Advice on Culling Roos Needed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nevergiveup, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. nevergiveup

    nevergiveup In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2014
    Hi ! We have, I know, too many roos for too few hens, 3 roos and 8 hens. The reason I bought 3 (it used to be 4 until we ate one for Christmas [​IMG] ) is because I wanted to pick the best one or two for breeding. This is all new to me but I have read Harvey Usserys book. I am looking for a calm, gallant, friendly roo to pass on his genes. Harvey mentions many things that you might want to look out for in roos, but the one I like the best is, does he dance for the ladies as a sort of invitation to mate. I saw one of my roos do this recently, well I think its what I saw! Yesterday that same roo pecked my husband. Now I am not about to cull a roo just because he pecks someone once, but the roo we ate for Christmas was culled, as I couldn't even go in to tidy the chicken shed without being worried about being attacked.

    My question is am I kidding myself that I am going to find a non aggressive roo in my flock if I have that ratio of roos to hens ? In other words perhaps they can't help being aggressive as they are stressed ? Oh I didnt mention, they have 18 square metres (yards) available to them and they are all about 6/7 months old.

  2. KelseyBoxer

    KelseyBoxer Chirping

    Mar 23, 2014
    South Jersey
    I raised 2 golden laced wyandotte roos with 12 hens in 2012. The large roo, Turbo was handled every day. He mated the hens and would not allow Junior to have any fun. One day Turbo jumped me from behind. I swear Jr went after him. I wasn't hurt, just shook up. A few months later I went out to the coop and it was a mess. There was blood and feathers all around the outside of the coop and in the run. Jr had beat up the larger Turbo and was now the "man!" A few weeks later (after we built Turbo a new coop and got him some ladies of his own) Turbo regained his nasty ways and came after me again. Junior couldn't come to my recue as he was in the big run with his ladies. Turbo was re-homed the next day. Fast forward to present day. Junior is still the king of the big coop and as sweet as can be. I have hatched his babies and they are beautiful! I think its the luck of the draw. Some roos are sweet and some you can't turn your back on them.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Truthfully, picking the right rooster is a trick, and it might be very possible that the three you have, are not the right three. Personally, I think you might just be starting on this and this is my advice, use what you want.

    * If this is your first flock, get rid of all the roosters, and keep just hens. This will allow you to gain some experience. And very often in my experience, roosters that are raised with just the current flock mates are royal pains. They are bigger than the pullets, become sexually active earlier, and they don't have any older birds to teach them some manners. They very often become very aggressive, spend a great deal of the time fighting upsetting your hens, and often time are way to interested in aggressive sex. Your hen will be ragged.

    If you really really want a rooster, at this stage, contact a local poultry club, and find some one who has a real nice mature extra rooster. This boy is probably a second string or back up rooster, but was raised with older birds teaching him some manners and self control. Experienced poultry people will know if he has the temperament that you want. They can also give you points on standards for the breed, and what to look for physically to improve your future flock. Experience poultry people often hate to cull that second or third rooster because he really does have several good qualities.

    Then as you get experience, you can hatch out chicks this spring or better yet, next year. Your older flock at that point can really teach the young roosters growing up how to behave in a chicken society. You will get better roosters. A good set up changes over the years.

    Mrs K
    1 person likes this.
  4. nevergiveup

    nevergiveup In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2014
    Thanks for the advice KelseyBoxer.
  5. nevergiveup

    nevergiveup In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2014
    Mrs K, sounds like you've got lots of experience with roos. Older birds teach younger ones how to behave....that makes a lot of sense. I live in Spain. The breeder I got my Naked Necks from clips beaks (I didn't even know anything about that until I noticed the month olds he sent me looked a little odd). That experience doesn't give me much hope to find the kind of experienced breeder you are describing, but I will start asking and interneting. Thanks for your thoughts.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I agree with Mrs K. Roosters raised with only same flock mates can be downright nasty. I started my flock last year, and there may have been one Dominique who was an underdog who might have been a good roo. But, I was not equipped to keep a roo at that time. So, this year, I ended up taking back one of the hatchlings that I had given away. He was a beautiful EE boy, and has been trounced by the older hens a few times. He behaves himself quite nicely. He occasionally dances, but he could use some lessons on that front. He looks like Kramer (On Seinfeld) falling down. My Jack is a joy to have around, and I love the way he always has something to say.
  7. nevergiveup

    nevergiveup In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2014
    Thanks for that lazy gardener. This is my first flock and I don't know much, but one thing I do know is that I do not want nasty roosters! So probably my best move is to cull them all and start again in the spring. Boo hoo.[​IMG]
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I wouldn't get rid of them all. I'd watch and observe them, and choose my favorite. Give him a chance. You can always get rid of it later if it doesn't work out.
  9. nevergiveup

    nevergiveup In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2014
    Yup, bobbi-j, its going to turn out like that anyway really because we don't have a freezer so we'll have to cull and eat one at a time. And it took us one week to eat all of the first one. Yum ! Also every time a roo is culled it changes the dynamic of the group, so although I am preparing myself to have to cull them all, I am hoping one will show some wisdom and pull through without being a bully. Thanks for that, bobbi-j
  10. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    I've found out that when I cull a mean rooster that 1 of 2 things will happen; with the agressive one gone the rest of them will calm down & act right, or, with the agressive one gone another one will move up in the order and take his place as a tryant.
    For the last 2 years I had been trying to raise a replacement rooster for my layer pen and almost wore out my hatchet in the process.

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