When buying many breeds of chickens as day-old chicks, you often do so as a straight run. This means you get what you get. However you can pay additional money to have the chicks sexed, gender determined. We bought straight runs back in February of three breeds and they were shipped during the coldest week that we had. Despite a hot pack, the casualties were high. In the end we lost half the order and received a refund for them. Not what we wanted, but it was then that we decided to find backyard breeders locally to avoid this heartache.
Buff Orpingtons-2 roosters & 2 hens
Silver Laced Wyandotte- 2 roosters & 1 hen
Welsummer- 1 hen
Those numbers simply do not work. We purchased some chicks from local breeders, but again, as a straight run. This time we got:
Welsummer-1 rooster & 1 hen
Easter Egger- 4 roosters & 1 hen
Splash Maran-3 roosters & 2 hens
What in the world was going on for our luck? Let’s not forget that when we got the Splash Marans, the breeder gave us 2 freebies which ended up being, you guessed it, roosters! Those two were of course chosen by our children as their pet prior to knowing they in fact would grow to be crowing, humping, fluff balls of energy. Hooray for us!
We planned to keep a rooster of each variety in order to be able to breed them. This meant a few went to freezer camp (stew pot) as this was just their luck of the draw. Eventually a few went to live outdoors among our goats, turkeys, pigs, alpacas and llama. The scene is straight out of Charlotte’s Web and we enjoy the roosters. Thankfully their behavior is good and we attribute this to having no hens to compete over.
- Right now we have spare roosters living in our chicken tractor. Normally that space is reserved for our Cornish Cross meat chickens, but they have all been sent to freezer camp.
- Before winter comes, we need to decide the fate of these colorful alarm clocks.