    nicodemuschickenfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Enid, OK!
    Well first off, I don't actually have any chickens yet. I'm going to use the cold winter months to build a coop then when it starts to get warmer I'll be getting my first chickens. [​IMG]

    I've been researching them for about a month now and I'm pretty sure I want road island reds. It was so hard to decide that once you go to the online hatcheries and see all the breeds. omg I was overwelmed by the sheer number of birds to fall in love with. lol But anyway, I still have a couple of questions I can't seem to find the answers for. 1. I know a RIR will live about ten years give or take but for how long will they produce eggs? I know it'll vary from one chicken to another but a general timeline would be apprecitated. 2. How loud/often will a rooster crow? He wont iritate my neighbors will he? 3. If I have a rooster will I be able to eat any of my eggs or will he fertilize all of them? 4. How will I tell the difference, I don't want to crack an egg open for breakfast to find the start of a chick inside. [​IMG] 4. My room mate wants bantams. Will the RIRs pick on the little chickens?

    I am looking mostly for a hen for pet purposes but would also like a good egg layer. My room mate has yet to pick a breed of bantam so any hints there are good too.

    PS. This bunny is too cute! [​IMG]
     
  2. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    West Central Ohio
    First off, Rhode Island Reds come in Bantam and Standard. [​IMG] A RIR may lay for up to two years, but as they get older, their egg production tends to slow down. As far as the rooster, yes I think it will annoy your neighbors. You will be able to eat the fertilized eggs. You don't have to worry about cracking it open and finding a chick. A chick will only develop when the egg has been stored at a warm temperature. (i.e. In an incubator or under a broody hen.) As long as you collect them daily, then you will be fine. If you decide to get bantams, it would be best to get them at the same time as the RIR's. When they grow up with eachother they tend to get along better.
     
  3. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    #1--depends on if you exend their light-ime in the winter., but I sill don't have a direc answer for you.

    #2 if you have near neighbour--don' ge a rooster. They are loud, unpredicitable-as in hey crow when hey want to.

    #3 You can ea ferilized and unfertilized eggs. It don't matter. An egg mus be fertilized 28 days for a chick to hatch out.
     
  4. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Quote:Incorrect on the hatching part. For some poultry it takes 28 days but for chickens, it takes 21 days for a chick to hatch after the egg has been fertilized. A fertilized egg can spend (I think) 7-10 days in the fridge. In other words, once the egg has been put in the incubator or under a broody hen, it will take 21 days for it to hatch. (Give or take a day or two depending on the genetics and the breed). By 28 days, the egg would either be infertile or the chick would be dead.
     
  5. nicodemuschickenfan

    nicodemuschickenfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Enid, OK!
    You can actually eat a fertle egg?! Thank goodness; I would have felt like a murderer if I killed a helpless little chicky. Only two years huh. That's a shame. I had hopes for at least five years of production.

    I will be getting the chickens all at the same time. Was planning on buying from a hatchery if I can find a reputable one. Just wanted to make sure that my RIRs wouldn't pick on a chicken half their size. lol

    I don't especially want a rooster but like with all my animals I like to breed the cream of my crop. Like my rats. When they get older I take the best one I have and breed him so his line can go on and improve his future genrations. My rats are pedigree now and truly spectacular in both temperment and health. None compare to my rats; I had wanted to do the same for my chickens.. Maybe I could borrow someones rooster? How well do you think that request would go over??

    PS. When I breed, I never do so willie nilly. I keep All the babies. Not one of my animals has ever gone to the shelter. I know on the rat forums breeding is a big thing. But I always breed to improve a species and not for profit or fun.
     
  6. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Quote:Sorry, but just to let you know, 2 years is the average for a chicken. Some may lay longer. It all just depends on the individual. Also, you are technically not eating a chick if the egg is fertilized. It will only grow into a chick if it is at a high enough temperature. If you put it into the fridge, it won't develop.
     
  7. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    2 years is the average for a chicken.

    While this is true for hatchery birds, I've not found it to be the case with heritage birds from established breeders. My flock's been around for YEARS. My RIR hens average about 5 years of laying, although they do not lay at the phenomenal rate of hatchery birds. Personally I think that the production RIRs that the hatcheries sell tend to wear themselves out with that huge lay rate and that is why they only lay for 2 years.

    Heritage birds (which I am defining here as the breeds that originated here in the USA during the 19th and early 20th centuries) have not been crossed with high laying birds like Leghorns to up their production. Instead they have been bred with an eye to maintaining their historic bloodlines. Production breeds HAVE been crossbred. This increased their production of eggs but at the expense of body size size and laying longevity. Many people only keep chickens for eggs, so this is a logical cross for them and they are willing to replace the flock more often to keep the egg production high.

    Mostly it is a case of matching the bird--heritage vs production--to your particular needs and wants. If you want a bird who will be around for awhile and want there to be enough meat on the cockerels to make them worth butchering, go with heritage lines. If you want eggs and lots of them, go with production lines.

    HTH
    [​IMG]


    PS I eat fertile eggs every day. In fact that is how I make sure my roos are doing their jobs! [​IMG]

    Also, with my RIRs anyhow, I find that the roosters are both LOUD and somewhat aggressive, especially towards birds that don't look like them. My hens are sweeties towards each other but can be bossy and occasionally downright aggressive towards breeds smaller than them and of a different color. Since I keep my breeds separate from one another to maintain pure bloodlines, this has never been an issue for me. But I wouldn't recommend RIR roos for free-ranging, small, mixed home flocks especially if you have small children.​
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
  8. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Thanks for that more detailed explanation Rusty Hills Farm [​IMG] I couldn't have said anything better [​IMG]
     
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:Honey ! I have 6 chicks that hatched Oct. 4th. and they been picking at one another SO MUCH , 2 of the 6 are blind NOW . Pecking each other in the eyes , pulling out feathers . Don't matter what age you get them at , they will ALL do the pecking thing . SOME more than others .

    IF you going to let a hen to go broody and sit on eggs , or hatch from an incubator , thats the ONLY time you need a rooster .... RULE of THUMB I THINK is 1 rooster per 8 hens .

    Had I known how long they take to start laying , I would of never bought chicks . I would of bought them 4 - 5 months old . By the time you feed and water them from chicks to laying age , ALMOST not worth it if you getting them strickly for egg production .......
     
  10. nicodemuschickenfan

    nicodemuschickenfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Enid, OK!
    Thank all, you've really helped me out. [​IMG]
     

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