Originally Posted by phryan
I currently have 18 laying hens and 1 rooster all about 18 months, along with some pullets and cockerels from this year.
I am considering removing the rooster and all but 2 of the (very young) cockerels.
What is the impact to the flock and pecking order of removing the alpha rooster? Will it be a total shakeup or will the hens retain the status quo? There will be some month and a half old chicks, broody raised, still getting used to the flock that I'd be concerned about.
About half the hens are showing some wear but overall they seem to like his presence. He can be aggressive, mostly when in the coop or in 'his' territory, less to me but more so to visitors. With the males not contributing in the winter and a next generation ready to pick up next summer, figure its time to lessen the flocks food bill and open up some space in the coop for winter.
How old are the 'pullets and cockerels from this year'?
Are all the birds living together already?
The only concern I can see is that the 2 young cockerels may step up activity with the each other and with hens and pullets with the older cockbird gone.
Could be some cockerel battles for dominance and they will both be competing for mating rights to the pullets and could overwhelm them.
The older hens will hopefully kick the cockerel butts and teach them some manners.
The broody will probably continue to protect the 6 week old chicks, but if she doesn't the cockerels might go after them too, mature cocks know they aren't ready but cockerels may not get that yet.
Just some thoughts, that might be way off base if I didn't assess the population correctly.
An interesting situation, I find their social behaviors fascinating, and good on you for management plans for your flock going into winter.
Edited by aart - 10/7/15 at 4:41am