Rooster/Flock Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sbrandon, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. sbrandon

    sbrandon New Egg

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    Oct 19, 2016
    I am new to keeping chickens. I will share a little about our dynamics. When we moved to the farm 5 months ago, there was a Buff Orpington and Bantam rooster left behind. The rooster was mean. He terrorized my children and me, so he found a new home quickly. We then got 7 two month old chicks from a friend. Of the 7, 5 turned out to be roosters. Not long after, my two children each bought 2 silkie hens, only one is crowing now and is obviously a rooster. We harvested 3 roos a couple weeks ago, but I still have 3 roosters, 5 regular sized hens and one silkie hen. The silkie roo is still a chick. I can tell my hens are stressed. I know I can not keep these roosters. So I am trying to decide which needs to go. Here is what they are like:

    Roo 1 is dominant. He comes out first every morning, checks things out, crows a lot, flirts with the girls, makes cooing noises when I give treats. He comes to me when I enter the chicken yard and he will eat out of my hand. He does try to mate, but I think only the oldest hen is old enough, but he is trying with the others. Right now he is a little bigger than the hens. I think he is part Maran.

    Roo 2 is timid around me. He won't get too close when I give out treats, but I think he is scared of the gray one. The past two days roo 1 has chased roo 2 all around the chicken yard. Roo 2 finally crows - he didn't until he was about 5-6 months old - but only in the morning. Roo 2 is big. I hear the ground pounding when he runs. He is just starting to try to mate, although I don't think he's been successful yet. I am told he is part Cochin.

    Then there is the silkie roo who will be growing up soon.

    My question is which should I keep? I was told to keep both big ones until I was sure one wouldn't turn mean, but the hens seem stressed, especially my oldest because Roo 1 mates with her a couple times a day I think because she is the oldest.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you need or want a rooster anyways??? I HAVE NO ROOSTERS AND DO NOT WANT ANY. The decision on which to keep would be your on observation as to which is too aggressive for your comfort.
    WISHING YOU BEST Just don't have a vote at this time. AND [​IMG]
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Why keep any of them? If you're new to chickens, an all hen flock would be a good place to start. If you want to keep one, are you able to build a "bachelor pen" to put all the cockerels (roosters under one year of age) in? You can kind of get an idea of their personalities that way without stressing out your pullets (hens under one year of age). I would immediately get rid of any cockerel that shows human aggression. Especially since you have kids. (How old are they?)
     
  4. sbrandon

    sbrandon New Egg

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    Both roosters have grown up together and are about 6 months old. My chickens free range and we want to get our chickens reproducing themselves so that is why I want to keep a rooster.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    OK - good start - you have a goal. Now, are you wanting to breed for egg laying, meat production, or both? That's something else to consider. I am personally hoping to add more weight to my flock, so I kept the two largest, heaviest cockerels of the 10 that I had to choose from. (When they got old enough to be "frisky", I put them in a separate coop for a few weeks before butchering.) If you can figure out the breeds you have (unless you have mixes), that will give you another idea of who to keep to meet the goals you have.
     
  6. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    I see bobbi-j 's point of view about the bachelor pad needed for all the cockerels that you will be encountering when you start to hatch out your chicks. Keep the rooster that will produce the kind of offspring's that will work out for you.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Yep - gotta have a plan for the extra males you will end up with! (I wasn't even thinking that far ahead!)
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    To tell you the truth...Pick one you see as less dominant....You want to raise Chicks? If I was just starting out???... I would raise hens first....Possibly add in the Rooster after your comfortable with hens...They can become hard if things are not going like an oiled machine....Just my thoughts....

    Cheers!
     
  9. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want to use the rooster to breed, I think the cochin has to go.

    Cochins aren't known for laying, and they have a reputation, along with other Asiatic breeds, of having a course textured meat.

    So any hen offspring will be lesser layers than their mothers, and any excess cockerels won't be as good table fare as they could be.

    I have a cochin roo. A packing peanut from a hatchery order. He's fine, he protects his girls, but as I start to think about breeding, he doesn't further any of my goals.

    Plus, I don't know that I want a feather-footed influence in the flock either.

    It's your call, but choosing a rooster should further the goals of your flock, not set them back.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd keep the Marans...should bulk up your birds for meat.....but they aren't always the best layers.

    Might use him next year for chicks,but might keep an eye out for another cockbird......
    ....mature and well behaved and of a breed that will be balanced for eggs and meat.


    Will you incubate or hope for a broody hen?
    Got a plan and space for brooding and integrating new chicks into the flock?
    Learned to slaughter those extra cock/erels and old hens?
     
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