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Roosters & Hens separated

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

We are complete novices at this so I had a question that may seem dumb.  We got 1 hen, then a friend gave us two more...only they turned out to be roosters.  We are keeping them separated by a chicken wire fence and they seem to get along ok.  We have these as pets and for the eggs, not for chicks.  Question is, can we keep 2 roosters and 2 hens separated?  What problems could exist?

post #2 of 16

You can keep 1 rooster with the 2 hens but not both roosters with both hens becausethe roosters will fight over them. I guess you could do a rooster and a hen and the other rooster with the other hen, but the hens might get to much attention from the rooster and get stressed out. I dont know though because I have never done this.

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http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mites-lice-treatment-and-prevention
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If you have any questions about Coccidiosis, Mites & Lice, Worms, Molting, Vent Gleet, Bumble Foot, Egg Binding, or Prolapsed Oviduct, feel free to ask me about it or pm me.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mites-lice-treatment-and-prevention
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickens-loosing-feathers-managing-your-flocks-molt
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post #3 of 16

I've read a good ratio is 1 rooster to 5 hens. So if you only have 2 hens, only keep one rooster with them both or the roosters will go crazy fighting over their hens

Quote:
Originally Posted by billitzel View Post

We are complete novices at this so I had a question that may seem dumb.  We got 1 hen, then a friend gave us two more...only they turned out to be roosters.  We are keeping them separated by a chicken wire fence and they seem to get along ok.  We have these as pets and for the eggs, not for chicks.  Question is, can we keep 2 roosters and 2 hens separated?  What problems could exist?

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by billitzel View Post

We are complete novices at this so I had a question that may seem dumb.  We got 1 hen, then a friend gave us two more...only they turned out to be roosters.  We are keeping them separated by a chicken wire fence and they seem to get along ok.  We have these as pets and for the eggs, not for chicks.  Question is, can we keep 2 roosters and 2 hens separated?  What problems could exist?


You have some interesting chicken math going on, 1 hen+2 roo's=2 hens and 2 roo's. wink.png lau.gif. Seriously though, it all depends on space, and purpose for said roosters. Are you needing them for protection or yard decor. You stated not for chicks, so do you really need the stress of having a rooster around? A general ratio is 1 roo to every 10 hens to avoid over-mating. If you keep the roosters away from the hens they will develop their own pecking order and live together just like the hens do. It is when you mix them the fighting for the hens begins. You could keep them separate and see which one is nicer and get rid of the other one. It really depends on what your goal for having them is. I hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions. It is how we all learn(I am no expert by any means).

Married to wife of 19yrs, 20yo and 17yo boys(One EOD in Army, other in HS), Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog mix, 2 dumb cats that hate each other(at least the fighting stopped), 28+ chickens

 

Jesus is Lord, I am not!!!!

 

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Married to wife of 19yrs, 20yo and 17yo boys(One EOD in Army, other in HS), Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog mix, 2 dumb cats that hate each other(at least the fighting stopped), 28+ chickens

 

Jesus is Lord, I am not!!!!

 

ASBC member

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post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Right now we have 1 hen and 2 roosters.  We just want them for pets and eggs.  We are going to get another hen, but the hens and roosters will never be together in the same pen. Will the roosters fight if they are always kept away from the hens?  They were raised as chicks together

post #6 of 16

They shouldn't fight too much, especially once they establish who is alpha and beta. Which if they have been raised together, that has already started.

Married to wife of 19yrs, 20yo and 17yo boys(One EOD in Army, other in HS), Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog mix, 2 dumb cats that hate each other(at least the fighting stopped), 28+ chickens

 

Jesus is Lord, I am not!!!!

 

ASBC member

Reply

Married to wife of 19yrs, 20yo and 17yo boys(One EOD in Army, other in HS), Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog mix, 2 dumb cats that hate each other(at least the fighting stopped), 28+ chickens

 

Jesus is Lord, I am not!!!!

 

ASBC member

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post #7 of 16

I have the same problem.  We rescued a chicken from a gas station parking lot.  She was probably 18wks or so.  We are new to this so it's hard to say.  A friend had 2 chicks (by accident so they say) because the hen wouldn't let them get the eggs.  Long story short we took the two chicks as friends for our Hen.  All we are interested in is eggs.  Not going to kill any of the chickens.  So as luck would have it both chicks are roosters.  They are now about 30 weeks and the hen is close to 1 yr.  she is laying as well.  About 2 mths now.  One rooster has taken over the alpha role.  However, I know this still won't work with 2 roos and I hen.  I can't bear to re-home the rooster for fear of his destiny.  So thinking of separating until we can get more hens in the spring.  I'm so frustrated by all this.  Just don't know what to do.  Spent so much money on the run and coop my husband won't put out any more money to build another coop to separate.  Any suggestions would be welcome.  I thought maybe just buy one of those small coops with a little run and keep the hen in there and let the roos have the run and big coop.  Just want to get to March so the weather is a little warmer before we get more hens.  Does anyone know how old Roos are when the are determined to take the hen.  As I said I have one roo that jumps on but still doesn't quite get what he is doing.  The other roos really doesn't do anything to the hen.  I have seen him peck a little at the feathers on her neck but not jumping on her.  The last thing I want is for her to get stressed.  I would get 5 hens now but I'd have to keep them separate for a minimum of 4 wks and just have no place for them.  At least if I could get to spring I would have the weather on my side.  ideas/suggestions? 

post #8 of 16

Yes I have suggestions for both of you. You need to get rid of the roos. Neither of you have enough space for them, and wishing they would all be nice and get along is not going to work. Keeping the roos is going to ruin the chicken experience for you, probably cause the death of at least one of the animals in a painful ugly manner, the hen from too much male attention, and/or one of the roos trying to be the top roo.

 

To have a happy roo, he needs ladies. Young roo's need lots of ladies, as they have a great deal of interest. Many people have multiple roos, but in flocks of 20+ hens. With just a small flock of chickens, a roo is a noisy, aggressive animal. Generally speaking, (perhaps not in your case) small flocks are due to town restrictions and limited space. Roosters have been known to have terrible fights between a wire fence. It can get ugly very fast. Very ugly, and you will be at fault for setting up the situation, by wishing that animals were more like you, and less like chickens.

 

I really do not see how anyone thinks that being kept in a smaller area, all alone is a good life for a moving breathing animal, it is like a prison. I know you think of these as pets, but would you keep a child like this?

 

I do not see why people set themselves up in this unrealistic situation and make themselves unhappy. Good grief, let someone else have the roo, and don't ask questions as to what they plan to do with it, get some nice hens, and enjoy your life and theirs as part of your life.

 

MrsK

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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post #9 of 16
Ditto. Honestly, your extra roo would be better off being someones dinner than living sequestered off from everyone else for ANY amount of time. Chickens are flock animals, they enjoy each others company. Being alone is one of the worst fates a chicken could suffer. Let one of them go, and don't think about what might happen to them.
Nikki
Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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post #10 of 16
Like you billi, we are still somewhat new at this and are still learning, but we did have a similiar problem. Too many roosters for our hens. So we seaparated them. When the roosters were young they got along well together, but once they started getting a little older they started fighting. In fact, one was just killed by one of the others. When we did mingle everyone together, when one of the roosters mounted a hen. They all ran over and wanted to. They actually killed some of our hens. So my advise would be to find someone with a farm or someone who needs a rooster and give your extra rooster a new home.
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