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'Stud' service??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PAJerry, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. PAJerry

    PAJerry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am considering starting a new flock next spring, as my current hens are 3 years old now. I would really like to raise Buckeyes or Chanticlers since they appear to be best suited for our climate. I would also like to start developing a self-sustaining home flock, but I'm really not fond of keeping a rooster. Is it possible to introduce a rooster for a short period for the purpose of breeding? Does anyone even offer such a service? If I absolutely have to have a rooster, I guess I'll have to consider it. It sure is easier to order a bunch of female chicks but seems like it makes more sense to just let the flock develop on it's own and select the best ones for replacements.
    Thanks in advance for your replies - and suggestions.

    Jerry
     
  2. GwenDellAnno

    GwenDellAnno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not saying someone wouldn't consider this, but here's the rub. In moving animals from one farm to another, you increase the risk of spreading disease. So..... when incorporating new animals into a flock you would ideally quarantine for up to a month. This could get really complicated if you were introducing a roo only for stud. (He would have to be quarantined at your farm for one month before he went with the hens and then quarantined back at his own farm for another month before going back in with his own flock). Add to that the complexity of adding animals into a flock ~ the pecking order changes each time one is added or removed ~ and it just becomes very complex.... likely not worth the effort.

    I think you'd be better off to either keep buying female chicks, or order fertile eggs from someone and hatch them out. (Maybe you could get one of your broodies to do the hatching for you. Have any of yours ever gone broody?? Or buy a broody hen.)
     
  3. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I agree

    Let your broodies hatch them.

    My roo is kind of mean to people - nice to the girls but I have no idea how he would be somewhere else. I might not want him back either(LOL) The fertile eggs are so much easier and less risk.
    Caroline
     
  4. dawnchick

    dawnchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, first problem is finding a broody, as only some will go broody. (unless you have an incubator, of course; too much of a pain for me.) If you trust the roo owner and his birds seem healthy, you could skip the quarantine as some do, though that is always a gamble. Another thing is, sexing chicks is only about 90% accurate so you may well wind up with a roo anyway. You might also have trouble finding someone who even has the right breed of roo in your area; you could check this out. Ideally, you could buy your chicks or eggs from that person, so quarantine would not be an issue.

    As a rule, it is not hard to find a roo, and once they have done the deed, the hen's eggs should be fertile for around 3 weeks, so there's really no reason you shouldn't be able to do what you want to do.
     
  5. jjparke

    jjparke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're going to hatch males. Then do what with them? If raise for meat do you have separate quarters for them? You don't even want to keep one. Are you prepared to deal with that? Are you prepared to deal with lame chics and do what needs to be done with them? Are you willing to let your children play outside without you or will you need to be there at all times to supervise the rooster? Do you have separate housing for the new chics for when they are too big for the brooder but not big enough for the coop where the other chickens are? Yes the bigger chickens will kill them. All questions that need to be answered before you keep a rooster or hatch your own chics.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  6. dawnchick

    dawnchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I think roos are getting a bad name. True, some are dangerous to children and really mean, but I have had hens nearly this mean, and people have roos as pets who love to sit in laps and be petted or tickled. I have 3 right now; they are certainly not pets but they also never bother people, even kids; they just keep their distance, even when I am petting a hen. Roos that need that kind of supervision go in the stock pot here. True that one should think through the various possible developments first, but hopefully the OP has.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    What specifically are your objections to a rooster? There are a whole lot of myths going around on this site about them. There are considerations and risks when you have roosters, but many of us have roosters with our flocks and the world as we know it has not yet ended. How much space you have and how many you plan to keep will also enter into the equation.

    The risk of bringing in a rooster to your flock for a short period of time to get fertilized eggs is the risk of disease or parasites, both the risk of him infecting your flock or your flock infecting him. If your flock infects him and he carries that back to his home flock, the other flock owner will not be very happy. If he is coming from an established flock that has not had contact with other chickens for a few months, quarantine will not do you much good. He is probably already immune to any diseases he might be carrying so he will not show any symptoms in quarantine. It will give you a chance to look for and treat for mites, lice, and worms and there is always the possiblity that a wild bird has recently infected the flock with some new disease, so there is always the possibility that something will show up. If the other flock has had contact with ouside chickens recently, then I think quarantime is a great idea. With quarantine, I think it is a good idea to put one of your chickens with the new chicken in quarantine to see if they infect each other. That way, if he is carrying a disease that he is immune to, you will only be putting one of your chickens at risk. If you read this closely, I am not saying that quarantine is not worth doing. What I am trying to say is that for it to be effective, you have to put one of your chickens with him in quarantine for it to be effective because of the immunities flocks sometimes develop.

    If you do add a rooster to an all-female flock, add an older rooster, one at least a year old. That way the rooster coming in will probably be mature enough to dominate the flock immediately. There are no guarantees because thay are all living animals with their own personailties and anything can happen. I've had roosters at 15 weeks of age that dominated grown hens, but what will often happen is that the mature hens will not accept the dominance of a immature rooster that does not have the strength of personality to dominate them. They will beat him up unmercifully until he gets old enough to dominate them by force of personality. He will have the physical strength to force them, but many will actively resist and it is not pretty. Sometimes one of the hens has taken on the role of the rooster as far as flock dynamics. She may vigorously resist giving up her flock dominance role. Your odds of this going smoothly increase greatly with an older rooster and usually introducing a mature rooster to a flock of hens does go very smoothly. With a mature rooster, it is not the pecking order that changes. It is the flock dominance position.

    If you want a self-sustaining flock, you have to have a rooster. It is possible keeping a rooster is not the right answer for you. You may want to learn artificial insemination techniques and find a source for the sperm.

    With a small flock and the breeds you are looking at, it is hard to depend on a broody hen to hatch and raise repalcements. In all honesty, you are probably looking at an incubator.

    Hope this helps a bit. Good luck!
     
  8. PAJerry

    PAJerry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies. My biggest concern with a rooster was the noise factor, but they are certainly less than my neighbor's dogs. For now, I will probably purchase chicks from a good hatchery. I may try the rooster when I develop a larger flock in a few years when I semi-retire. Right now I am concentrating on developing high quality food sources on my own place to cut outside feed inputs. One step at a time I guess. The sustainable flock will happen but I need to be patient.
     

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