When to replace the roo?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by siroiszoo, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been slowly changing my flock over to Australorps over the past 4 or 5 years. Now that I have only Australorps, I'm wondering if my 5 year old roo needs to be replaced with a nice looking, 20 week old offspring of his. I'm raising for eggs (mostly); meat when there is an exessive amount of chicks in Spring & Fall.

    Normally, with the egg layer variety that I used to raise, I'd leave several roos out and let them decide who was alpha. It was never a problem keeping several roos in the flock of 20+ hens. But with the Australorps, my experience has been different. They will not tolerate any other roo and will fight to the death.

    Is this normal for this breed? I don't know. But I'm also wondering when I should replace the older roo since I can't leave several roos out and let nature take its course.

    Also, my foreigner, next door neighbors LOVE chicken fighting. I do not want to be a source of encouragement or entertainment for them. Therefore, I'm reluctant to throw my best roos together to let them work things out. Butcher dates are on the horizon and I must make a decision soon.

    Opinions anybody?
     
  2. Well alot of people on this thread have a different coop for eack rooster. That could work. Are yoyr chickens free-range?
     
  3. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens are free ranging (sold my horses and gave the chickens the pasture). I have one large hen house (turned one of my horse stalls into a hen house).

    The only other pen I have is close to the house, smaller, and used for the birds being readied for butcher.
     
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are going to raise chicks from your flock and you decide to keep one rooster, at five years old he may not have it in him to cover the 20 hens in the flock. The result would lower your hatch rate. The son at 20 weeks may not be old enough yet to do the job this spring. Tough choice if they are going to fight. Make a temporary pen some place for the young cockerel to finish growing in, would be a solution if possible, if you can't use your small pen near the house.
     
  5. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I think your experience has been unusual with the roos not tolerating each other. Nothing about Aussies are that they're exceptionally aggressive and intolerant of other roos, like say Aseels. If your older roo is intolerant of a beta roo, I'd get rid of him and keep two younger roos. I personally keep a back up roo, especially if you free range. You run the risk of losing your roo to a predator and then you'd be out of luck until you could locate another, pass quarantine, etc.
     
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  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    What Donrae said.

    Keep a couple of youngsters. If they are 20 weeks now, 24 weeks at the end of March? They're very likely to be sufficiently capable of fertilizing the hens. By end of April, they'd be 29 weeks old and surely, they'll do the job. I'd not keep a 5 year old rooster unless he was some kind of National Champion and even then, his activity would be slooooooow, in most cases.

    If the younger cockerels end up not getting along, well then, choose the best and eat the rest.
     
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  8. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    donrae[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] Another good point.[/FONT]
     
  9. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens Thanks. Especially, going to remember your last statement [​IMG]
     
  10. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you everyone! Sometimes, life gets so busy I can't "see the trees for the forest". Your comments have helped me get back on track.

    I had just recently swapped my flocks all around. The older roo & his hens had been in the pen close to the house (born & raised there). But living in the Houston area, we don't get much of a winter and the flies & smell can be a bit over powering in the summer time being so close to the house (especially if a hen sets a nest and starts breaking the eggs beneath her!)....even with lots of cleaning & maintenance it's just the nature of the environment.

    It's only been about a week since the "big flock move/rotation". The older Roo & his hens joined the youngsters (mostly, if not all, hens) while I moved all the roos to the pen closest to the house for butcher. Yesterday, while contemplating what to do, I noticed that I have two nice looking young roos instead of one. So, with the info I've received on this thread, I intend on moving the two young roos back to the main flock.

    Side note: The 15 or so young hens/roos were hatched for the purpose of raising for meat. But while noticing how nice some of the roos had turned out in this particular hatch, it got me to wondering about fertilization with older Roos and what to do if a predator takes out my roo. But then, there was the fighting problem with this particular roo and the fact that I hadn't worked with this particular breed before. So as butcher date quickly arrives, I need to make quick decisions. THANKS TO ALL!

    As DonRae & Fred's Hens suggested, I'll butcher the older roo if he starts killing. I've never had a roo fight like this one so I wasn't sure if it was the breed or rogue roo.

    I'm back on track with my flock but if any others have anything to add to this thread, please feel free. I'm always learning and absorbing info from this forum.

    THANKS AGAIN!
     

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