Tips for keeping chick population down

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by alessadry, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. alessadry

    alessadry Songster

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    Hello,
    Looking for some advise. I now have 13 chickens (1 cockerel and 12 pullets). I had to give away a big part of my flock yesterday because these chickens were reproducing at an alarming rate.
    I though love having at least 1 rooster, the one I have is very mellow and does an awesome job in watching over the pullets, so don't want to get rid of him. Neutering him is out of question, as I have heard not many vets do it and I don't want to stress him, so now wondering if there are other options.

    Please note; I know I can prevent chicks from hatching by simply removing the eggs from under a broody hen but I don't want to do this. I hate causing stress to my flock and getting broody hens angry and all their vocalizations would alarm the whole flock. I know, I know, I am a wimp.

    Would it work to have some of those nesting boxes where as soon as the pullet lays eggs, they roll down and away?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
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  2. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Yep, i suppose that would work. :) BTW not fussing at you but letting a hen be broody is way more stressful than taking her eggs. :)
     
  3. NNYchick

    NNYchick Songster

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    Agree with Chickassan, being broody and caring for chicks takes a lot out of the hen and her health can start to deteriorate. Also over crowding stresses the flock. Try the roll away nest box but don’t be afraid to take eggs. You could also put fake eggs in nestbox so it’s not empty but it is best to break a broody for her own health if you don’t want chicks.
     
  4. alessadry

    alessadry Songster

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    Thanks Chickassan, by broody I meant letting them be mamas, sit on their eggs and hatch chicks, is that stressful too or are you specifically referring to the hens that warm up eggs that are not fertile? I didn't notice any stress in my hens becoming moms, but I did see stress in broody hens that thought they were laying fertile eggs. When I removed eggs from them in the past they were very upset and scratched their beak on the ground. I might be using the term broody wrong.
     
  5. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Melvin Up the Taterhole

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    Just separate the rooster from the women. Simple!
     
  6. alessadry

    alessadry Songster

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    OK, thanks NNYchick I see now your explanation. I will try the roll away next box. I have tried the fake eggs but didn't help much.
     
  7. alessadry

    alessadry Songster

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    I wish I could, but my chickens are free range and my rooster does a great job in protecting my hens from hawks and also is great in keeping them from getting into squabbles. I think he would get very stressed and frustrated if I separated him.
     
    twisted-acres-farm likes this.
  8. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Oh yeah they get mad lol! But they get over it, and it's better they get a little huffy than to get worn out by hatching and giving you a whole bunch of chicks you don't need. :)
     
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  9. NNYchick

    NNYchick Songster

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    A hen that is broody sits on the nest day and night, eating and drinking very little to stay on eggs or keep chicks warm , many times they lose weight. Hens maybe upset with you for a minute but have probably already forgotten by the time you get in the house.
     
  10. alessadry

    alessadry Songster

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    OK thanks. Yeah, I did see the dedicated moms rarely get up to eat drink. They had me worried at times, but have been keeping food and water very close to them in hopes they would eat/drink as needed, but I can see now how it might stress them.

    I might try to get the eggs then before I go ahead and buy the rolling nesting box, (up until now I have been getting eggs only when there are no chickens laying over them).

    Maybe I can try hand feeding some goodies as I reach under to make them less upset. One thing that worries me though, is what if I am reaching under by mistake a chicken that hasn't yet made an egg yet and bother her and she'll go lay the egg somewhere else? I keep them free range and it is possible for them to lay eggs somewhere else if bothered.

    I had a chicken lay eggs in one of my large flower pots before (which was sort of cool as it was right next to my door, so fresh warm egg every morning). One day I opened the door when she was laying and she got scared and never laid there anymore.

    Also, what if my mellow rooster thinks I harass the chickens (I am sure they'll vocalize when I try to take the eggs away) and from being nice turns up seeing me a threat and this makes him defensive? The chickens I have now were very skittish before and only now they are getting to trust my more.
     

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