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Was supposed to get sexed pullets and possibly have two roosters!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by festivefeet, May 7, 2009.

  1. festivefeet

    festivefeet Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Hi there.

    I bought six chicks from a person who purchased them from a hatchery. The benefit is that I could just buy six. Otherwise I couldn't have ordered them because you normally have to order at least 12 for shipping.

    I purchased 6 sexed pullets. Now that they are five weeks old, it is appears that two might be roosters. I also have one sick chick, and still don't know if she is going to make it.

    So if she does end up dieing and then I have two roosters, that will leave me with only three hens. I am feeling a bit frustrated, because I had planned to have six hens.

    Is there anything I can do? Can I get more chicks at this point and introduce them to the older ones once they are ready to go out to the coop?

    I was not planning on roosters. What problems may arise if I do have two roosters and how can I solve these problems?

    Is it bad to have one rooster? Are they normally mean to people and the other hens?

    Anything you can offer, would be great!

    P.S. Here is a link to a post I had did earlier to show off my chicks [​IMG].
    My Chicks
    Last edited: May 7, 2009

  2. Peaguy

    Peaguy Songster

    Apr 23, 2007
    If you check the hatchery websites they will tell you they can only offer a 90% accuracy on sexing chicks. It takes a very (sometimes years of training) practiced eye to begin to vent sex a chick. Try looking for yourself and see if you can tell [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] GOOD LUCK! [​IMG] We have two roos here (one Silver Laced Polish, and one RIR) and except for the occasional (only about 25,000 times a day) flare up and neck flaring (Dominance issues or pecking order stuffs) we have had no real issues They get along well basically, And are both wonderful watchdogs for my 17 hens So don't fret them just keep them in line yourself [​IMG] so they don't pull their tricks on you and you'll do great!
    Edited to fix spelling, It's very late!
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  3. hikerchick

    hikerchick Songster

    Apr 6, 2009
    Dover, PA
    You are going to need more hens.

    With chickens, always add, never subtract.
  4. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    #2 looks like a boy :-(
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Okay, here are a few answers. Some helpful, some maybe not so welcome. Please accept them in the spirit of assistance.

    First, if this little outcome frustrates you, maybe you had better rethink the whole chicken thing. Seriously, chickens are not predictable like, say, goldfish. This is especially so when you are new to them. Things happen with them you don't expect. Least of all is 'accurate' sexing - this is 90-95% at best.
    thats one out of 10, maybe one out of 20 that will be sexed wrongly.

    Mortality is another issue. You can do everything right and they still die. You dont know what you bought; they could have been diseased from the outset. Predators sneak in and kill your birds, disease runs rampant and many other factors conspire againt the chicken. With this knowledge in hand, most people who want 6 will get 10.

    You can always get more chicks and introduce them, although it doesn't always go smoothly, as chickens are not generally welcoming to strangers of their own kind. There is a period of squabbling during which time they get the pecking order sorted out. SO yes, it can be done - you can do anything you set your mind to. But be prepared for the inevitable.

    Two roosters and three hens means the cockerels will fight with each other and make a generally horrid ruckus most of the time. One can, in extreme cases, harm or even kill the other. They will also wear the hens out with mating - they cannot help themselves in this. Don't blame them, it's what they do.

    Chickens are never mean, we label them so. They only behave as Nature made them. One among 3 pullets will, again, wear the females out. The general ratio of male to female is 1:10 for common yard breeds. That means he has 200% more libido than 3 hens can absorb. There is very likely to be some difficulty for the pullets. Is that mean? No, that is something you must resolve.
    It might be better to have NO males with your 3 pullets than to have all five together.

    Whether cocks are mean to people is a matter of opinon. Cocks protect and defend their territory and their harem. They don't welcome intrusion and certainly children seem to set them off. Some people cannot abide this activity and they say the cock is wicked and mean. He is not. He does what he does... a force of nature.

    Keeping the males will require you to adapt to them, on at least some level. You will have to teach them who is boss and you will have to train your small children to stay away from them when you're not around. If you do not want to deal with a rowdy cock, or have children you worry about, then perhaps removing the males elsewhere or culling them is a good bet.
  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You can buy as few as 3 from here:


    They probably have a waiting list though, as most everyone seems to this year....
  7. Redhead Hen

    Redhead Hen Songster

    Apr 14, 2009
    Rising Sun, Maryland
    I had 2 RIR roos with 4 hens. Since the roos grew up together, there were no problems between them. Granted, there was an occasional skirmish, but no bloodshed. [​IMG]

    I totally agree with Davaroo on the ratio thing. My poor hens were getting more than they bargained for! One was the favorite of both roos and she had lost lots of feathers on her back. We had to enlarge our run so the hens could run away. That solved the problem to a degree. But the best option would have been to re-home one of the roos. (Or invite him to dinner!)

    IMHO, I would try to re-home one of your roos and find some pullets. Check Craigslist ... you may get lucky and find some pullets. I would try to add pullets to your flock and if you are down to 1 roo, things should be fine. Just make sure they can either free-range or have a large run - that way the hens can run from the roo if need be.

    Hope that helps!

  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:These are some great ideas.

    I launched into the diatribe above for the simple fact that so many people leap without looking. They get some chickens and then start learning reality. Its like puttin' the cart before the horse. It dawns on me now that you aren't fresh out of the egg, as you do have 91 posts at his point. But, since Im not really big on "enabling" as many here like to call it, I prefer you hear some straight skinny up front . SO bear with me and thank you.

    Perhaps the guy who sold you the chicks can work out something with you. He may be willing to take back the males, as he seems to have mucked up his end of the deal in terms of sexing them. It's worth a shot, trying to negotiate.

    There are bound to be other chicken people nearby, too, who can help with a few pullets to help round things out for you. Usually, where there is one - there are others.

    I'd try to go local before ordering chicks. The fewer you buy, the more they cost. Besides, local sources may offer chicks or started birds better adapted to your locale and they won't have to endure shipping trauma to get to you.

    Just hang tough and keep plugging.
    Last edited: May 7, 2009

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