Which Roo To Keep?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jenifry, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Keep the RIR!

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  2. Keep the BO!

    8 vote(s)
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  3. Let my little Ameracauna Roo grow up and Make everything I hatch mutts!

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  1. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good Morning All! I am picking up some new chickens from a local rancher, here's my problem....

    I have a RIR Roo named Ronnie, he is beautiful and a very good flock protector, but a JERK to my seven year old. I have 12 RIR hens. The Roo and 3 hens I am considering getting are BO. They are 9 months old and the Roo is supposed to be very tame and good with children. When all is said and done I am going to put a few of my hens in the freezer with one of these two roos. Now....

    I'd like opinions as to which cross would be better? The RIR Roo and BO Hens, or The BO Roo and RIR Hens. I know either way I will get some chicks that are purebred, but as for production and attitude I don't know what to do. I could hatch out some of the eggs that I am currently getting and hope for a better tempered RIR Roo but RIR are notorious for being aggressive. The one we have was handraised by my children and still thinks he's allowed to be the devil. Anyone have an opinion or educated guess for me??

    Side Note, I have a 6 month old Ameracauna Roo as well, but he's a flyer and flies up and lands on my shoulder every time I walk into the pen and it's annoying. If I keep HIM, I will have all mutts.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'd take my chances with the buff orp roo. Roosters that are mean to kids go to the freezer, around here. I would never breed an aggressive bird (or any animal, for that matter), I just wouldn't want to roll the dice.

    I've seen pics of buff orp/rir crosses on this board a lot, they're handsome birds, nice and meaty for table birds and folks say the pullets lay very well.

    My other opinion is don't let your kids try to make a pet of the new rooster. Roosters and kids don't mix well, it's best if each keeps a respectful distance from the other. Hens can make nice pets, roosters are livestock.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  3. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had heard that an aggressive Roo often throws like babies... He isn't aggressive toward me or anyone else in the family, just my youngest and I believe it's because she is afraid to show him who's boss. It is definitely why I lean toward culling him.
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As far as which cross would be better, it's 6 or one half dozen of the other between the BO & RIR.
    Sounds like you answered your own question about the RIR roo, he needs the boot. The Ameracauna roo annoys you so sounds like his fate is sealed too.
    I'd get the BO roo and keep him until he falls out of favor or something better comes along.
     
  5. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the opinions. I'd like to find one Roo and keep him. I don't want a flock of mutts, and I don't fancy getting attached (Like we did with Ronnie) just to find someone better in a year... I don't have any predators to speak of but cats, and Ronnie keeps cats far away.... hopefully this new guy will too. I am in this for meat and egg production, and my reds all seem scrawny. I would like to be able to hatch my own freezer fodder, and HATED the CX I got. I heard BO go broody more often, and am hoping they have a better carcass than the production RIR I bought last year.
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You'll be able to tell the difference in eggs of the two breeds. You could only incubate the Orpington eggs and eventually have just a Orpington flock.
     
  7. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like my RIR hens, I have never had a problem with aggression, which I suppose could be because I had my other birds first, and my RIR were on the bottom of the ladder growing up. I am wondering what will happen when I get my BO, and I am just a little concerned with the broody aspect. I want eggs... Ugh. My luck I'll breed to a bunch of aggressive broodies crossing the two breeds... :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Just to start off, I’d keep the BO myself. You’ve had some good reasons.

    Personally I like mutts. It’s like opening a box of chocolates when the eggs hatch. You never know what you will get. Some people just like a purebred flock, but if your goals are eggs and meat, does that really matter?

    Chickens generally take on the traits of their parents. There are breed tendencies but don’t get too hung up on breeds. Strain within the breed is more important. What I mean by that is that if you take a flock of Rhode Island Reds and selectively breed the roosters that are not aggressive, in a few generations you have a strain of RIR’s that are generally not human aggressive. If human aggression is not part of your criteria when selecting your breeders, you can wind up with a flick that is fairly human aggressive. Historically RIR’s have been bred for production, human aggression is not a trait that is bred out of them. Other production things are more important. But there are some people that have bred RIR’s with human aggression in mind. They have some really nice roosters.

    Buff Orpingtons are not production birds. Historically they have been more like pets so human aggression is more likely bred out of them. You can still occasionally get a real nasty BO, but your overall odds of getting a less human aggressive rooster is just what you are seeing, with the BO.

    Another trait chickens inherit is egg production. If your RIR’s are laying really well, their offspring will inherit some good genes. If they don’t lay well, they won’t. Same thing with the BO’s. If you cross the two flocks, the offspring will probably lay somewhere close to the average of the two parent flocks. It doesn’t matter which breed is the mother or father. Both contribute genes. It is possible to get RIR’s that don’t produce well. If someone is breeding for show only, the judge does not see the chicken’s egg production so egg production may not be high on the list of traits that person is breeding for. Still both BO’s and RIR’s from hatcheries should lay pretty well.

    Same thing for size. That is something else they inherit. Hatchery chicks are so mixed up with genetics you can get some really big differences in the size of the chickens. That‘s not a trait many hatcheries are going to breed for. But if you keep and breed your biggest roosters, in a very few generations you can increase the average size of your flock. You’ll still get some small ones, but the average size can go up a bunch. Just eat the ones you don’t want to eat and breed the ones you do.

    I’m not that much into breeds. I’m more interested in the individual chicken, it’s behaviors and production, when I select my breeders.

    Good luck with it.
     
    2 people like this.
  9. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your insight. I have some scrawny RIR hens, I am culling those before I do any hatching. :) I can not believe that the standard for size is said to be 6.5-8.5 pounds. I have some that barely weigh 4. I would like to keep the size, and at least a good portion of the egg production. I have been getting 6 eggs out of my 12 RIR hens through the winter with no light or heat, and that works well for me, though I expected more out of first year layers. I like the Orpington size and attitude, my best friend has had a few, and I do need at least one that goes broody. I don't have the patience for an incubator just yet.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    That's thanks to the Leghorn blood that's been added to most all hatchery production stock. Makes smaller birds that eat less that really churn out eggs. I've come to realize so much "dual purpose" hatchery production stock are basically different colored Leghorns.
     

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