To breed or not to breed?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LittlenRedHen782, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. LittlenRedHen782

    LittlenRedHen782 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    South Jordan UT
    I am new to chickens I got my first chicks in March and now understand a friends attachment to her birds. [​IMG] In my little flock of RIRs I have at least one roo for sure. He is mild mannered and I am thinking that I want to keep him for breeding. I am just wondering if I should make him and a couple of the girls thier own yard and house so that I know that the possible furtile eggs are separated from the rest of the eggs? If it is worth the effort? Should I let the hens raise any chicks or should i take on that job? Are there ways to reduce the noise of a roo? How should I select the hens? [​IMG] and many more questions that I am not sure i know right now. Any advice would be helpful and welcomed.

    The roo
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    some of the hens (I hope they are all hens)
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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I am just wondering if I should make him and a couple of the girls thier own yard and house so that I know that the possible furtile eggs are separated from the rest of the eggs?

    How many hens will you wind up with? One RIR rooster should be ale to keep 10 or 12 hens fertile with no problem. If you have more hens than that all eggs might not be fertile, but a lot will.

    Should I let the hens raise any chicks or should I take on that job?

    RIR are not considered a broody breed. They have been bred for production for so long that the urge to go broody has been mostly bred out of them. Not entirely, but mostly. You may get lucky and get a broody, but I would not expect it. You may want to look into incubators, either homemade or commercial. I will warn you, incubating can become addicting. If you do get a broody, there are reasons both ways. To me, a lot of the answer depends on how much room you have. If you do get a broody, there will be plenty of time to post a specific question on that before you have to make up your mind.

    Are there ways to reduce the noise of a roo?

    Before the sun comes up, making sure he cannot see any lights at all, even in the distance, may help; no street lights, no house lights, no security lights, no car lights, no moon light. No guarantees, but this may help. After the sun comes up, no. Not exactly true, but I hope you get the point. He is going to crow! To reduce noise of a rooster, distance helps, trees or something between you and him to absorb the sound helps, keeping him penned up inside a building helps keep the sound down. I don't like any of these as I like to be able to see the coop and run from the house and I want them all out of the coop during the day.

    How should I select the hens?

    Select the hens that have the traits you want the new chickens to have. It could be personality, appearance, early laying, fast growth, getting through a molt quickly (actually an important one as these will lay more eggs), or any other trait you want. If you do have a hen go broody, I'd select her eggs for my next hatch. On the other hand, I do not let any chickens that show any trait I do not want breed. If they have difficulty hatching, deformities, slow growth, personality quirks I don't want, whatever, I mark them to assure they will not breed.
     

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