separating a roo

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kimice, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. kimice

    kimice Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    39
    Apr 30, 2011
    Hello all! Just had a quick question. I have been separating my roo from my hens for about a week now. He has his own little house with a roost and the girls have the coop. He sleeps in there by himself at night, but he stays out during most of the day while I am at work. I do let the girls out for a couple of hours each afternoon and pretty much all day, if I'm there, on the weekends. This is my first time having a flock. I did it simply for the reason of not having my hens harrased all day. So, I am just wondering if this is acceptable, or does he need to be with the hens all the time? [​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    114
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Providing you have enough hens for your roo, I see no reason to seperate. A roo lives to care for and protect his hens. That's his job.

    If you find that he's giving one individual hen too much "attention" they make saddles for hens.
     
  3. kimice

    kimice Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    39
    Apr 30, 2011
    He has 5 hens so I'm hoping that should be enough. oh boy...now i feel bad! [​IMG] When I go home today I will let him in with the hens. It is funny though, because I don't even have to chase him into his house. When I go out to the barn at dark he is in his house and the girls are in the nesting boxes in the coop. He is such a good roo. [​IMG]
     
  4. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    He should be fine. Would he prefer to be with the girls, of course. If he had a buddy roo it would be even better but at this stage, they would probably fight esp. since they weren't raised together and can see the girls.

    We have a bachelor pad, 3 roos raised together. They see the girls when the hens free range (the boys get out after the girls are put away) and no problems other than the Alpha roo throwing his weight around once in a while. But it never happens when the hens are out. The boys all get very quiet, I think they are all too entranced watching the girls to fight with each other...not what I expected.

    My vote is to keep him in his own mancave. If you want to allow conjugal visits, I'm sure he'd appreciate them.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    114
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Slightly OT - your girls sleep in the nestboxes? I assume they are too young to be laying yet? Up to you, but sleeping in the nestboxes is a bad habit that will eventually lead to poop covered eggs. Best to train them that roosts are for sleeping and nestboxes are for laying eggs, IMHO.

    I currently have one little roo to 30-something hens. The majority of my hens are much older than the roo. He sure is a happy little roo though. Allowing a roo to take care of the hens adds a whole 'nother aspect to flock dynamics. It's heartwarming to see a roo guard his hens, romance and provide for them. Chicken matings are not pretty, but so long as the hens are mature enough to allow it, it's over quickly with neither the roo or the hens being upset by it.

    Currently my roo is not able to tread any one of my hens to the point that he wears their back feathers down, but I have hen saddles on hand should it happen.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    114
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    P.S. My little polish roo may be a bit useless as far as predators are concerned, due to his crest restricting his vision, but he has one quality that I really love. He doesn't go in at night until all the hens have. He makes one last security check around both coops before going in for the night himself. If one of the pullets is dragging her feet about going in, he finds her and encourages her in.
     
  7. kimice

    kimice Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    39
    Apr 30, 2011
    Man I feel like an chicken idiot! I so need to get that book Raising chickens for Dummies. [​IMG] I thought that roosters slept on the roost and the hens were supposed to sleep in the boxes! They are laying, but oddly enough they lay in the middle of the day. Everyday when I come home from work I have eggs. Someone makes a nest and the girls all lay thier eggs in one nest. I haven't had any trouble with poo on the eggs so far, but I do put fresh hay in the boxes everymorning for just that reason. I guess I need to work on setting up a roost in the coop. I am learning as I go.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    114
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Don't feel like an idiot. Us humans aren't born with the knowledge of how to take care of something we've never had before. [​IMG]

    I change my nestbox hay once a week, for sanitary reasons. I would hate to have to change it every day; especially with the price of hay fixing to go through the roof this winter.

    Two by fours with the four side turned up make excellent roosts. Unlike other pet birds, a chicken prefers not to have to grasp with their feet all night long. What they do is, jump up on the roost using their feet for balance and then let go of the roost, resting on their keel (breast) bone. This allows them to cover their feet, a must during cold winter nights. Be sure and locate your roost(s) higher than your nestboxes. Chickens instinctively want to go as high as possible to roost. If your nestboxes are higher than your roosts, they will invariably want to use the nestboxes for sleeping. So your hens have already developed the bad habit of nestbox sleeping. You can break them of it, but it does take patience. Place your roost and then go in there after dark and relocate them to the roost. It may take a few days of doing this every single night, it may even take a week or longer, but eventually they'll get the idea.

    As far as laying goes, it takes approx. 26 hours for a hen to produce an egg. What I've noticed with the majority of my hens is this - They start out laying in the early morning. Each day they lay about an hour later than the day before. Once they reach the day where it's too late in the evening to lay, they skip a day and start the cycle all over again by laying early the following day.

    Good luck to you.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by