Rooster Questions...Please help a newbie!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Scootin' B Ranch, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Scootin' B Ranch

    Scootin' B Ranch New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2008
    HI all, I am new here and I have been reading and reading until my eyes hurt... lol I have 12 hens of various breeds and 3 roosters...not by choice, but my son has attached himself to "George." George is an Americauna(sp) and we have another Am rooster as well and a big white and black one. Forgive me as the breed just escaped my mind. Anywhoo... now for the questions.... Hubby came home the other day and said he was told to get rid of the Roosters or they will destroy the eggs and the hens. Is this true? I wouldn't mind getting rid of the white one but the Am's are very pretty and now my son is attached and my daughter is talking about chicks from them. (we purposely bought her a hen...well thought we were getting 3 actually) I don't have a clue as to what I am doing (as you can probably tell). They are all about 14-15 weeks old. We free range them all day too if this helps. I guess what I need to know is, what are the pro's (other than fertilization) and con's of Roosters? Also, what is this "hanging" thing people do with them? I can't get near them enough to catch them to hang them. Maybe I am in too deep..HELP!!!
     
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    With 12 hens, 3 roosters is pushing it... the usual recommendation is 1 rooster for every 5 hens, but you MIGHT be able to get away with keeping all 3.

    The things to worry about would be:

    rooster aggression towards each other - their fights for breeding rights can get pretty brutal

    over breeding the hens - they can worry them pratically to death if there are too many roosters, or you have a particularly over-eager rooster, OR they pick a 'favorite' hen that gets pestered more than the others. Overbreeding them can cause loss of feathers to fatigue/stress in the hens, to outright injury

    agression towards the humans - as roosters mature, sometimes they get pretty ornery towards the people who they see as a 'threat' to their girls - this varies widely from rooster to rooster - although there are things you can do to help establish yourselves as the 'head roosters', it seems to me that there isn't THAT much you can do if you have a really seriously aggressive rooster but put him in the stew pot.

    PROS of roosters...hmmmm....

    they will fertilize the eggs (a con for some folks)

    They will protect the flock somewhat if they free range - depends on the rooster....

    they are pretty to look at

    I like to hear them crow (not a pro for a lot of people, or maybe your neighbors...)

    If I were you, I'd just play it by ear. Recognize the fact that you MIGHT have to part with one or more of your roo-lets, but also take a wait and see attitude and deal with it when/if you end up with too much testosterone in the hen house.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  3. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Scootin' B Ranch :

    . . . Also, what is this "hanging" thing people do with them? I can't get near them enough to catch them to hang them. Maybe I am in too deep..HELP!!!

    Hanging thing? [​IMG]
     
  4. dreamgirl

    dreamgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2007
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Take a deep breathe. Exhale. Your fine. They won't destroy the eggs or the hens, that is ridiculous. However, often the "favorite" hens will get a little too much attention and the feathers on her back will be plucked out. 3 roos to 12 hens is the max ratio you would want. The bigger issues are (i) noise, (ii) fighting and (iii). If you and your neighbors don't mind the crowing (often at all hours) (i) isn't a problem. (ii) is based on their personalities and pecking order, and, unfortunatley, those will change as they mature. Only time can tell. Same for (iii). My George was very timid until he was about 1. Then he started challenging my bf, then me. He is now pretty aggresive, and sadly, we have to be aggressive back in order to maintain our status at the top of the pecking order. There are MANY good posts on how to do this humanely on here, as well as what I think you are calling "hanging", which should not be done routinely, but only when necessary.

    The pros, they can physically protect the hens in a variety of ways. They find them treats, which is very cute, and the hens like them as they act as a referee and bodyguard.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Scootin' B Ranch

    Scootin' B Ranch New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2008
    I am not opposed to rooster stew... I don't like the idea of getting torn up either. My son will just have to survive I guess and pick a hen for a pet. None were supposed to be pets but you know how kids are...lol

    Hanging thing.... I read some people hang them upside down to show dominance? Is this right?
     
  6. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    I think she means that when a roo comes after you, you grab it by the feet & hang it upside down until it calms down. <------(I don't recommend this), I pick them up and carry them under my arm, seems to have the same effect.
     
  7. dreamgirl

    dreamgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2007
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Yes, that is what I thought you meant. I read that if done too long, though, it can kill/harm them b/c it makes it difficult to breathe and messes with thier circulation, and it is also stressful on their legs.
     
  8. Scootin' B Ranch

    Scootin' B Ranch New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Wow you guys are fast!! and awesome!! So just basically a waiting game.. ok.. My son has some time. [​IMG] His rooster actually is the first on to come running when I let them out in the morning and when I call them if they stray too far. He was in my flower bed this morning and I opened the slider and yelled "GEORGE!" He jumped and then laid down in the flowers...LOL I thought I gave him a heart attack!
     
  9. Scootin' B Ranch

    Scootin' B Ranch New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2008
    So..another question... What is a good age to cull the white one?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  10. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    If you mean cull as in 'process for food' and not cull as in 'give away'...

    Anytime after 12-14 weeks through 20 wks or so. You can really eat them at any age, but the longer you wait the tougher and stringier the meat will be.
     

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