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Rooster as a booster for the girls?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by charlies, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. charlies

    charlies Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2009
    Wanganui
    Hi

    I have 5 hens and I was thinking about buying a rooster and four more ladies for my happy, growing flock. How many birds can I fit in my hen house? It is about 2 metres by 3 metres and 2 metres high. We have two large nesting boxes (which two of our naughty girls are brodding in - they can both fit into one). Do we need more nesting boxes?

    All our chooks free range during the day and they have plenty of space, beneath the apple trees to dig holes and sit in them (apparently).

    Does the rooster need to be in the same place as the girls or should he have a special place of his own?

    As first time flockers we are getting used to our girls but a rooster is a whole new ball game and we don't want to cock up!

    Cheers for any and all advice...
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I won't pretend to remember the metric system from high school, so I'll just tell you that you need about 4 sq. ft. of coop space per standard sized chicken. You can get by with a little less if you free range alot.
    The rule of thumb for nest boxes is one box for every 4 to 5 hens, but don't be surprised if they all favor one or two anyhow.
    They are probably digging those holes to dustbathe in. A girl's gotta stay clean. [​IMG]
    When you get new chooks they should be quarantined in an area away from your current chickens for at least 30 days. More than one person has been left heartbroken when a new chicken brought in a disease that devastated a flock.
    After the quarantine period you can make proper introductions by allowing the old timers and the newcomers to see each other, but not get to each other (like thru a chicken wire wall) until they act like they are ready to play nice. Even after you put them together there may be some fusses. If they aren't drawing blood, let them work out their pecking order. New younger roos especially can be given a hard time by older dominant hens.
    Yes! Let your roo live with his girls! If he's a good roo, once he establishes his place at the top of the flock he will protect the girls, feed the girls and break up any girl fights. Don't baby him, let him do his job.
    Good luck to you!
     

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