Wanting chicks but what if I end up with roosters?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by VanillaShake311, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. VanillaShake311

    VanillaShake311 New Egg

    Sep 2, 2009
    I have been doing some research and would love to rear my own chicks all the way up to adults...... but what if some of the chicks end up being roosters? I live in Dallas, Texas and in my area we are allowed to keep only hens. I am not particular about changing the law to keep a rooster but it sounds like it is very difficult to sex chicks and I may have to buy more than I would like to get females. Now would it be alright to keep the chicks long enough till they show signs of their sex and then adopt the males out? Or do you think someone will come along and try to write me up for it?

    By the way just started reading the Raising Chickens for Dummies book and it's great!
    Also bought Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens.

  2. Don Jr

    Don Jr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2009
    A hatchery can sex the chicks for you.
  3. Sunny the Hippie Chick

    Sunny the Hippie Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2008
    Brookings Oregon
    Quote:There are many many posts on BYC that the hatcheries messed up and sent some male chicks with the females. There is no 100% chance that you would get all females.

    I dont think you would get in trouble for the roos until they start to crow. So I would just rehome them as soon as you can tell they are male. You could always post pictures of your birds when they are mature, but not crowing age. I bet you would get the help of fellow BYCers to help you sex them..

    Good luck on your chicken adventure.
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    If you buy chicks and don't know the gender, the "authorities" won't know the gender yet either! So I think you'd be safe up until the time they start crowing, and at that point you could either have a lovely chicken dinner or rehome them. Hatcheries can sex up to 90% accuracy but you could still end up with a roo. Or, if you buy locally, you would have a 50/50 chance. If you wanted a flock of four, I would suggest getting 6-8 chicks since some of them are bound to be roos. That way you would hopefully end up with the 4-5 hens you wanted.
  5. RedStarDaddy

    RedStarDaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2009
    Quote:Do you know what breed of chicken you want? If you don't then consider what is called a "Sex-link" variety that is sexable immediately after hatch. Black sex-links are a cross between a red rooster, either Rhode Island or New Hampshire, and a Barred Rock hen, and the cockerels hatch with a white spot on their heads, The pullets don't have the spot. Red sex-links are a cross between a red rooster and one of several different white hens, including White Rock, Delaware, and Rhode Island White. The cockerels hatch with white down; the pullets hatch with some shade of red or brown.

    If you do know what breed you want or if you want an assortment all is not lost. Hatcheries breed strains with genes for different feathering in the chicks. (If I remember right, the pullets' primary flight feathers when they hatch are all one length while the cockerels' primary flight feathers are not. I could have that backwards, though.) And even if the chicks are not feather sexable then they can be sexed through a vent examination. Most of the hatcheries guarantee their sexing accuracy, which should help relieve some of your concern over this.

    But what if you are one of the 10% that does get a cockerel instead of all pullets? What then? That depends on how your laws are written. If they say, "No male birds of the species Gallus gallus domesticus", then you're stuck with rehoming a little cockerel as soon as you figure out that's what he is. The same goes if they say, "No roosters or cockerels". If they say, "No roosters", though, you may have some breathing room because the usual definition of "rooster" includes an age of over a year. Be careful of definition sections in the ordinance that say something else, though.

    Hope this helps.

  6. anngili

    anngili Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am a first-time chicken owner and bought what were supposed to ne pullets but was able to find new homes for them almost right away. Both went to homes where they are pets although one is also used for breeding. I've since picked up more chicks since I didn't get extras like people jave suggested here. This time I got a couple extra. If I end up with 1 or 2 extra birds I'm sure I can rehome them. The guy who took my first rooster has already said that he'll take any extras I get. My roosters weren't purebreds, either; they're EEs.
  7. vyshtia

    vyshtia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2009
    Norco, CA
    I bought silkie chicks from a local hatchery and they told me that if these turn out to be roos, then they'll keep exchanging with me until I get hens...that may be something you can look into? I'm not to sure how that'll work out since I will prolly be attached to these ones by the time we know what sex they are...
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] Welcome to the wonderful world of chickeneering!

    You are very smart to be considering The Rooster Question before you get your chicks. I advise all chicken keepers, no matter where they obtain their birds, to have a Plan B already in place for What To Do With Unwanted Roos. Even if you plan to keep a rooster or two, you need to know what you'll do if you get more roos than you wish, or get a roo that turns out to be unmannerly.

    Unless you purchase full-grown chickens, age 20 weeks or more, there's always a risk that your bird has been incorrectly sexed. Even professional hatcheries with their highly-paid highly-trained sexers guarantee only 90% accuracy. Some chicks & young chickens are easier to identify than others, but you can't be certain until one either crows or lays an egg.

    Chicken owners also must face the reality of life for roosters, that most of them, I'd say 90% or more, have their purpose on a plate. If you're really sentimental about your young roos you might be fortunate to find someone looking for a pet or a flock husband and will want your boy birds for that. But those positions are not always easy to find, and you may have to accept their fate as food for some grateful family.

    I think you will be fine with your local authorities if you order sexed chicks but some of them turn out to be roosters anyway. Once you know their sex for certain you can activate your Plan B for them and there should be no problem with your authorities or your neighbors.

    For your sake, I would advise you to wait before naming your chicks and getting too closely attatched to them, knitting them Christmas stockings or anything like that. You can certainly enjoy them from the start, and take good care of them, but just hold your heart back a bit until you know they're keepers.

    I wish you the greatest of success and lots & lots of enjoyment from your flock!

    edited for typos
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2009
  9. VanillaShake311

    VanillaShake311 New Egg

    Sep 2, 2009
    Thank you sooo much you all gave me a lot to think about. I will look around and have a plan B for sure....... I will see if I can talk to anyone in a county that can take roos and see if anyone would like a breeder male or a pet. I am also one of those people that gets really attached to animals so I will keep in mind that not all of them will be staying..... but I am sure I can find a home for the roos.

    So with that in place Don Jr gave me a link to a breeder who sexes their chicks so at least I will know that I will be getting some hens.

    I was looking to get a couple Polish and a couple Silkies....... I think we were hoping to have 6 chickens total. Maybe some Americanas..... I am still researching all the breeds and this is why I joined so I have all Fall and Winter to make up my mind and get everything ready for chicks come Spring time.

    I had no idea there were some many different breeds of chickens .... this is going to be tough to decide.

    I will definitely look into those sexed-breeds for sure!
  10. fadetopurple

    fadetopurple Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 15, 2009
    I don't know if this is standard for other chicken breeds, but some of my Polish started crowing at 5-6 weeks. They're so young that it's not the stereotypical crowing noise; it sounds more like they're being strangled. Regardless, even now at 9 weeks it's not loud at all, so hopefully you will know and be able to rehome them long before neighbors started complaining.

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