A Rooster Too Far

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ErSwnn, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. ErSwnn

    ErSwnn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2013
    I'm new to the chicken world, and therefore kinda stupid too. I picked up very young chickens from a craigslist ad back in June. I was told they were all hens except for the rooster we picked. Well, either I have a crossdressing hen, or I have a second rooster....and maybe a third as well. This is a small flock of 7, we started small to get out feet wet. Being newbies we want to get it right rather than large.

    So, my question is......do I need to reduce the rooster population or will they make their own peace? So far the "new guy" is being mildly aggressive with one particular hen but seems to be staying out of the way with the flock OG (old gangsta, I grew up in a city).

    I don't like the idea of getting rid of him/her, with such a small flock it's easy to get to know them well. He's big (no, REALLY big...I've been to the County Fair Poulty Show....this bird is big), handsome and I've known him since he was a few weeks old. But I also don't want to upset the fung-shui of the flock either.

    Yeah, we can chalk this up to a newbie mistake. I just hope I don't have to learn the hard way to be SURE I'm getting all hens.

    In other news, the frazzle(named Frizzle) I wrote about a while back has regained all her feathers. We took her as a charity case. She had no head or wing feathers and the rest were thin. Good nutrition, a clean enviroment, ample outdoor/sun time and our best wishes have brought her back to her intended beauty.
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    The only way to know how things are going to play out is wait and see. With a flock of 7 birds, possibly 3 roosters... You quite likely have 2 roosters too many. Your hens may be overbred, continuously chased, and stressed out. I'll tell you how I know this. Last year we hatched out 25 chicks and got 25 straight run day olds. You guessed it - lots of roosters. As they matured, that's what happened to my pullets. I ended up putting all the extra roos in a bachelor pen to grow them out for processing. My girls were much happier. Now, that doesn't mean that will for sure happen with your chickens. Every situation is different. If they free range and the hens have plenty of space to get away from all those hormonal roosters, it maybe could work out. If your hens are starting to show signs of feather loss or stress, or the roosters are constantly chasing them around, you may want to strongly consider getting rid of 2 of them. How you do that is a decision only you can make. Personally, we eat ours. One thing you could do is advertise them and don't ask their fate when you sell or give them away... Or, maybe you have friends or family that could use an extra rooster.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I agree with bobbi-j, as usual. Try it and see how things go, but have a contingency plan for at least 2 of the roosters. Your first responsibility is to your females, to protect them from overzealous males and getting ganged up on.
  4. ErSwnn

    ErSwnn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2013
    Thank you both for the quick, educational and experienced responses. This is pretty much what I had learned loooking around but also sought the wisdom of those who knew firsthand and not just from a textbook, as myself.

    If he's to be given away, no...I'll not ask what's next. I'll post him here when I make that decision and see if it's home or hearth for Cacciatore. Yep, that's his name. His sister is Parma. It would seem he was destine for manhood.

    One thing that I hadn't considered in full is where my responsibilities lie. These hens are for eggs and enjoyment, they are the primary mission here. So I'll be watchful for their well-being as the drama unfolds. My overall goal is a happy flock. I see that with chickens, as with people, if the hens aren't happy, nobody is going to be happy. I'll keep things updated as the world turns.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'm new to chooks also and thought I could keep an extra rooster too because they were both real mellow, but have decided that Jr Roo has got to go.
    Total flock of 10 of mixed ages confined to decent sized coop and run, but no free ranging.
    There wasn't any real fighting per se, surprised that Sr Roo didn't put Jr in his place other than a tiny bit of chasing off.

    Jr was interfering with a congenial flock flow, chasing the hens and pullets. After watching Jr stalk a laying hen on the nest roost and try to nail her as she emerged....
    ..... that was that, he got segregated (coop is partitioned with chicken wire) and is slated for dinner.

    Everyone else is much more content now, getting more eggs, everyone is scratching around and roosting together and Sr. is gently breaking in the pullets who are very close to laying. I was expecting but still surprised at how much this changed flock dynamic.

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