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View Poll Results: What's the ratio of roosters to hens?

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  • 1 : 1

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  • 1 : 2

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  • 1 : 4

    2 28.57%
  • 1 : 6

    2 28.57%
  • 1 : 8

    1 14.29%
  • 1 : 10

    1 14.29%
  • You're a weird dude

    1 14.29%
  • Who raises their own chickens anymore?

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  • Chicken Polygamy is a sin!

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  • eggplant

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Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: How many roosters

  1. #1
    ever seeking GeorgeK's Avatar
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    How many roosters

    are too much?

    Roosters have harems (to those of you who are not in the know). They will fight to the death to defend them and or their right to mate them. However, too few hens and the roosters have a tendency to kill the hens what with their medially facing spurs and the jabbing of their backs and thighs. I had to off two roosters in the last few weeks because of this. (eating rooster stew as I type) We are left with one rooster who actually was hatched on our farm. He's half arucauna, 1/4 Red Star, 1/4 Turken if you know about chicken breeds. He's old for a chicken, 3-4 years, but he's nice to his hens. I'm still nursing one of the mangled hens back to health by taking her food and water three times a day. It's been 9 days since I offed Cochin and she's very slowly improving. Rooster Turken stops by and nuzzles her, rubbing his beak against hers, but doesn't raper her, like Brahma and Cochin did. My wife says Turken is, "nice," simply because his spurs face posteriorly, but he is gentler as I watch him.

    I've come to a conclusion. A rooster needs 8 hens. Fewer than 8 and the roosters will kill the hens, one by one. Chicken rape is a not often written about topic. I think it mostly has to do with poultry practices in the US where humans factory raise all the eggs that they can for sale as chicks. That propagates bad genes. I think Turken is nice because he's nice, and not just because his spurs face posteriorly.

  2. #2
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Roosters are for eating.

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  3. #3
    Wicked chicken AW Moderator evilrooster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Roosters are for eating.
    Hmph

  4. #4
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeK View Post
    Chicken rape is a not often written about topic. I think it mostly has to do with poultry practices in the US where humans factory raise all the eggs that they can for sale as chicks. That propagates bad genes. I think Turken is nice because he's nice, and not just because his spurs face posteriorly.
    It's also likely that the factory roosters have too many hens to abuse any one hen in particular, so their behavior isn't as obvious as it is in a small flock.

    And, yes, I imagine that, like every other creature, some chickens are just nicer than others. Do you have any of Turken's sons available for the future?
    Last edited by frimble3; 03-31-2012 at 11:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Different breeds behave differently towards hens. The heavier breeds (like Orpingtons) tend to need fewer hens per cockerel; lighter ones, and chickens which fly better, tend to be far rougher on their hens. Aruacanas and Appenzeller Spitzhaubens are typical of this end of the spectrum.

    Breeders of rare-breed poultry will keep about one cockerel to four heavier hens and one to eight or more of the flightier varieties; or they'll limit the cockerels' time with the hens, to minimise damage. Cockerel damage usually happens under the wings, so it's not necessarily visible unless you inspect the hens closely, and it can be extreme: we've had hens with deep pockets ripped open in the skin on their sides. They're very prone to further damage even after they're fully healed, and so it's best to keep them away from cockerels permanently after they've suffered so. They'll still lay good eggs.

  6. #6
    ever seeking GeorgeK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Roosters are for eating.
    They're also necessary for producing fertile eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
    It's also likely that the factory roosters have too many hens to abuse any one hen in particular, so their behavior isn't as obvious as it is in a small flock.

    And, yes, I imagine that, like every other creature, some chickens are just nicer than others. Do you have any of Turken's sons available for the future?
    Most of the factories in the US use artificial insemination. Don't know if there will be any little Turkens this spring. There are too many variables, but if there are any chicks, he'll undoubtedly be the daddy.

    The mangled hen is walking again. She's now moved to hiding under the knotweed. There's lots to eat there since knotweed attracts wasps.

  7. #7
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeK View Post
    They're also necessary for producing fertile eggs
    No, no they're not.

    Roosters are only necessary in terms of producing sperm.

    You can buy that, and the special syringe, on the 'net.

    Given that roosters are more likely to be abusive than not, and that you're better off introducing bio diversity, why not, if you're interested in eggs AND meat, rely on insemination for fertile eggs--or just buy them? And eat the roosters.

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  8. #8
    ever seeking GeorgeK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    No, no they're not.

    Roosters are only necessary in terms of producing sperm.
    If there are no roosters, then there will be no sperm, but then I guess you are restricting the argument to on my particular farm, and not the entire universe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    You can buy that, and the special syringe, on the 'net.

    Given that roosters are more likely to be abusive than not, and that you're better off introducing bio diversity, why not, if you're interested in eggs AND meat, rely on insemination for fertile eggs--or just buy them? And eat the roosters.
    My goal is to have a self propating ecosystem that requires the minimum effort on my part. If it's a choice between chicken AI or no chicken, it will be no chicken.

  9. #9
    Ruining your porn since 1984 BunnyMaz's Avatar
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    That, and what sort of living conditions do the roosters used for sperm harvesting get to enjoy? I'm genuinely asking here because I have no idea. I know when I've got the sort of income that lets me have the sort of space that would be large enough for keeping livestock, one of my reasons for doing so is so I know what sort of life the animals I depend on have.
    RIP Taihg. I can't believe it's been a year already.

    More Taihg. Because he was awesome.

  10. #10
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I used to keep a lot of poultry. A LOT. We had several different rare-breed chickens and I got to know quite a few breeders of those rare-breed chickens. They mostly kept their birds in houses with outside runs attached, with plenty of space for the birds to scratch around in; and they harvested sperm and shared it with other breeders, as Lisa has suggested.

    They also sold birds they didn't want.

    This doesn't mean that all of the cockerels are kept in such good conditions: but plenty are, and you can find them relatively easily.

  11. #11
    ever seeking GeorgeK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BunnyMaz View Post
    That, and what sort of living conditions do the roosters used for sperm harvesting get to enjoy? I'm genuinely asking here because I have no idea. I know when I've got the sort of income that lets me have the sort of space that would be large enough for keeping livestock, one of my reasons for doing so is so I know what sort of life the animals I depend on have.
    There are people whose job it is and they make a variety of tools to assist them in semen collection from animals. I worked with a guy who as part of his research project did vasectomies on dogs and then had to manually collect samples once a week, for like a year. The lab techs fed and walked them, but they really enjoyed it when he visited.

  12. #12
    In search of distractions Marya's Avatar
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    My favourite recipe for a young rooster is not coq au vin but rooster simmered with chopped shallots and garlic in verjus, a little acidic and best eaten with hunks of sourdough bread and a green salad on the side.

    A surfeit of roosters is always a bad idea in the poultry run and out here neighbours share one rooster between three farms.

  13. #13
    ever seeking GeorgeK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marya View Post
    My favourite recipe for a young rooster is not coq au vin but rooster simmered with chopped shallots and garlic in verjus, a little acidic and best eaten with hunks of sourdough bread and a green salad on the side.
    I'm rather heavy with the onions and would use a pale ale instead of the verjus, but yeah, yum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marya View Post
    A surfeit of roosters is always a bad idea in the poultry run and out here neighbours share one rooster between three farms.
    How does that work? Do they all free range or does somebody have to physically move the rooster at times? Do they raise their own chicks from eggs that their own hens laid?

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