Very VERY helpful. So, would it be reasonable to have one flock rooster and then keep two (or three) in a bachelor pad together (away from flock), so I don't have only one rooster that a hawk to take out and leave me without any roosters? (Of course, these have all been raised together... and I would have to watch carefully.) Or should each boy have his own place to live form the start until breeding time? And if I want to breed with a different rooster, is it ok to swap him out in the coop with the flock rooster (who would get a vacation on his own)? (Rather than relocating the girls?) (I would also maybe try smaller numbers of hens in with a rooster in a breeding pen for specific goals, I'm just wondering about options). I have a little time on this, but this helps me know the choices I'm going to have to make - it's so hard, I have such nice pretty cockerels!
- Ant Farm
Welcome to chicken math lol I constantly have the same problem. Positives about this bird... also about this bird... oh yeah that one has xyz.....
I agree best not to whittle down to only one rooster.
as to keep together or separate, that is up to you and how the boys are with each other. I very rarely separate the chick.. mine don't exhibit that behavior so early though.
It is a very good question whether to keep all the breeder hens together or end up doing separate pairings.
If color will never be an important factor, maybe that is your answer(one big pen with all the girls in it and either switch the roosters around or whatever). But if you get more specific ideas and some of the hens happen not to be suitable for it... like you brought up the rose comb boy and big black pullet.... you will need to either accept putting him over all of the hens and hope some of the eggs are hers, or make accodomations to separate them for a while.
You can switch the roosters around without much issues in the hen pen. However the rooster being returned to the bachelor pen after weeks of being with the hens might either stir things up or get ganged up on by the established group... to be honest, this can get very ugly.
Two roosters is possible IF there is plenty of room and escapes and they appear to get along with each other pretty well- either by being buddies or not friendly but respectful. It's not the best thing though, if they get along well except the other tries to knock off the breeding rooster from a hen. The hen can get hurt in this process.