Taking out a Rooster and Replacing with a hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sebloc, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello
    We are thinking about removing 1 of our 6 chickens; a rooster. We never wanted this rooster nor desired the use it would bring to us, and we were wondering if there is much of a difference between 5 chickens and possibly 6 or 7 (in terms of eggs).

    The big question: If we do decide to go on with this process, I've heard about how some people replace chickens around the same age/older and they usually don't even notice the new bird. Is this true? If so, is it possible for us to exchange 1 rooster for a hen with no problems? Not sure if that messes up the pecking order or if a new chicken becomes the head of it. Thanks.

    P.S.: This isn't the plan as of now, we haven't quite decided on what we want to do as of now. Thanks.
     
  2. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Adding a single adult hen suddenly can be disastrous for her. Depending on how well she is received, she might be fine or she might be a bloody mess within minutes..
    Some swear if you add her at night, the other wont notice.
    I think you will need to put her in a wire crate with her own food and water in the run where they can see her for a week and then try to release her and see what happens.

    Egg production from 5 vs 6 hens? A hen should lay 4-6 eggs per week, depending on breed. Figure it that way.

    Why do you want to get rid of your rooster?
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    If they are over 1 month old, they will notice a new bird. Never a good idea to introduce a single bird to a flock.
     
  4. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I figured what I was told wasn't correct.

    We want to get rid of the rooster partially because a) he's really loud, and is already trying to discover his morning crow, and b) we'd rather not have him drive the others mad. We're not really in the need for any more chicks at any point near, so. I know we can get those no-crow collars, but the bottom line is, he's really not doing anything for us and has no real purpose to fit our needs.

    I would assume if we introduced an older, bigger bird to the group, they would fear that one bird. Our chickens rarely try to kill each other, and we've never really had any problems within the group of hens. The pecking order is pretty minimal. We only have problems with our rooster chasing around everyone and pecking at them for getting in his way of the water or food. I mean, is it possible that if we take the rooster away we'll have another chicken at the top? Maybe, but with 5-7 chickens and space for around 15, the only thing everyone fights over is a corner near the window. Pretty peaceful. If they do (did when they were younger) try to chase each other around and hurt one another, I'm usually there to make them knock it off. They look up to me as the top of the pecking order to be honest .-.

    Thanks. 4-6 eggs a week will probably be enough for our household. Thanks for all the help.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    There is always a leader in a flock, whether there are 2 birds or 20. And it's usually a hen that is in charge. Roosters are part of the flock, but they aren't really part of the hen pecking order. The girls have their own social order amongst themselves, whether a rooster is present or not.
    And adding an adult bird is a huge gamble. You have no idea what illnesses she by be carrying. A lot of poultry illnesses are 'lifelong'. Just because a hen looks healthy, doesn't mean she's not carrying something that can wipe out your whole flock.
     
  6. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I don't really mean disease wise per say, I was saying more battle wounds and scars. Most of our hens mind their own business and go on with their day. If there was one hen that would be at the top in our group, it would be our female rhode island red. Though not really active chasing around other chickens, she does discipline others for tagging each other.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If your rooster is just now crowing, I'm thinking your birds are around 4ish months? give or take. Young, anyway.

    If you want to add a bird or two, I'd say do two. Sounds like you have the space, so that's not an issue. If you add two older (around 1 year old) birds, things should be better than adding younger or same age pullets to this established group.

    Or, leave things the way they are for now. 5 hens, if they're average production type birds, will peak between 25-35 eggs per week. That's good for most families.

    keep that space for future expansion. Chicken math is a very real and present issue [​IMG]. Keep in mind, the birds you have now, hatched spring 16, will molt and quit laying in fall of 17. Unless you use lights over the winter, you'll have an eggless period of months until spring 18 and they start laying again. So, most folks keep a rolling age flock. Add say 6 new chicks in spring of 17, they'll reach point of lay when the first group is hitting molt. You'll have the new layers over the winter while the older ladies recharge, then come spring and summer you'll have an abundance while both groups churn out eggs for you. Rinse and repeat, aging out older layers as desired.

    And no reason at all to keep a rooster you never wanted in the first place. Or, any other bird that destroys flock harmony.
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What is this in feet by feet?

    Integration of any new birds takes extra space, divided by wire at first, so keep that in mind.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  9. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You pretty much covered all my questions. Thanks. Yes, they're around 4 months old. Thanks again.
     
  10. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure off the top of my head on space per bird, but I think it's around 4 square ft per chicken. It's quite a lot. Adding a couple birds wouldn't be a problem. But I think we're gonna stick with what we have now. Thanks everyone.
     

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