Friday, February 23, 2007

Buying Roosters and Hens

We're trying to catch up this new blog with where our life is at currently so forgive the rush of information and we'll work better and keeping it in proper chronological order in the future.

Approx. two weeks ago we took delivery of 25 chickens that were born in early November 2006, so they were approx. 4 months old. The thing we realized (and I don't think the people who sold them to use realized) is that there were a lot more roosters than we originally thought but since we only paid $5/bird is was a low cost initial investment. To give a little background you want to have a ratio of roosters to hens of somewhere between 6-10 hens / rooster. Six, IMHO, is a little low but there are people doing it and have been for years. So now we have a dilemma, what to a small coop for the roosters which contradicts our wanting to free range during the day and pen them at night or something else.

Just remember that you can buy more pullets (a.k.a. young hens) to offset the ratio but you must do something in the interim to not stress the birds out too much. If you're curious what to look for in buying hens and roosters and what to look for to know if they're healthy I honestly can't help a whole lot. We bought them from some people we knew that are good to their birds (we've been to their property) and they looked healthy. I just checked the eyes (crystal clear), general feather coverage (thick and healthy looking) and their combs looked good and healthy along with no noticeable wounds.

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