3 cockerels

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 1ooEEoo1, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. 1ooEEoo1

    1ooEEoo1 New Egg

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    I bought 12 chicks almost 4 to 5 months ago--all supposed to be pullets, but I understood the odds. Anyway I ended up with 3 cockerels (2 Speckled Sussex, 1 Ameraucana). One of the Speckled's (even though together they're the youngest of the flock--I amassed them all in three increments of two weeks each) appears to be the largest and the dominant one. I want to keep one of them and I have a perfectly good idea of what I could do with the other two, but my darling wife's not having any of it and would prefer to keep all three.

    The birds seem to have sorted out their pecking order to date. The large Speckled cockerel and the Ameraucana have danced at each other a couple of times but they seem to be alright with each other so far. Both of them have started feeling their oats in the last week, or so, and have chased the older girls around of a morning, slaloming around with their wings down.

    What may be the consequences of keeping all 3 cockerels together with the hens over the long term?
     
  2. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Eventually the cockerels, as their raging hormones drive them to, will do a lot of mating with the girls. With 9 pullets to 3 cockerels, the hens won't get any break, and will likely lose their back feathers from all the 'attention'. It can stress the girls out, too
     
  3. 1ooEEoo1

    1ooEEoo1 New Egg

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    I had thought that maybe the male "pecking" order might come into play, and the dominant one wouldn't allow the others to have their way. If the girls will suffer, the two extra boys must go. Any advice on which ones? As I said, one of the Speckled Sussex's is definitely top dog--but is he necessarily the correct one to keep? The Ameraucana is very pretty, too, probably #2.
     
  4. bloom_ss

    bloom_ss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I would watch them for a while to see what their temperaments are first. I would take in to account their attitude toward both humans and their ladies...whichever one treated both the best would be the one I would keep.
     
  5. peepblessed

    peepblessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a flock of 10 hens and three roos. The dominent roo has his 8, the next roo has two and the bottom guy has none [​IMG] They all get along fine. I think it will totally depend on your guys. You can watch them carefully for abuse to the hens and each other then make your decision if theres a problem.
     
  6. 1ooEEoo1

    1ooEEoo1 New Egg

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    @ peepblessed

    Interesting. In other words, that was the answer I was hoping for. I'll keep a close eye on them and if it starts being a nuisance I'll take action. More opinions gratefully received, however.
     
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had 3 roos with 12 girls...one dominant one the other two underlings....I just rehomed one roo...#1 and #2 breed with the girls, sharing...they eventually ran off the #3 roo...he was the outcast, so we gave him away. You have too many roos, there is a pecking order, and eventually one will fall away anyhow, but your girls will suffer with 3...over breeding, worn off back feathers, stress and slow egg production. Its not a good thing.

    You can get the saddles...if you want your chickens to do that, I prefer to just let them be chickens...no reason to have to dress them up, just get rid of a roo...they will still be over bred, and the egg production will drop off. Roos will choose their fav hens...mine seem to not have favs yet...they are young, 26 weeks. But I have super healthy, happy girls, I don't want to change that...

    These are our opinions and what suits us, you have to do what suits you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  8. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 7 roos and probably 2 cockerels.....and I never get any fighting. A couple of their hen favourites wear poultry saddles (about 25 hens), but the rest are just fine.

    They have a very large area to free range.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  9. 1ooEEoo1

    1ooEEoo1 New Egg

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    Thanks for the responses. It has been an auspicious 24 hours--first post to Backyard Chickens... and, this morning, first EGG! Little white one from the Leghorn, I think. Caloo Calay!
     

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