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Rooster Dilemma

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mac, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Mac

    Mac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks to all regarding mite and worming questions/amswers. I will deal with the mites this weekend. My coop floor is 10'x14', I am using the deep litter method and lots of DE. The coop is really sweet smelling, no flies and clean. I hate to have to take out 6" of shavings and lots of DE to dust for mites, but if you think thats the best way to handle this, I will.

    I have had an ad in the newspaper for several weeks about my 2 RIR roosters I want to give away to a good home and no answers. Four of my RIR hens have bare, red and raw backs and lots of missing wing feathers from breeding. And one of my tiny bantam hens is so bad I'm about ready to separate her from the roos til I figure out what to do with them. I seem to have two options here. I know someone who would catch the roos, kill and eat them. Or, could I just kick them out of the coop and let them deal with life outside. I would continue to feed/water them, they have other outbuildings to roost in etc. We seem to be fairly predator free at the moment...Would this be a viable option rather than certain death and a soup pot for them?

    Also, does egg laying slow down in the winter? If so, does the breeding as well? Somehow I think not.....

    Thanks,
    Mac
     
  2. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honestly, I wouldn't let the roosters just be outside. Although it sounds like you would still be taking great care of them, I'm afraid that your "fairly predator free at the moment..." would not be so fairly predator free. It only takes one animal one time to figure out where a free meal comes from. You might be inviting trouble for your hens in the long run. Just my humble opinion though. In answer to your other question, yes the egg production will decrease in the winter due to shorter days. There has been a lot of talk regarding artifical light sources to extend the daylight hours to help with production. You also have to consider that over-extended light (never turning them off or only off for short periods of time) will also increase cancer in your hens and shorten their life span. As the breeding sitation goes, I don't know. This will be my first winter with chickens since I was a kid.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  3. Mac

    Mac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I guess I'd like to give the roos a chance to live rather than the soup pot.

    My egg production is great, so if they slow down in the winter that isn't a problem. I won't be extending the light. Winter will be a rest time for the hens.

    Mac
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, outside may also be certain death when predators find out where they sleep. As for the cleaning, it would probably be best to take it all out. Or you could just keep lots of DE on it to get rid of the mites, but that might end up more trouble than just cleaning it out. Egg laying slows but as suspected, breeding does not. I found that fertility isn't as high in the winter but that may be because the eggs get way too cold.
     
  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Just my opinion...

    Chance of dying left outside the pen - about 50/50
    Chance of dying if given to someone to eat - 100%

    If I were in that situation I would continue to try to rehome them, maybe placing ads on craigslist.com and other sites, in the mean time let them stay outside and have at least half a chance for living.

    I know that if I were the rooster I'd rather play keep away from the preditors than go straight to the soup pot.

    Again, just my opinion.
     
  6. Mac

    Mac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks rooster-red, that was my thinking also. I'll just have to weigh the few options I have, continue to advertise and make a decision soon.
     
  7. EboyDog

    EboyDog Out Of The Brooder

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    My thoughts are that I personally wouldn't take the chance of the completly free ranging roo's as that can result in attracting preditors as while it keeps them out of the mix with your hens, it also sets up preditors who might be attracted by the free roo's who other otherwise might not get into your run and coop. You also risk upsetting the pecking order of the semi confined flock as if you allow them to free range, the wild roo's will interact with the crew.

    If you have no intendtions of hatching eggs, get rid of the roos, while the single one might put alot of pressure on the hens, chances are you might be dealing with young hens and as the girls grow older, they will learn to deal with the roo; just in your case when there's two or more (in my case I currently have about 6!!) there is a never ending pressure on the girls! What I have going for my hens favor right now is that there is so much fighting between the roo's that my alpha roo works his butt off to keep the other roo's in their place and off his girls! [​IMG]

    If you do want fetile eggs, you may need to create a roo run and keep the boys away which is what i' m leaning towards as I am still in the process of completing my permeant coop and run so I do intend to have extra quarters for the roo's or sick or injured chickens as the need arises. Nothing cools the boys down better that to confine them to themselves and keep them seperated from the girls! It asserts you as the alpha roo and they do understand as I read someone else here state, chickens can be trained!

    The free roo's might have a chance on their own but it's advertising to the other critters that there are chickens nearby, should those preditors find the hens who are confined, the odds of the hens surviving is less. Once a wandering coon finds a food source it will keep coming back until the food source is gone and in this case, your chickens!

    Personally I'm processing my excess roo's in the next couple of weeks as I'm in the same boat, my hens are doing fairly ok but the roo's are fighting too much amoung themselves and with the heat, such has created unneeded stress for everyone not to mention I have turkeys in my flock and the roo's are getting agressive with them which is stupid as turkeys don't understand that they are 5 times bigger but they are gentle giants and don't have an agressive bone in them!
     
  8. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    I have a stupid neighbor who thinks that she needs a rooster to make her hens lay. [​IMG] Instead she ends up getting chicks and there always seems to be a bunch of roos. She has gotten to were she just doesn't care about the roos and lets them out of the pen, she says she does it in hopes that they'll run off or be eaten by one of her german shepherds or a coon or something. AND she keeps one roo to make the hens lay eggs. [​IMG]

    Point of the story is...the extra roos are usually gone in a week. It may be her dogs but coons are a good possiblity as well. Just keep trying to rehome them.
     
  9. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    I may be confused, what I thought the intension was to rehome the roosters ASAP, and they are causing problems in the flock and have to be seperated now, with no option of another pen to put them in while waiting the few weeks it may take to rehome them.
    I was under the impression that this was to be very temporary, and that there is not a preditor waiting nearby.
     
  10. Mac

    Mac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all. The flock I inherited when I bought the farm is over three years old now.
    While I keep trying to re-home the roos I think the best thing to do is keep the little sweet bantam hen separate somehow. The RIR hens can hang in there until I find a home for the roos.

    Mac
     

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