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Wanting to gently swap roos for pullets in 6 chick flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LindaJ, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. LindaJ

    LindaJ Hatching

    May 15, 2011
    I am just starting my urban flock - I have 6 chicks from 7 to 5 weeks old and I think 2 are roos and I want to make sure i end up with only hens as I am not permitted to keep a rooster. I have two sex-linked pullets, two barred rocks, one buff orpington and one blue laced red wyandotte (the younger chick). The two Barred rocks are very different looking so I am pretty sure one is a boy and I just wonder about the wyandotte (only 5 weeks old).

    My concern (and hope for advice here) is that the longer I wait the more likely I will be to end up with fewer chickens than I planned on because transitioning in a new member may be tricky. They are currently in a temporary tractor and the "chicken palace" is about to get underway. I have it in my mind that any chicken switching should be done before they move into the new housing.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    What, exactly, do you mean by "chicken switching"?

    Are you thinking that there is somebody out there who would take your baby roos in exchange for baby pullets?

    Or are you thinking about giving the roos away (if you can find somebody who will take them) and then buying some more (hopefully) pullets?

    I doubt that you will find somebody who will swap baby roos for pullets. Oh, sure, it is theoretically possible that there is somebody out there who would do it, but I wouldn't count on it. The two groups of people who most often want roos are folks who want to send the roos to "freezer camp," and those who want the roos for cock fighting. But nowadays, unless you live in a rural area, you will be hard pressed to find anybody who even knows how to butcher a chicken anymore. And please, you DO NOT want to release your roo to somebody who wants it for cock fighting.

    People -- especially city folks -- want pullets. Only pullets. Heck, in many areas, you can't even have a roo legally.

    It was a hard thing to do, but last year I had to shoot an excess baby roo that I couldn't find a home for. (I am one of the many city slickers who does not know how to butcher a chicken.)

    I looked long and hard for a home for my excess roos, and I was fortunate enough this year to find a home for my latest roos in a farm about an hour out of Memphis. The lady farmer who took them will let them grow to full size, and then she will (as humanely as possible) rehome them to her deep freeze.

    I hope you can find somebody like my new lady farmer friend, who can let the roos live a good life for a while before their end comes.

    But if I were a betting person, I wouldn't put any money on the notion that you can find somebody who will switch a pullet for your hen.

    For your sake, I hope I am wrong.

    I hope you do find that special somebody who will do that for you.

    But the next best thing might be to just try to find a farmer somewhere outside of town, who will take your baby roos (for free, or for a very low cost) and give them a good home until it is time for the freezer.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    You are over-worrying. There are ways to introduce new hens to a flock without mayhem. You don't have a fixed deadline.

    Did you order pullets, or did you order straight run? If you ordered pullets, I suggest you wait until you are absolutely certain before you re-home the roosters. Differences in color don't necessarily mean anything.
  4. LindaJ

    LindaJ Hatching

    May 15, 2011
    Chicken switching.....doesn't the Easter Bunny handle those calls????

    Hmmm.... somehow my original query sounded like I am not too informed. Yes, I have the original source who will take my roos because we are a) not supposed to be butchering in my neighborhood and b) we are new and not prepared to do this this time around (we did when I had chickens growing up so may in the future). I thought out chicken life and it's responsibilities, joys and unpleasantries as fully as I could before deciding to have some in the city. I do have resources. And a young daughter for whom this is her first experience. She knows they won't be necessarily "re-homed" to frolick on some farm.

    I was only trying to suss out pecking order type issues so I can manage them for my birds as carefully as possible - I want them to enjoy their life here so I am trying to limit trauma when I can.

    I do know the person I got my birds from has a limited stock of birds in the same age range - like she has 6 orp pullets left and all the rest of her barred rocks are roos. She does have some other breeds in this age I think. So I am trying to pay attention to the first-come-first-served part of this too. I realize color has no bearing - I was just saying what I have.

    Good to know I don't have a fixed deadline. I have read some other posts on the topic of mixing flocks but my flock is young still and limited to backyard-size so I am trying to find out more. The stack of books from the library didnt' have too much to say about it. I think I will go with less worrying as it sounds like it will work out eventually.

    Thank you!

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