what would you do?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mom2punkadus, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. mom2punkadus

    mom2punkadus In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2010
    Carter Lake, Iowa
    My dad bought my girls a chick at a 4-H show and rodeo last month. It's between 4-6 weeks and already is a definite roo. Big red comb, and feathers are coming is pointy, not rounded. My hens wont accept him or I would let him winter over in our coop and have him processed or give him away in spring.

    I've listed him twice on Craigslist with 10# bad of chick feed for free. No replies. He's alone and wont stay under the heat lamp and I'm afraid he'll freeze this winter.

    What should I do and how do I get rid of this roo? DH is saying to take him to the woods and let him go and hope before nightfall that the wild turkeys take pity on him.
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    It's too early to try to integrate him into the flock. You'll probably have better luck if you try when he's around 12-14 weeks old. Raising singles is hard, but a mirror and stuffed toy can help to make them feel less lonely and more secure.

    At 4-6 weeks he doesn't need as much heat so he may just be moving away from the light to a spot that is a bit cooler and more comfortable. You don't say where the brooder is, but if it's inside he probably doesn't need the heat lamp at all at this point.

    Please don't take him out into the woods. The wild turkeys WON'T take pity on him, he'll either be eaten by something or die of hypothermia. It would be much kinder to butcher/cull him rather then tossing him out in the wild.

    ETA: Maybe send him home with your dad since he thought it was such a great idea to bring the kids a single unsexed chick...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  3. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I would start by leaving DH in the woods overnight and see if gods creatures take pity on him.
    Then while you have a nice quiet house you should take the time to post a few more craigslist ads.
    It might just be timing. Have you posted it on here along with your location?
    I dont see your location listed. I hope you are able to find him a home. until then, let him grow a little more til he could handle himself in the flock.
    They sure do grow fast.
    Do you let the girls loose in the yard? I would let him loose,(in a few more weeks) and then let the girls out to join him, where he can get away if he wants to.
    A few short introductions out of the run might help them get together/accept him in the flock.
  4. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    Quote:Try calling your local feed store. Mine has cages where you can bring in chickens and people can take them home. I have re-homed 2 roos that way. I also needed to get rid of one in a hurry and no one responded to "free" ads on CL. So I posted on CL that I would pay someone $10 or $20 to take him (can't remember). I would deliver him to them to make sure they were "chicken people." He went to a great home and they refused my money! Sometimes you have to get creative.

    Good luck!
  5. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    I had to list my extra roos on CL for 3 or 4 weeks before I found them a home. Just when I had given up hope a really nice woman came a took all three to breed with her very large flock or Marans.

    I suggest setting up 2 or 3 email addresses and listing them every 2 to 3 days so your ad doens't get buried. If you're persistent I'm sure you'll find someone!
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Most chicks fully feather out at 4 to 5 weeks of age. He does not stay under the heat lamp because he is uncomfortable in that heat. With his down coat, he is too warm. You can turn the heat lamp off.

    You don't say what the weather will be like this winter where you live. When I was growing up, we had chickens that would roost in trees in the winter. It was a tree well protected from the wind, but the air temperature would sometimes get below 0* F. He may not freeze to death by himself this winter even if he is on his own if you provide him a place to sleep out of the wind and weather.

    I don't know what you mean by your hens won't accept him. Do they peck at him to teach him his place in the pecking order or do they try to kill him? That is two different things. Broody hens will wean their chicks anywhere from 4 weeks old to much older. She has already taken care of the integration issues, but not the pecking order issues. The other hens can be pretty mean to those chicks to teach them their place in the pecking order. The two places I notice it the most is on the roost as they are getting settled at night and at the feeder.

    He is a little young to integrate but probably not too young to start. I don't know your set-up. If you have plenty of space, you can let him roam with the flock during the day. He probably will not mingle with them that much, though as a lone chick he might. I have not done it with a single chick. Set up an extra feeding and watering place or two so the others don't keep him away from the food and water. If yours are like mine, they will wipe out the feed you set up for him before they touch their own, even if it is the same feed, but he will get some. Provide him a separate place to sleep. Keep him in there a few nights so he gets used to it being home to him. Again, I don't know what will happen to a single chick. He may try to sleep with the others instead of going to his lonely bachelor pad. Eventually I would expect him to move into the coop with the others. How soon, I don't know.

    This will probably not work if you keep them locked in a run all the time so he does not have room to get away, but if you have room, I think it has a pretty good shot at working.

    Good luck!

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