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chicken advice!

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  • chicken advice!

    I got 5 chickens from the auction lastnight. First time at an auction so it was kind of hard to follow because they did things so fast! We ended up with 2 black cochins, they came thru as a "pair", dont know if this means one is a rooster (which i was trying to avoid) because most of the time they specified if there was a rooster in with a batch of hens. they didnt say one was a rooster, so time will tell! They look the same too, dont know if this is because they are young or both hens. Then we got 3 rhode island red/bantams, told to be hens, they are pretty young so it would be hard to tell, well for me anyway. I know all and most chickens can live together, but I am wondering if there is a rooster or 2 in the batch will they be ok? and also where the reds are quite a bit smaller than the cochins, will the cochins be aggressive to the reds? just dont want any fighting or to find anyone dead!!! Any suggestions? I want to build a coop/pen and dont know if I should seperate the two groups. Also, how do I tell a rooster from a hen when they are young? Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by dwbonfire87 View Post
    I got 5 chickens from the auction lastnight. First time at an auction so it was kind of hard to follow because they did things so fast! We ended up with 2 black cochins, they came thru as a "pair", dont know if this means one is a rooster (which i was trying to avoid) because most of the time they specified if there was a rooster in with a batch of hens. they didnt say one was a rooster, so time will tell! They look the same too, dont know if this is because they are young or both hens. Then we got 3 rhode island red/bantams, told to be hens, they are pretty young so it would be hard to tell, well for me anyway. I know all and most chickens can live together, but I am wondering if there is a rooster or 2 in the batch will they be ok? and also where the reds are quite a bit smaller than the cochins, will the cochins be aggressive to the reds? just dont want any fighting or to find anyone dead!!! Any suggestions? I want to build a coop/pen and dont know if I should seperate the two groups. Also, how do I tell a rooster from a hen when they are young? Thanks
    If you can tell a rooster from a hen when they are young, then you deserve some sort of award. Let's just say, a lot of mistakes are made!

    I'm not a chicken expert by any means. All mine are runaways from a neighbor's farm and all hens. I have RIRs, they're quite large. Never heard of RIR/bantams? The chochins that my neighbor has are small and "fluffy." Adorable and friendly. The reds are, too. My hens are a riot!

    My neighbor often runs his together but I don't recall that he lets more than one rooster congregate with the hens. I suppose roosters may try to protect their women and would start fighting. Perhaps someone else can pipe in here that has more experience than me.

    I think the biggest issue is if you have predators where you live. If you do, then the chickens pretty much have to live in a coop. I solve that problem with two Corgis and a pot-bellied pig. I do lock them up in a stall at night just to be safe.

    Do a search...there are some threads on chickens. Lots of people with experience on this board.

    Comment


    • #3
      RIRs and Bantams aren't the same, and yes roosters, more than one, can live together if they are not from fighting stock. (We still have cock fights in the good old USA.)

      Give them a chicken yard and a chicken coop to protect from raccoons and foxes at night and to protect from dogs and hawks during the day. Hens lay eggs with having roosters too.
      And give all of them names when they get old enough to "sex" without being an expert. The guys will have secondary sex characteristics like the longer combs and sometimes spurs, and the "girls" will lay eggs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Mighta been nice to think all this stuff through beforehand . . .

        Sexing young chickens is a job for an expert. What are you going to do differently now, though, if one or more is a boy?

        Generally if they're not hugely different in size and all grow up together, they should be fine. Keep an eye out for bullying, give them enough room and enough places to eat to minimize fighting.

        Get yourself a book on chickens, or join the BB on backyardchickens.com
        Click here before you buy.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          i did do some research before, and we had chickens way back when i was a kid, rir's and barred rocks. i knew cochins were good chickens too. i just didnt know if age difference would cause them to fight or for the older chickens to pick on the younger ones. we never had roosters and i was trying to avoid getting any, but like i said those auctioneers rattle stuff off so quickly its hard to keep up.
          i figure if more than one are roosters i will probably bring them back to that auction next month or whenever i figure out who is who. it was a clean auction and didnt seem to be people buying chickens for bad reasons, so i wouldnt feel like i am dumping them into bad hands or i wouldnt bring them back.

          i never heard of rir/bantams either, and couldnt find anything when i searched it. i think they meant they were a cross of both breeds? maybe they were an accident? not sure, people there seemed experienced and thats what they said they were. we have the coop almost done, now just have to make a wired run attached. i will put them all together in there and see how it goes, its pretty big i think they will have plenty of room.

          so one more question, if a rooster is in with the hens, how will i know which eggs are possibly fertile and which are not and can eat? that might sound dumb, but like i said i never had a rooster so all our eggs we gathered and ate.

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          • #6
            As long as you collect eggs every day, you can eat them all. There is no real difference between a fertile egg and an unfertile egg.

            A really good forum would be backyardchickens.com for you. Good luck.
            K-N-S Farm
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            • #7
              If you collect your eggs daily, it doesn't matter if they are fertile or not. You can eat the eggs. I have for years and never had an issue. I really like having a rooster around.
              Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

              Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!

              Comment


              • #8
                The RIR/bantams are probably a cross between a RIR (or what is sold here as RIR) and some kind of bantam. It's not a breed but a cross between two types.

                As for your cochins, there are standard-sized cochins which tend to be quite large, and there are bantam-sized cochins. In this case, it's not a true bantam, but just a small chicken.

                You can keep bantams and standards together just fine. If the big ones are harassing the small ones then you might have to split them up, but I've only had issues with defending a specific piece of food or the like. And sometimes the small ones pick on the big ones. I have one Bantam roo that is very tiny, and he chases my cats. The cats see him and run. It's hilarious. But he's fine with the other roos, as long as no one tries to mess with his chosen girlfriend.

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