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Oops I created an issue, now my roosters are fighting

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok, here's the situation:  I have 2 coops.  For a while, I had 2 roosters and 7 hens in one coop and 1 rooster and 9 hens in the other.  The other day, a predator attacked while the chickens were free ranging on our 2 acres.  We lost 1 rooster and 2 hens.  The lost rooster was from the 2nd coop.  

 

So now there is an imbalance in the flock.  The other 2 roosters had been getting along since the younger one allowed the older one to be dominant.  Then the younger roo made a move for dominance in the coop.  The older one started sleeping in the tree.  I took this to mean that he had lost dominance in the coop.  I thought if I put him in the 2nd coop with the 9 hens who lost their rooster then he would find dominance over them and be happy.  I kept them cooped up for a week or so to let them get used to the situation.  

 

Yesterday, when I let out both groups for some free ranging, the two roosters started sparring.  It was bloody.  I scooped up the younger one (who didn't even run when I came up to him) and put him in a sectioned off part of the coop.  When everyone went to roost for the night, I found the older rooster in his dominant spot on the roost (and not in the tree) and a hen from the other coop who decided to swap coops.  Everything seemed right again.  Except for the young rooster.  

 

Help me decide what to do.  In a couple of hours, I'm going to probably move him to the 2nd coop with the girls who don't have a rooster.  But that doesn't solve the fighting issue.  What can I do to fix this so they don't kill each other?  Rehome one of them?  I really don't want to.  They are both good roosters and protect my large flock.

 

 

Teresa

 

 

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post #2 of 5

Sounds like the old leader might have just been going through a molt. They loose interest in dominance and breeding sometimes then. The new feathers coming in hurt, and are filled with blood, so they will avoid injury by just backing down.

 

Your younger bird found a position of power, and now he is not willing to give it up. They won't be happy until all of the hens loose in the yard are under their control, and the other rooster is in a subdominant position. They sell blinders, they keep them from squaring off with each other as their instinct dictates. Or you could alternate days that each group runs the yard. They would eventually work it out, but that might not be pretty. Maybe, if you got more hens they wouldn't be threatened by each other as much, but doubtful.

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post #3 of 5
Good advise above. If your birds are like mine they will hate being kept in from ranging. When I had two coops I would free range the main flock from first thing in the morning until mid day, when they would all go to the coop for a nap anyway (or you could call them with treats). Close them in and range the rest. smile.png
If you really want to keep both roosters, that sounds like the most workable option... Unless there's no one home during the day to do the switch, then you'll have to alternate days.
Good luck!
post #4 of 5

One rooster can easily manage a flock of that size.  My roo has 20 mature hens, and 4 pullets coming up in age.  He does just fine, and fertility is good.  I'd actually hate to see him have a smaller flock!  My suggestion is that you cull your least favorite rooster.  By cull, I mean you could re-home him, or process him for the freezer.  Otherwise, you'll be forced into juggling rooster space, and dealing with rooster drama.  When you lost one to predator, it upset your flock dynamics, so the 2 remaining roos are now battling for dominance.  They could work it out, or the fighting could continue until one of them gets eliminated.  

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

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Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #5 of 5

Either go down to one male, and combine flocks to one large flock.

 

Or, keep two separate flocks and free range them separate.

 

Those are about your options. You simply can't force two intact males to get along. If it happens, it happens and that's great. But there's not much you can do to make it happen.

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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