The 6 rooster delemma!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wingedshade, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Articuno

    0 vote(s)
  2. Zippo

    4 vote(s)
  3. Spot

    0 vote(s)
  4. Chip

    3 vote(s)
  5. Dodo

    3 vote(s)
  6. Buck

    2 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. wingedshade

    wingedshade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2016
    Delta junction, Alaska
    Hey I'm hoping for some advice on this.

    I have 36 chickens and out of them 6 are roos. Due to the size of my coop I'm selling 10 of the girls and 4 of the boys. My problem is I can't decided which ones should go and who should stay. I'm not on a computer that I can post pictures from now, but I should be able to add some later if you guys want to see them.

    There are two groups, 3 roos are from the eggs I hatched this spring and the other 3 are from the hatchery, and are about two months younger(same age as most of the girls)

    The big boys(who actively chase pullets and are kinda rough on them)

    Articuno- White leghorn/cream legbar cross. He looks like a leghorn with a small crest and a few black spots, he's very healthy and active with nice feathering and a huge comb. The comb is a concern with the cold weather.

    Spot- White leghorn/ possible cream legbar cross. The person I bought the eggs from also has a maran or maran cross roo.
    A bit larger than Articuno. Smaller comb and less of the leghorn shape. He's not at the top of the pecking order and does not crow. Mostly white with black spots, when he was little he had yellow fuzz except for a gray spot on his rump.

    Zippo- Speckled Sussex/ cream legbar cross. Very handsome, with very nice feathering. He's bigger than the other two and has a smaller crest than Arti. I had to rescue this little turd from his egg!

    I haven't been attacked, but when I do manage to catch one they sometimes bite.

    The little guys
    These ones are developed enough for me to tell they are roos, but I haven't heard any crowing and they haven't started bothering the girls yet. They don't bite when caught.

    Chip- My freebie exotic from McMurray. I think he is some kind of game bird. Tiny, but tall and skinny. Currently the only roo that will eat out of my hand and can be picked up with almost no chasing. He's adorable, but I was planning on breeding my chickens for meat and eggs. Unfortunately games are more of an ornamental breed.

    Dodo- Pretty sure he's a Light Brahma. I've had brahma hens before and I liked them, but I almost think he would be too slow growing and eat too much over time. He is kind of people shy, I think the EEs are rubbing off on him.
    Buck- Partridge Rock. Like Dodo,he came with the batch of sexed pullets [​IMG]The last PR roo I had was an attacker, but I have no idea how this one will turn out. Right now he just avoids me like Dodo. I haven't gotten attached to him like I have they Big Roos. So out of the six he's the only one I currently have tagged for sale.

    So that's what I have. From a breeding and future chicken generation standpoint I almost think I should keep Articuno and Zippo. Spot is less of a jerk though. Chip is so nice and I think Dodo has potential, also giant chickens are cool! I'm hoping for some discussion on this to help be decide. I think I'll add a poll too, just for fun.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  2. wingedshade

    wingedshade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2016
    Delta junction, Alaska
    Sorry about that, something went wrong when I posted the poll, I just fixed it!
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I'll confess - I didn't get all the way through your first post. Lots going on here, and too many words lose me. (Short attention span) Without knowing what your setup is and what your flock goals are, we really can't help. You're the only one who can make that decision. Are you breeding primarily for egg production or meat or both? How big is your coop (feet by feet)? Big enough to house 22 chickens who most likely won't go outside in the winter? Big enough for two roosters to live in peace? If you hatch out a bunch of cockerels, do you have plans on how to get rid of them?
  4. AustralorpsAU

    AustralorpsAU Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2016
    Down Under
    Yes agree with @bobbi-j
  5. wingedshade

    wingedshade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2016
    Delta junction, Alaska
    It's just barely big enough. The coop is 8x10 with a 4x4 double decker roost. I'm going to add a covered windbreak lean to which will be 6x12. I know it'll be my decision, I was curious to see what others thought.

    Spares from hatching would be sold or eaten. Although I plant to separate the flock for breeding to try to keep track of things. Most of my pullets are dual purpose, but some are more suited to one type or the other(EE vs Jersey giants) so I'd want a 'meat' roo and an 'egg' roo if that makes any sense.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Keep a leghorn mix for 'egg roo' and the brahma for 'meat roo'.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    When you look at roosters, you really need to look at the feet, bone confirmation, and the standards of the breeds as too shape and stance of the bird. You need to pick up and feel under the feathers. While I realize you have crossbreeds, which often have more vigor, they can also have confirmation issues. Good confirmation makes for better breeder, longer lives, and better genetics to pass on. I would enjoy that friendly rooster while he was young, but he would be on my go list. These are often the nightmares waiting to come into their own.

