2 roosters in mixed flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Alicatt, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Alicatt

    Alicatt Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2013
    catskills, New York
    New to chickens this spring, my flock is 15 weeks old and two of twelve are roosters, a light brahma and a black crested. So far no issues, but most of what I have read on here says 10 hens per roo, and I have five. Also brahma twice the size of everyone easily, will he hurt my girls mounting them? I have 4 ee's, 2 austrolorpe, 2 buff orps, one crested lady, and my one brahma gal. I bought them in six packs a week apart and while they mix, they mostly hang with their brooder mates, with the easter egger gals hanging with the crested. And the brahma chicken teams up with the orps and austrolorps. Will they mate with their own ladies? Or will it be a free for all?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Some roosters are more "active" than others, but you do sound like you will be a little short on pullets. The polish should mature a lot faster than the brahma, so you should be OK for awhile. They will tend to stick with brooder mates, but will mate will any girl they can eventually if the other roo doesn't chase them off. I've actually found smaller roosters to be rougher on the hens than the big ones, I think because they chase more / are faster and the big guys have to sweet talk the girls more since they can't run them down. The brahma is going to be a lot bigger, but a lot will depend on how much of a gentleman he is, since none of your girls sound really small.
     
  3. Alicatt

    Alicatt Out Of The Brooder

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    So I need more chickens, not the worst news. Can't wait to tell the boyfriend. I'll be in the coop, as opposed to the doghouse!!! Will be patient and see how they get along. guess can always split the flock up later if they get too aggressive. Or eat one, haha.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    That 10 to 1 ratio comes from what the hatcheries use to ensure fertility in a pen breeding situation. That’s where they might have 20 roosters in a pen with 200 hens. It really doesn’t have much to do with how a rooster behaves toward the flock or how roosters get along. It’s a nice ratio and makes for a nice flock, but it’s not a magic number that solves all our problems. And the way most of us manage them one reasonably active rooster will keep a log more than 10 hens fertile. If you want to use it as an excuse to get more chickens, jump on it with both feet, jump up and down, and go Wee! Wee! Wee! Nothing wrong with that, it’s just probably not absolutely necessary.

    Maybe this will help you feel better about chicken mating.

    In a proper mating, the rooster dances for the hen. He drops a wing and circles a bit. That tells her his intent.

    The hen squats. This gets her body on the ground so the rooster’s weight passes through her entire body into the ground, not just through her legs. That difference in weight is generally not a problem as long as the hen squats.

    The rooster hops on and grabs the back of her head. This helps him with his balance and helps get him in the right position to hit the target, but a really big reason for the head grab is that is the signal for the hen to raise her tail up out of his way so he can hit the target.

    The rooster touches vents and hops off. This may take a few attempts or it may be over so fast you hardly see it. The rooster is done.

    The hen stands up, fluffs up her feathers, and shakes. This fluffy shake gets the sperm in the right spot in her system.

    There can be a lot of variations to this, often involving the hen running away and the rooster chasing. As long as the hen squats it is generally good.

    The mating behavior is not just about sex. It is also a dominance issue. The one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or unwillingly. Sometimes the hen refuses to squat as she does not accept his dominance. Sometimes the rooster can get fairly violent in his insistence. Sometimes even if the hen cooperates the rooster has such bad technique or is such a brute, it gets pretty rough. There are a lot of variations of this. Both rooster and hen have to do their part. The good thing is that the vast majority of the time they get it close enough to be good.

    But you might be in for a rough month or two. The pullets and cockerels will mature at different rates. Neither may have their technique down immediately. The hormones are probably going to be running wild in those boys, both to mate and for flock dominance. They are a bunch of teenagers with hormones running wild and no adult to instill discipline. If you have adult hens and a rooster in the flock, this phase usually goes a little smoother but it can still get pretty wild. So prepare yourself. The good news is that they will eventually mature out of this phase, but that can take time and be stressful for you to watch.

    The two boys will determine which one dominates. Kelsie is exactly right, the Brahma will probably mature later. There may be some fighting involved or they may work things out so smoothly you never notice. It’s possible you could have a fight to the death but that is pretty rare, especially of the loser has room to run away. They normally reach an accommodation and form a good team in taking care of the flock.

    Something a lot of people see is that they split the flock, each rooster having his own harem. They’ll still sleep in the same coop without a problem and will often mingle during the day, but you will probably see two distinct flocks. That does not mean one rooster breeds only his own her or that the dominant rooster will breed all of them. Either rooster might be the daddy of any egg that hatches. The dominant rooster probably won’t allow the subordinate to breed in his presence, but they can be pretty sneaky about that. No morals or marriage fidelity at all.

    Hope this helps some. And remember, there is nothing wrong with getting more hens.
     
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  5. Alicatt

    Alicatt Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. Makes a lot of sense. I appreciate your time.
     
  6. Mtn Chick

    Mtn Chick New Egg

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    I am new to raising chickens, I just got 14 Silver Hamburgs with 2 roosters they are all three weeks old. This article and post has been very interesting and helpful.
     

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