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Chicken/hen advice

Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Guineas,Turkeys. Pheasants etc

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Chicken/hen advice

Postby Irophia » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:19 pm

A few years ago, I had bought a dozen chicks to raise for eggs...3 turned out to be roosters, which were later sent to the butcher. Of the remaining (a mix of breeds of hens and chickens), most lay for morning pick up of eggs, while some layed mid day, or even in the evening at sundown.

I was wondering a few things:

~Do keeping roosters around after egg laying maturity encourage a regular cycle of morning laying?

~Are some species more reliable for laying at certain times a day.

~It doesn't matter on species, rooster presence- hens will lay their own cycle.

~Breed recommendations for brown egg layers? (Where to get them?)
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Re: Chicken/hen advice

Postby paulajo » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:08 am

I've had many chickens over the years and lots of different breeds, rare and general egg layers but all have layed eggs at different times of the day. Chickens will lay their eggs when their ready rather than specific periods of the day. A cockeral being present doesnt play any part either in their cycle.

I'm not sure what breeds are easy available in the US but Barnvelders are well known in the UK for deep mahogony brown eggs. Rhode Island Reds lay brown eggs too but are not as dark brown as the Barnvelders. If you like bluy/green eggs then Lavender Araucanas lay stunning eggs!
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Re: Chicken/hen advice

Postby Irophia » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:09 am

Thanks for the feedback. I actually looked up Lavendar Aracuanas, but read mostly the ones in the US are hybrids. I wonder if they just have to be ordered in/from the UK(?).
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Re: Chicken/hen advice

Postby BB » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:30 pm

Never had a rooster, but always a steady egg supply. you only need one if you want to breed your hens.
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Re: Chicken/hen advice

Postby KY_Karen » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:08 pm

I have Australorps and Wellsummers. Both lay brown eggs. The Australorps lay a lighter brown, sometimes with speckles of darker brown, but usually an even creamy brown. The Welsummers lay a much darker brown - often a reddish brown with speckles. I find my Welsummers are much better layers than most literature about them suggests. They are as good - or very nearly as good - as my Aussies - and the aussies seldom miss a day except during their molt. Neither of them ever stop laying all together; With a flock of 6 laying hens I always have a couple eggs a day even in the dead of winter or during heavy molt. In the spring and summer I get 6 or 7 eggs a day without fail.

I wish I could get a rooster who would watch over his girls, but not flog people. So far, I've had a very aggressive Australorp and an aggressive welsummer. I currently have a mildly aggressive Partridge Rock. So far he is tolerable, but I'm interested in hearing from others if they have had good luck with any breed or strain of duel purpose chicken.
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Re: Chicken/hen advice

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:50 pm

I am surprised to see these posts. As for taming roosters, I've had the best luck by using the same techniques used to tame any other animal: Spend a lot time with them starting when they are very young. Hand feed them special treats. Be VERY consistent in your management of the coop, their food, their water, egg collection. Be VERY consistent in all of your behavior around them. Avoid sudden movement and unnecessary noise. Be mindful of how your actions could be perceived as threatening to them.

Roosters and other animals become aggressive towards people because they fear you pose a threat in some way. The idea is to gain their trust. The more predictable your behavior is, the less suspicious they will be. The more you are linked with delivery of favorite food, the more they will trust you. Also, avoid picking up the hens when a rooster is present, because this may be perceived as threatening.

Hitting them, or showing any other kind of aggressiveness towards roosters tells them you want to do battle them. You might be able to convince them that you are higher on the pecking order, but that won't necessarily stop them from trying to "oust" you (to fight you) at some future date.

Rather than telling them you want to be the top rooster, tell them instead that you are NOT a chicken. Tell them instead, with your behavior, that you are harmless and that you are a provider of food. Try to ignore their attacks, and they will often stop trying to fight.

The biggest problem is with kids, who are prone to sudden movements and unpredictable behavior. We had a rooster who was perfectly tame with people until one day when my son's 9 year old friend ran into the coop, chasing and grabbing at the hens. The rooster was terrified, squawking and crowing, and the very next day, the he began attacking children.. He has calmed down a lot, but remains suspicious of kids.

Having said all that, I think there are some highly aggressive roosters that simply cannot be satisfactorily tamed. Eat them. Don't breed them. Breed the gentlest ones, if you want their offspring to be gentle.

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Re: Chicken/hen advice

Postby Lasergrl » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:11 pm

My favorite layers are the "sex links" sometimes called black or red stars. They lay alot, and nice size eggs.
There is no true dual purpose, something exceptional at meat and eggs. Its better in the long run to get birds for meat and birds for eggs. The best dual purpose are the "rocks" white rocks may be a little better then the rest.
As for friendly roosters, usually the very heavy birds are friendly like brahmas ect. Silkies are pretty darn nice too. They are all yummy if they turn out mean!

just to answer the earlier question, there is no way to get hens to lay in the a.m. every day. It takes longer then 24 hours for the egg to go through the reproductive tract so by average they will lay an hour or two later every day, untill they go back to morning laying. They can control when they lay to some extent also, and can hold the egg a little while if they have to.
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Re: Chicken/hen advice

Postby Realtree1 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:02 pm

I prefer barred rocks. They're really good layers and prettier than a solid white chicken. Jersey giants are really docile and good layers too but they eat a lot and take up a lot of space. I think if you want a true dual purpose you should have some kind of rock hens and a cornish rooster. Then anytime you want some meat birds you just collect and candle your eggs incubate the fertile ones and grow them out like a broiler.
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Re: Chicken/hen advice

Postby Trefoil » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:42 pm

I love my cochins. My roosters fight among themselves but don't feel the need to attack people, even my 4 yo grandson. If they are fighting when I'm around, I usually pick one of them up and carry him around for a little while, they are so intent on fighting, they don't even notice me until I've got them, they look so astonished, its funny. I also like the lt brahmas. They both go broody sometimes, but chicks are nice. I guess I just like the large chickens best, although my favorite chicken ever was a bantry cochin rooster. They have personality. There are a lot of brown egg layers, just pick one that you like the looks of.

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