Who to Cull, or Not to Cull is the Question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mr.Clucker, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Mr.Clucker

    Mr.Clucker Hatching

    Jan 13, 2010
    Sleeping chickens do not run as fast as ones that are awake. This little trick has lead to many night time raids of the chicken house. We started with 150 chickens, and are now down to just over 50 hens. It was kind of the Breeder we purchased ours from, Not to sex them for us, under the guise that Langshans are a rarer breed. This has caused the journey down "Picking Rooster Ln" to be a bit of a daunting one. Up to this point Rooster raids have happened at night. We discovered another benefit other then the obvious one, doing it this way doesn't seem to bother our egg production as much. True it means late nights to make culling raids well after dark. Yet because of the orginal Rooster count, this was easy at first. Now we are down to the last 8, and they all look much the same. We are satisfied with the genetic pool as it stands but we are still getting back dmg on the hens. So need to lower the Rooster count a bit further. Was thinking it may take another 4 to be pulled out of the pool to do the trick. But WHO? We want the hens to have as much say as possible at this point. What we are looking for Now are clues as to where the Head Rooster will sleep in comparison to the rest of his flock. I really do not want to start chasing the roosters all over the yard, and stress out the hens. So if you have noticed any clues to this question we would be Most appreciative. Do they sleep alone? Do they sleep in the middle of a group of hens? Do they sleep on the floor at the foot of the roost? Do they sleep on the highest perch? Do they do the hoochy choochy when you bring corn about?

    Thanks for your time

  2. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Hmm...my head roo sleeps wherever he wants. If he was out late collecting hens and didn't get into the coop until it was too dark to see well enough, then he is on the floor until I come to the rescue with a flashlight (if it is mildly light outside, it is DARK inside the coop! Early bird gets the roost). My lower roo sleep wherever the alpha roo isn't. They usually sleep on opposite sides of the roosts (they don't fight though). I think you are better off watching then during the day and if you get a way to mark them (a non-toxic spray paint or something?), then mark the ones that you want to keep or vice versa. Then, when you do your night raid, you pick roos based on marking. Or, mark them at night by color or number...or paint their toenails or something...then watch then during the day noting which ones go and which ones stay.

    Good luck!!
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Welcome to this forum. Glad you are here.[​IMG]

    My Alpha slept in the same spot every night but the second in command slept all over, sometimes next to the alpha and sometimes in a far corner. I would not depend on where they sleep to make that determination.

    I really like BarkerChicken's advice. Mark them so you can tell them apart during the day, make your selection then, and you will know which one to get at night. An elegantly simple solution.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    My boss roos sleep on the highest perch with the prettiest gals! [​IMG] After all, there are benefits to being the boss! [​IMG]
  5. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    with that many hens, I would make saddles for the bare backed hens, and keep the roosters!

    ETA: I have 35 chickens total and only 1 Rooster, and I have bare backed hens, he has favorites! So I have decided that many times it is better to saddle the hens then remove the rooster.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  6. doublebow

    doublebow Songster

    Aug 13, 2009
    That's true about the roos having favorites. Back when I had two roos and ten hens, several hens had no feather loss at all and some were bare and bleeding. Also, if the second in command rooster bred with a hen, the alpha had to run and breed her also. Right now I have two coops and two roosters. The low rooster waits for the alpha to go to bed, then he goes to the opposite coop.
  7. CARS

    CARS Songster

    They beat me to it, but I was going to say that the favorite hens are going to be "over used" [​IMG] Reducing the roo count isn't going to change that. (well, I guess if you reduce the number to zero....)

  8. lildinkem

    lildinkem Songster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Mr Clucker, I would cull to your very best on both Hens and Roo's. From what I read, you are letting predators decide who gets culled. From my experience with predators, they ALWAYS take the biggest and best of my flock to kill and eat. So, I would get the very best top 5 or 6 girls, and your very best two boys and go from the eggs they produce. You should get way more then enough to replace your flock with a better quality bird on average. And sell off the runts. Or you eat them. lolol
  9. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    My head roos always call to the hens when any food is out out and when waterers are refreshed. I only have a couple pens where I have 2 or 3 roos together, but have also noticed that the second in command do not crow as do the Head Roos.
  10. CARS

    CARS Songster

    Quote:I think THEY are the predators. I think they are snatching at night while they are sleeping to not disturb the rest of the flock. (Or I mis-read it?)

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