    I alway make all kinds of plans, and they never work out. Cull to three - four roosters, then cull again is my advice. Personally it is hard to pick a great rooster as a chick or immature rooster. You might seriously consider culling all of the roosters. Contact your local poultry club, and get an older mature rooster of a specific breed. Often times this bird has lived so long as he is so nice, if you don't have experience with roosters, I strongly recommend this. A full bred, or pure rooster, covering a mix-breed flock can really bring good characteristic such as egg laying and meat in future birds. Cross- breed hens covered with cross-breed roosters, will often have a much wider variation of characteristics meaning some will be good egg layers, and some will be terrible. Same ways with meat.

    It would be so handy, if your egg laying rooster just produced pullets, and your meat rooster just produced roosters.[​IMG]

    Mrs K
    3 people like this.
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    I actually agree with Mrs. K.

    I think all the mixed breeds will give you to many variables to achieve your breeding goals. And I also think it is very difficult to pick a roo when young because they change so much.

    All though leghorns will give you plenty of eggs and are light eaters, they aren't much for meat. Neither are the legbars they are crossed with. And plenty of chickens lay just as well.

    It's my understanding that you should never breed a bird that has been sick. And to me, that includes being to weak to make it out of the egg shell.

    This may be out of order or unorganized. But if a bird bites when I pick it up, I give it a good peck! Then in the next few days I follow through, picking up and testing. Anyone who continues to bite is SOUP. To me it's an indicator of aggression towards you the keeper. Unacceptable!

    Out of the ones you have listed.... Buck or Dodo sound like they fit the bill for DP best out of the given choices (to me). Buck should give you decent eggs and body size, but I am unsure of the aggression level at maturity. I have only had barred and not roos. Dodo should give you a good carcass size as well. I don't have experience with the brahma. I have 3 buff right now and 2 of them are on the menu as they are not my breeders and definitely boys. Funny the first on your list to get rid of was the first I thought you should keep! [​IMG]

    There are other things you should look for as well before you decide. Split wing, sprigs, slow feathering or late bloomers (can't tell gender at same age as the rest), just to name a few. Some how, I would think the heavier breeds would fair better in Alaska. [​IMG] You already have your girls, but I was gonna say you should also consider broodiness. To me, having a hen raise the meat birds so I don't have to provide heat or clean an extra brooder is a plus. And you and I both have enough girls not to have to worry about them all being broody at the same time.

    Incidentally I also am a raising DP flock. I have many breeds of hatchery pullets with a Lavender Ameraucana over them. I am not planning to hatch those out. I also have birds from breeders for my pure hatching/eating stock. French Black copper Marans are supposed to be a good DP breed with the darkest brown eggs and flavorful meat. And the breed I am currently in love with, Swedish flower. I keep separate pens for them.

    One question is, if you are planning to process your birds anyways.... why not process the ones you are currently considering selling? Even the smaller ones will have some meat on them. People even process their extra bantams.

    I also agree with whoever said the chickens may not come out of the coop in the winter. With over an acre of free range, my birds regularly hang out inside even during good weather, by choice! I guess it's a compliment that they are comfortable and happy in there.

    One last thing, don't you guys get pretty cold up there? With so many birds in your coop, ventilation is the key to avoiding frost bite (in case you didn't know).

    Ok, I lied. 1 more last thing. It's important that you ENJOY the birds you keep! Both their personalities and their eye appeal.

    Good luck! (sorry so long, I am passionate about breeding. Would not breed hatchery birds by choice.)
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I also didn't fully read the first post. but I'm pretty sure I got the gist of it....

    You have too many birds for your space now.

    Good for you for selling some off and keeping your numbers reasonable.

    This is your first time with birds?

    I say get rid of all the roosters.

    You don't have enough space now, you'll need to add more space for chicks next year. A broody hen needs more space in the flock than the simple math would lead you to beleive. Integrating jufeniles raised in a brooder also takes more space than going strictly by the numbers.

    Go a winter with your hen only flock.

    Next spring, make adjustments. You may be looking to cull some hens at that point, birds that don't harmonize well, or don't lay well, etc.

    At that point, if you decide you want to advance to keeping a rooster, they're usually easy enough to find. Or, you can hatch some eggs and raise one up in your more mature flock.
    2 people like this.
  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    So I agree with @donrae as well. And was thinking that adding a rooster or cockerel once the hens have matured is a better ideal. Her statements about space are insightful.

    Also, I wonder why someone would not keep the cream legbars pure. Are the not an auto sexing breed that lays blue eggs? [​IMG]
    By crossing out, it has defeated both purposes.

    Culling can mean selling if you don't want to eat the hens. Layers fetch a higher value since they are raised and ready to lay.

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