Rooster questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nlsf, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. nlsf

    nlsf Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2017
    I've only had four hens. But I've been thinking of getting a rooster for breeding perposes when needed. I am new to this chicken thing as I only have four hens that I got last spring. Do you guys keep your hens and roosters separate? How many roosters do you guys have? I've heard of "mean" roosters what's your experience with that? Basically any rooster info would be welcomed!
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The usual number given is one rooster per ten hens. One winter when I was starting I did carry over one rooster with four hens but only until I added 9 pullets early the next spring. It depends on your set up, the room the birds have and the individual birds and the age of the rooster (You might want to get an older one who has slowed down and isn't so hormonal.) but there is still a good chance your hens will be very overbred.
    What kind of hens do you have? Do they go broody or do you have an incubator? You may be better off getting fertile eggs and not having to deal with a rooster having that few hens.
    But if you do hatch your own chicks, be prepared that at least half of them will be cockerels and plan accordingly. I've had some hatches that were 100% male.
    [​IMG] Overall I hatch more cockerels than pullets but that is normal. While people say 50-50, it often comes out to a little more...55-45 I've read several times.
    By the way, I do love my roosters. There is nothing better than a well behaved rooster but nothing worse than an aggressive one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  3. nlsf

    nlsf Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a buff Orpington, who sometimes gets broody but not often, two americanas and a Iowa blue, I'm not very fond of the Iowa blue. But I'm in the proscess of getting and incubator so I can hatch eggs. However I wasn't sure what people typically do with any males they hatch, do they just have a separate coop for all the roosters, do they eat them all or keep a few around? I wasn't sure for the pros and cons of roosters.
     
  4. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there anyone to mind the crowing? They can get pretty loud.

    How often will you be hatching eggs? Enough for him to justify his feed?

    If you decide to do it, look for one around a year old or better, with a reputation for being sweet and decent. The breed... depends on what your goal is for the chicks.

    From those chicks, roughly half will be male. They cannot live together with females at a 1:1 ratio. Or a 1:2 ratio. Or even a 1:5. You must either have a coop for every male and his girls, or provide double the standard of space and at least 8 girls for each of them, for them to keep a distance from each other. Typically, only roosters who are raised together get along well for the long term. Sometimes they realize that teamwork is better than solo kingship, if there is another rooster they can hate together.

    Selling solo males is a chore, but giving them away for free is usually pretty fast. Eating them is another viable option, but the work of it isn't really worth it if they're scrawny. It takes quite some time, 6 months or better, that you're spending on their upkeep and diet just to get a little bit of meat, depending on the breed. The light layer breeds just aren't built for it, the big breeds need time to reach the size.
     
  5. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would only sepreate mmy roosters when young.When they are young their hormones are wack.Some (Most) cockerals begin raping hens,and lots of pecking irder changes happen aroudn their teenage months (4 to 8 months).
    Be patient with them,it is really hard fir them to control it all.You may need establish an order between them and you,but just take your time.

    Depending on your rooster,your amount of hens might work.Roosters who breed a lot will defiantly overwell your hens by mating extremely too much and you will begin noticing barebacks,and wings and bald heads,you may want to see what and hiw your rooster tuens out.If he is a continuous breeder,I would defiantly consider more hens.Most would say 1 roo for every 10 hens.

    I have 3.2 with my big girls,and 1 little cochin rooster with his 3 little pullets in a separate coop.I have about 22 or more hens with 2 roosters.But,they breed too mcuh,and the cockerel is extremely too aggressive when it comes to mating,so with alk my hens,no need to separate him.My oldest rooster who is about nearly 2 years has recently begyn chasing some hens due to spring time.You will also notice mire mating in the spring rather then you would in fall or winter.

    I have only ever had one roostet with aggression problems,and he is gone to a new farm.My current ones are pets,and so far I have no problems with them.Some roosters are aggressive because of the way they are raised,some just are because it runs in the family,and like mentioned before young roostets will test you too.
     
  6. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some people have bachelor coops.Which comes in handy for if you want to keep extras,or youbbreed,or you like to switch your roosters around often,or your having fighting problems between roosters.

    Some will eat theirs or give them away.

    But they are also very good protectors,they dow arn the area of predators,they call hens to food,water and even shiw them nice dusting spots nd where to lay eggs.Lots of time when you bring new layers in they will encourage/show them nesting spots,regardless if it is the nest boxes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    A lot depends on your space. Do you have close neighbors? Do you have a big enough coop/run set up?

    I recommend finding someone locally. Check with the county extension agent, the feed store, and see if you can get the name of someone locally that raises chickens. As stated above, one gets more roosters than needed. The rooster you want, is an extra rooster that has such good behavior, that the owner can't quite get him harvested. If he is close to a year old, that would be best.
    By that time, his personality is pretty developed, he has be most likely raised with multi- generational flock, and has had some manners beat into him.

    If you have a small coop, live in town with close neighbors, or have small children under the age of 6 I don't recommend getting a rooster. Roosters are a crap shoot, some are darlings and some are nightmares.

    If you have a broody hen, let her sit for a couple of weeks, and slip day old chicks under her. All of the fun of chicks with the flock, none of the work, and you don't have to deal with the rooster issue.

    Mrs K
     
    2 people like this.
  8. nlsf

    nlsf Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I was wondering about tricking the broody chicken with the baby chicks. Have you had success with this? How did you accomplish it and how does it work?
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I have had good success with this. I slip the chicks in under the broody at night with as little light and commotion as possible and take the eggs away. I have never had a problem with this method.
     
  10. nlsf

    nlsf Out Of The Brooder

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    Does the amount of chicks you put under the hen need to be the same amount as the eggs you remove or are they not smart enough to figure out if there's a couple extra chicks than eggs?
     

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