Rooster Bachelor Pad

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shem, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. shem

    shem Out Of The Brooder

    16
    1
    26
    Feb 22, 2014
    Hello BYC Community! I am in year two of raising hens and can't get enough. We are transforming our shed into a coop which means more space for Chickens! Right now I have only hens. I would like to get a roo to mate with some of our hens. I am wondering if the roo can hold residence full time in our smaller coop and run and we just send the ladies in for periods of time when its time to mate. The ladies will stay in the larger coop and run full time. My thought is this helps to distinguish between fertilized eggs and non fertilized eggs and this will give us the ability to separate the roo and hens if he becomes too much and they need a break. So I guess my questions are as follows:

    1) Can a roo live alone?
    2) Can I move hens back and forth between coops/runs?

    Like I said I'm new to this so any advice will help me to determine if a roo is a good idea for us at this point. Thanks!
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    319
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    No they can't live alone and still be sociable. They are flock animals and need to be with someone else. If you free range at all then you can't bounce them back and forth because they need to know where their home is or they will go into whatever coop they feel like at night. If you keep them in a run then yes you can move them back and forth. Hens can lay fertilized eggs up to 2 weeks after the last mating. You can eat a fertilized egg and not have a difference with taste if you just want to keep him with the girls. It takes a while for some hens to warm up to a rooster and allow him to mate. If your rooster is fertile and you have 10 hens in there with him then all your eggs would be fertilized. Make sure the rooster you pick is the proper size for your girls. A giant breed rooster on a tiny girl can harm her but a small rooster sometimes has a hard time "connecting" properly.
     
  3. shem

    shem Out Of The Brooder

    16
    1
    26
    Feb 22, 2014
    Our ladies don't free range, our dog isn't chicken friendly :(. So they would have to go into whatever coop/run we put them in at night (Hen house or Roo house). We have two fenced areas each with a coop, one for hens and the other I was hoping for mating. Do you suppose we could put hens in with the roo for blocks of time never leaving the roo alone? Or is it best to just let everyone live together? I read that people eat fertilized eggs, there's nothing wrong with it but possibly finding something developed in my egg skeeves me out. I've heard those stories too...[​IMG]
     
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    319
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    That used to creep me out as well. I have since learned that nothing will develop in the egg until it has been sat on. When you candle hatching eggs you are just able to see veins and not a chick at day 5 of the process. Yes, you can swap them out so he always has someone with him. He won't mind that a bit he just needs a little company.
     
  5. shem

    shem Out Of The Brooder

    16
    1
    26
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oh good! Thanks for your help. Time to choose a roo!
     
  6. Chickens R Us

    Chickens R Us Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would just let them all live together, the eggs will not develop if you put them in the fridge. A fertilized egg taste no different then an unfertilized egg. If you want to hatch eggs from just certain hens then I would separate into different pens so you know what breed you are getting, but chickens are flock birds and don't like to be by themselves.
     
  7. shem

    shem Out Of The Brooder

    16
    1
    26
    Feb 22, 2014
    I do want to hatch specific breeds, or at the very least keep track of who is who :p. Keeping them separate will just make that part easier is what I was thinking. All of your advice is very helpful, thanks!
     
  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,401
    171
    143
    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    It stresses the hens to bounce them between pens. Either let them all live together or put the rooster in the hen pen as needed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by