Originally Posted by warmfuzzyfeeling
They're just so darn aggressive! Usually, 1 male and one female will be OK. But, I have a hen who compulsively cannibalized every mate I introduced to her until I tried putting her in a colony (1 male and 3 females). Now, she's sweet and docile. I have a male who will brutalize hens he's not fond of (currently paired with a hen he likes). I had two brothers who got along great until one flew off--seeking his fortune in the wide world--when I opened the cage door. The remaining male will murder any female that I introduce--and now wears a RED leg band in his own private apartment. I know that some people keep these birds in colonies, but that has to be the exception. It really reminds me of raising Bulldogs--you have to constantly be on your toes about rearranging living quarters to prevent fights from breaking out...
P.S. Sorry if I was misinforming about "bib-sexing". Must just be the colors I happen to have that are so reliable for this method.
Edited by shelleyd2008 - 10/8/10 at 6:41pm
Most of the colors are, but not all of them. Plus, some people are confused about what a 'bib' actually is. The wilds, redbreasts, cinnamons, and golden pearl males all get bibs, and as far as I know the females don't. Silver males get bibs, and sometimes silver females do too.
But I remember a post not too long ago that had a red-breasted female that the owner thought was bibbed because she had a 'clear' blond area below her chin that they mistook for a bib. That's why I always correct when someone says that 'bibs' are a sexing tool. Bluefaced males don't get bibs, so if the bib was a way to sex buttons then I guess all bluefaces are female, even if they don't lay eggs
ETA: as far as having groups of males, I think that depends on the birds. I've got some that have been together their entire lives and don't have any troubles with the males fighting. Mine have been in colonies, though I'm slowly thinning my extra males out. One pen I had at one time had 4 females and 5 males, but due to too-close breedings all the females died around 1 year old. Those males all lived together for months without any fighting, and have since moved on to greener pastures somewhere in Texas