When do I seperate...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gogoalie, May 21, 2010.

  1. gogoalie

    gogoalie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My roo from my hens to prevent chicks? I've three hens & a Roo that are 'bout 8 weeks old, & I'd like to harvest eggs from them, sans fertile.

    As well, I've a Dom X Roo, & a Barred Rock hen, an Australorp, & a Red Sex link, which hen would best suit chicks in the near future? (am thinkin' the Barred Rock...)

    Thanks...as you see, am a new egg...[​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I could tell you that you prevent chicks by not incubating the eggs. Or I could tell you that fertile and infertile eggs taste the same, have the same nutritional content, store the same as long as you keep them below incubation temperatures, and look the same unless you know what you are looking for and look really close. It is very possible that some of the eggs you buy at the store are fertile and you don't know it. But that is not your question. You may know all that and still want unfertile eggs. That is your personal business and decision.

    Hens stay fertile after a mating for about two weeks, some less and some more. Many breeders consider 3 weeks of separation sufficient to assure that the rooster that is with the hen is the father of any chicks that hatch out, but there have been cases where a very few eggs are still fertile for about 3-1/2 weeks after the last mating. So to be as sure as you reasonably can, 4 weeks separation will guarantee that the eggs are not fertile.

    I don't know what you mean by "best suit chicks". If you mean which breed is most likely to go broody, according to Henderson's Chart it is the Australorp. (Your Barred Rock is listed as a Plymouth Rock on the chart. The Sex Link is not shown as it is a cross, not a pure breed.) But in reality, it could be any of them and highly likely none of them. Whether or not a hen goes broody is very individual. Many never go broody. And many hens have had the broodiness bred out of them. If you use an incubator to hatch the eggs, which the hatcheries do as well as other commercial operations, then a hen's only job is to lay eggs. When she is broody, she is not laying eggs, but is still eating, taking up space, requires additional manpower because she needs special handling, and can stress out the other hens that are laying. So hens that go broody are usuallypermanently removed from the flock. After a few generations of removing all the hens that go broody, you are left with hens with genetics designed to not go broody very often. I would certainly not count on any to go broody, especially with only three hens. The Barred Rock and the parent stock of the Red Sex Link have had most of the broodiness bred out of them. Your Australorp may have also if it comes from hatchery stock.

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    If you mean which cross will make the "best" chicks, I don't know what you mean by "best". Any of those crosses should make good egg layers and docile hens. Since black and barring is normally dominant, I'd expect the chicks to all look a lot like the Dominique rooster in coloring, but they can take on some configuration characteristics of their mothers.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Okay...ridgerunner addressed just about everything. I did read your "when should I separate them" question a bit differently though. Are you asking at what age they will begin mating, so that you could separate them before then?? If so, then that can certainly vary. The rooster will probably start making a play for them by the time he's 18 weeks or so. Of course that will only matter if they're laying eggs by then, which they probably won't be.

    Of my 5 hens (listed in my signature), the only one to go broody is my GLW. My BA or BR are on the nest to lay their egg, and off the minute that egg's out. You might consider a BO or wyandotte of some kind if you're eventually hoping for a broody hen???
     
  4. gogoalie

    gogoalie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, here's my situation, I doubt if I am going to order any chicks, so with that, I'd like to make due with what I have...So, I've the Dom X roo, & the three hens, & would like to know which hen would best suit the roo for a nice hybrid layer/meat bird...[​IMG] (sorry I see now that I didn't clarify that)

    ps. my Dom X is growing...FAST!
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    All those hens are from dual purpose breeds. Any of them crossed with that roo should give you good laying chickens and good meat birds. I'd try hatching eggs from all of them.
     
  6. gogoalie

    gogoalie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridge, you truly are a sage & very generous! Thank you very much!

    I can't believe how fast they're growing! My Roo is HEAVY! & my two first hens are HUGE, compared to the two I just got yesterday & today, & they're all from the same hatch...Amazing! I can't wait for eggs!

    I also see that the two heavier hens (RSL & Austr.) LOVE to assert their dominance over the two (BR & one that is black & white with feathers down half it's legs, Brahma??)I just got...as they're smaller & new...The Roo also only sticks with the larger hens as well, & doesn't pay any attention to the two new additions...very intersting!
     

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