Rooster Decisions - I have too many and know nothing! - Please Help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HennyJenny, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. HennyJenny

    HennyJenny Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Bennington, NE
    I have some dilemnas. 11 of them in fact.

    1 Partridge Rock Roo (Hatchery) - Two Partridge Rock Hens (All from the same hatchery)
    3 Buff Orp Roos (Hatchery) - 3 Buff Orp Hens plus 6 chicks of unknown gender from four different hatcheries.
    2 BCM Roos (Hatchery via TSC) - 2 BCM hens I hatched
    3 Barnevelder Roos (Hatched them from brilliantly brown eggs) (two barnevelder hens I hatched) all from the same parent stock
    1 Silver Grey Dorking Roo (Hatchery but quite spectacular and the only one I actually "asked" for. (Two Silver grey dorking hens) all from the same hatchery
    1 Australorp Roo (2 Australorp hens plus 5 chicks of unknown gender all hatchery) (from two different hatcheries

    Needless to say I am getting a little tired of roo drama - they are all around 15 or 16 weeks plus or minus. I am planning on butchering roos this weekend.

    The partridge rock roo is skitish but not mean but is clearly the bottom of the roo order he has no hens of his own and spends a lot of time hiding and I have no desire to produce partridge rocks so I think he is going.

    Of the two BCM roos - one is clearly not anywhere near conformance and is 2nd to the bottom of the pecking order he has no hens of his own and spends a lot of time hiding he is going - the second is colored as a BCM roo should be and is friendly but towards the middle of the pecking order - he acts like I want my rooster to act. He isn't overly aggressive and is watchful and good to his little harem. So far he stays. (I initially thought these were both black sex links as I got them out of the pullet bin at TSC now they crow and are clearly both roos and based on their coloring it is really still just a guess that they are BCM)

    My silver grey dorking is a lovely roo but with no women. He is striking and is about as close to conformance as one could want from a hatchery bird. I specifically wanted dorkings so he stays as he currently has no obnoxious tendencies.

    The Australorp roo stays as he has a temporary pardon - he is currently at the middle of the pecking order but I suspect once I solve for my problem children - he will come into his own.

    I am really struggling with the barnevelders and the BOs.

    The Barnies are lovely birds. They came from beautiful brown eggs and I hatched them myself. They are all from the same parent stock but I would like to bring in new bloodlines eventually I have one roo with curled toes and one hen with curled toes - the toes curled at about four weeks. I love the little roo but his toes continue to get worse and I don't think that he is going to be strong enough to have any kind of a life. I think he's going to have to go just as a mercy - he is small and scared all the time. The little hen's toes have not gotten worse and at times can look just crooked as opposed to curled - I don't know what caused this but for now I have decided that I don't care and want to see how she progresses as an egg layer but not as a momma. The two roos and remaining hen have straight toes. The remaining hen is a perfect (to my amateur eye) specimen. One of the remaining roos is very tall but gangly looking and the other roo is a reasonable looking bird . Both of these roos are toward the bottom of the pecking order, have no hens of their own, are very skitish but not unfriendly. I would like to hatch more Barnevelder's and I am very pleased with the color of the eggs they were hatched from and the one hen is a good looking barnevelder. (Then hen with curled toes I had a hard time defining as a hen and initially thought she was a roo - she doesn't look quite right coloring wise) - What I can't decide - is based on the fact I would like to have more barnevelders is if I should just start over on roos and keep the one good looking hen.

    Then there are the BOs. Three very aggressive roosters. One is a big stocky bird - he is at the top of the pecking order - above everyone but my one year old BO hen Missy (poor blondie died last week while I was on vacation). He is the only one that courts Missy and she seems to like him. He acts like a leader but he fights with everyone and he jumps everything that bends over to eat. He fights Kramer the turkey (and loses), Missy is a spinster girl not interested in his boyish pursuits and also kicks his butt on a regular basis but also seems to at times enjoy his company. He attacks the chicks though and this bothers me. He avoids me like the plague. I prefer the BOs to all of the other birds I have (except for the turkeys) and want more of them.

    Traveling with this fella are two others just like him. They have no hens of their own but they kind of run with this guy like a gang - Only one of them do I even vaguely like. He sounds the alarm and is more watchful than the leader but no one listens to him. These three spend the day chasing everything crowing and are becoming general nuisances. At least two of them must go.

    Obviously - I am going to totally alter the pecking order by dispatching some of these roosters. I don't really care about that so much as I care about not keeping weak birds and figuring out how to make the choice between the buff orp roos. I have six in mind to cull and I realize that I may have to get rid of more just to keep the peace in the valley but I am hoping that culling the first six will buy me some time with the others to decide what to do with my flock.

    I am worried about my hens and the aggressive nature of the lead roo. He is the nicest looking BO - I don't know if I remove him - if the next lead in line will become just as aggressive? Is this what they do? I don't see any point in culling him if this is how the next one will behave with the flock as well.

    My goal is to be able to deal less and less with hatcheries and shipped eggs and have a good, relatively peaceful, egg producing flock.

    I know this is long - so thanks for coming this far with me. The story of 11 roosters is kind of stupidly long! Thanks all!
  2. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Songster

    May 9, 2008
    I went a little crazy with the incubator this year [​IMG] so I also have an abundance of cockerels.

    I already have 2 EE roos (the dads of most of the chicks) that are wonderful boys so I don't really need to save any of the cockerels but I see a couple of real pretty ones that I have an eye on. I'll see what their personalities are like before I make a final decision.

    It's really nice having roosters that don't attack me or the other chickens. My 2 EE's are really good with the hens---they do the little "dance" before they have their way with them [​IMG] , they call to them when they find tasty tidbits, and if any of the other chickens are fighting they will break it up just by running through the middle of the fight.

    Good luck with your choices. How are you planning to do the deed?
  3. HennyJenny

    HennyJenny Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Bennington, NE
    Without being graphic since this sin't the meaties section - we have cones and we pith them. Thanks for the good wishes. I don't mind doing it but I do hope my reasoning is beneficial to my flock.
  4. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    if they're only hatchery stock, eat all of them... you only need 1 good roo, might as well get a good one..

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: