sad sad day

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Heather7, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. Heather7

    Heather7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone. I lost 4 of my chickens yesterday to an idiot neighbors dog that she decided never needed to be contained. Anyway. One was a rooster. I was trying to decide if I wanted to keep him as a rooster or not, as I was supposed to have all hens. They are young. 1 group born in May and the other in July. Now that I have seen how a rooster protects the girls I think I would've kept him. He was nice and not aggressive in anyway. So, my questions for you fabulous chicken gurus:
    By having a rooster how do you determine which eggs to eat and which ones would be babies? Or is it if you leave for a hen to sit is about the only way?
    2. How hard would it be to get a new rooster with such an age difference? Would he catch up.and take his stance as king?

    Thank you for any insight. I am still trying to recover from the horrible day yesterday and hoping the 2 with missing feathers are dead so they aren't suffering or come home. I feel awful that it happened
     
  2. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    I can't answer your questions, but I just wanted to offer my sympathies for your loss. I hope you and your neighbor get things sorted out before you replenish your flock.
     
  3. Heather7

    Heather7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you!!! Sadly she is/was a good friend who got a very loud a** chewing. I am just glad I had Omelet (rooster). I think I would've lost more of my girls
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, there will always be one predator or another around (whether it's an uncontained dog or a wild animal) putting our flocks at risk while they are outside of an enclosure.

    As to your questions - if you have a rooster in the flock, you assume all eggs are likely to have been fertilized, but that does not mean you can't eat them. A fertilized egg will only develop into a chick once a hen has begun to "set" the eggs to incubate them. By collecting your eggs on a daily basis this is not an issue and if/when you decide you want to hatch some eggs you can either place them under a hen who has decided to go broody or use an incubator.

    Roosters are a dime a doze right now due to all the people, like you, who got "pullets" this spring and ended up with a cockerel as a surprise. You can likely find a bird around the same age as your birds (many of them free as people just want rid of them) and then go through the introduction process with your flock without having to mess about with brooding a new chick (which you would actually need/want to get more than one chick - perhaps some more pullets and the cockerel - because a lone chick is not really a good idea) and raising them to the age at which you could start the integration process with your existing flock (good rule of thumb is 16 weeks of age - 12 would be pushing it). That being said, even a new rooster in the mix will not guarantee protection of your flock from the next predator attack.
     
  5. Heather7

    Heather7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I appreciate your info. I have a lot to learn. This is my 1st flock and I want to do good by them. I am scared to let them out now. Poor girls are confused I think..
     
  6. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry to hear about this, Heather. I am a big fan of roosters in the flock-- both for defending the girls and keeping order in the flock. It truly is something to see a rooster standing tall and proud fighting off a swooping hawk while all the girls have taken cover in the brush.

    If you lived near me, I would give you a rooster and a couple pullets from my June 22nd hatch. [​IMG]
     
  7. Heather7

    Heather7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh my goodness..... you are so nice. I was undecided about the rooster but only because I hadn't done any research on keeping them. I think I will look around and see if I can find one. Thanks you!
     

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