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post #11 of 12
I think Centrarchid nailed it though my reasoning might be just a bit different. I’m one that doesn’t believe in magic numbers for chickens in much of anything, including ratio or hens to roosters. In the right circumstances many different things can work. A lot of room is normally a key to making low ratios work. But even to me three roosters and five hens is pushing it too much.

I always suggest you keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. That’s not because you are guaranteed problems with more roosters, just that problems are more likely. The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Anything else is just personal preference. You seem to want fertile eggs since you hatched some so for you probably the best number of roosters to have with your hens is one.

You don’t have three roosters, you have one rooster and two cockerels. That behavior you described is pretty normal for immature cockerels going through adolescence with hormones running out of control. From what you described their behavior did not raise any red flags with me.

Your rooster though has two strikes against him. He attacked you. That is intolerable. Totally unacceptable even if you were picking up his hens. The other strike is that he should have been protecting his hens from those amorous cockerels. In my flock when an amorous cockerel tries to force a hen she runs toward the dominant rooster. He sees her and runs toward her and takes care of Junior. Cockerels do not terrorize the older hens in my flock, Daddy sees to that. Now if I have pullets the same age as the cockerels there can be some drama. They normally hang out together with the cockerels and away from the dominant rooster. To me your adult rooster is not doing his job plus he attacked you.

There are ways to train a rooster to not attack you. Different people have different opinions on what those methods are, I won’t go into that. But just because you teach one to not attack you does not mean you taught him to not attack other people like your spouse, kids, or visitors. In my opinion a lot of that has to do with the attitude of the spouse, kid, or visitor, but once a rooster has shown human aggression I don’t trust him at all. Kids’ eyes are too precious to take a chance.

One cockerel and the older rooster do not need to be with your hens. I think that is a given. There are different ways to achieve that. You can select one cockerel now to keep and give away or try to sell with the older rooster and keep one cockerel with the flock. You can eat them. Or if you can’t stand to eat them or give them away where they will probably be eaten you can create a bachelor pad. Build a coop and run for males only. When they are separated from the hens they normally get along with each other.

Since he is still a cockerel and not a rooster he will still have his hormones running out of control. That will probably bother you more than the hens but the hens won’t enjoy that phase. If it were me with my set-up and room I’d probably leave him with the hens unless I started seeing blood or physical damage. But you might want to pen him up separate from the hens until he matures more. Once he matures to become a responsible adult the hens should accept him as a suitable father for their children and stop resisting his advances. Since he doesn’t have to force them he should behave a lot better. Besides he will get his hormones under control and improve his technique as he matures, with or without practice.

You can put all three males in a bachelor pad for a while if you don’t want to make the decision which cockerel to keep right now.

You can trim the sours and blunt the claws, but they will grow back and re-sharpen. The beak remains a dangerous weapon. I don’t consider any of that a fix to human aggression.

Good luck! I think you have some decisions to make.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #12 of 12
My rooster and I have an agreement, I don't pick up, chase or bother HIS hens and he doesn't spur me. (he tried it once he lost) When I'm in the pen I ignore him, I don't chase him or try to pick him up. He moves out of my way I never walk around him, always through him. If I need to handle a hen he goes in a separate pen first. If the only time he spurs you is when you are handling the hens then either shut him up first or quit handling HIS hens. As for the two young boys either sell them, eat them or shut them up. I always shut my rooster up if kids or strangers are around.
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