Rooster or not?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sphillips, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. sphillips

    sphillips Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure if I'm posting this in the right place. I'm ordering chicks today, here is what I'm ordering: Leghorn, Plymouth Rock, Sussex, RIR, and Wyandotte. I'm planning to order all hens, as I'm mostly wanting eggs. I had thought about adding a rooster or two, but don't know anything about breeding etc. If I add a couple of roosters, can I just leave them in with the flock, and if I do what are the chances I end up with fertilized eggs? I don't know if chickens interbreed (if that's the right word), and if so, would I end up with a bunch of mixed up chickens? How do you know an egg is fertilized, and can you eat them? Is it better to just have hens? I know with just hens that they will establish their own 'pecking' order without a rooster. If I do get a rooster or two, what breed do you recommend that isn't too aggressive? Will the breeds I've chosen get along together for the most part? Sorry so long, and probably confusing. New to this stuff.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you have roosters, you'll have fertilized eggs.

    If you hatch out the babies, you'll have mixed breed chickens, depending on what breed hen and rooster you have. If you have the same breed parent, you'll have purebred babies. Mixed breed chickens are not a bad thing if all you want is your own little flock and eggs, but be aware if you hatch eggs you'll get 50% roosters, and you need a plan for them.

    You have to have a very trained eye to tell if an egg is fertilized. Folks round the world eat them every day (us included).


    Do you have experience with animals? Are you comfortable establishing your dominance over an animal? Roosters really aren't pets, much as folks like to try. They're intact male livestock and need to be treated accordingly. If you have small children, or older/disabled folks on your place, I'd say no to the roo until you're more experienced. Even if you don't , I'd still advise to hold off until you're more confident and comfortable with chickens. A mean roo can be a deal breaker for a lot of folks. And seems like once folks get one, they don't want to get rid of it and wind up not enjoying their birds cause they're afraid of the roo.

    Sounds like a nice mix for a backyard flock. I have most of those birds in my coop now and they get along nicely. Just be sure you have lots of space, overcrowding leads to bad things!
     
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  3. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I totally agree with the previous poster. Roosters are like un-neutered dogs or bulls for that matter. Some are fine other... look out big time! And size doesn't matter. We had a very sweet (but very very very loud) phoenix rooster and a very small (very pretty) but also EXTREMELY AGGRESSIVE cochin bantam and let me tell you... even being smaller than a volleyball that little one could peck hard enough to not only leave bruises but blood as well. He went after us, the dog (through the fence) and even attacked a few of the less receptive hens before we got rid of him. Personally.... I wouldn't have roosters. The hens seem so much happier without him! Within days of him going away the hens were laying more eggs and seemed far less stressed.
     
  4. sphillips

    sphillips Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for replying! Yes, I do have experience with animals, dogs mostly. I do have a 131 lb Great Dane puppy that outweighs me by quite a bit, and he doesn't question who's in charge. I realize chickens are different, and after reading your post, I don't think I want a rooster. I'm expecting that I may get one on accident anyway. I do have grandchildren, who I'm sure will want to visit the chickens when they are here, and the last thing I want is a mean rooster. My coop is 12 x 12, and my run is about 10 x 20. I'm going to start with 25 birds, and hope to not lose too many once they get here. That number primarily is due to the order minimum that a lot of the hatcheries have, but I think I have plenty of room, have figured my roost length to accomodate them, and have plenty of nesting boxes made. I'm not interested in breeding, just wondered how it would work having a rooster in with my hens. I also don't have the accomodations to deal with a bunch of roosters, and I don't think they'd be easy to get rid of. So, you've answered my question. Thanks![​IMG]
     
  5. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also started with an order of 25. But don't be surprised if you receive more than 25.... the extras will likely all be males. I ordered 26... but received 46 the extra 'packing peanuts' were ALL boys.... **GULP** That's part of how hatcheries deal with the surplus of boys... freebies.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I think you're really pushing it for space, if you don't have a huge mortality rates. With that space, I'd only plan for fifteen or so. You could max the space out at 20 birds, but I've found it's way better to have fewer birds that are happier. Depending on your survival rate, you might consider selling some started pullets, or maybe splitting an order with somone local? I know that 25 chick minimum can be a bummer, cause that's a lot of birds to deal with!
     
  7. sphillips

    sphillips Chillin' With My Peeps

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    25 is more than I wanted to start with, but I'm expecting to lose a few. I thought my coop was plenty large enough. Is the size of the run an issue? We haven't finished fixing that yet, so we can make it larger if we need to. I don't know anyone here in this area, but can post a few chicks for sale if need be.
     

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