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8 week old flock - when do I move the boys ?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Shabana, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Shabana

    Shabana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi there :)

    I have an 8 week old flock of 12 mixed pure breed bantams raised by 2 lovely banty orpingtons.

    I have a few roos amongst them and they are already having tussles and squaring up to each other. They are very endearing and I would like to keep them.

    At what point do I have to separate them ? I was ideally going to leave one with the flock and either see if I can get the others accepted into my other hen only flocks or keep them together. Is that even an option ? Will they fight if there are no hens ? Is it unfair to keep a boy zone ?

    I would really like to keep these little monkeys if it's at all possible. Any advice would be welcome xx
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There are a number of reasons to move the cockerels to a grow out pen of their own, often called a bachelor pad. They squabble, but not too terribly, since they had been brooded together. Studies show that both sexes grow faster and fuller if separated and not competing for food. As the cockerels mature, the pullets enjoy the peace of not being harassed. This is the thinking. We have found it serves us well. We usually do the separation around 6-8 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I usually leave my cockerels and pullets together until they are 10-12 weeks of age. They could stay together for longer, as the males (at least in my experience) don't get aggressive to the pullets until they are older, but I still separate them at that point because it works best for my set-up. The pullets will be happy living together, and the cockerels, while they would love to have some girls, will be fine.

    Some cockerels fight even without hens, but I've never had a problem with that. Just like with hens, there will be a pecking order and a few squabbles now and then, but nothing too serious. If any blood begins to be drawn, though, I would recommend getting rid of the aggressive bird(s).
     
  4. Shabana

    Shabana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks so very much !! This is my first time raising chicks and I'm so glad I did !!
    I will get a bachelor pad underway !!
    Great stuff :D

    Thanks again x
     

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