ALPHA ROOSTER : To cull or not to cull?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by thewobsers, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. thewobsers

    thewobsers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2008
    near toledo ohio
    well, here is the situation and we are trying to come up with a better solution.

    We have 3 roosters, a black australorp (very good with the ladies but wont have anything to do with us humans), a RIR(He is very watchful over the flock and is very good natured with humans) and a golden laced wyandotte (he used to be sweet natured til a month ago, he is charging us some- tries to fertilize hens not too smooth yet-but we would like to hatch chicks from him). All have been raised together with the 17 hens since day old. Our coop is divided 8 X 8 each side and they are all in only the one side (8 X 8). we have a big run 30 by 50 i think. the chickens are all 7 months old and the roosters have the pecking order going on.
    the australorp is definitely the alpha and then the wyandotte and in last place is the RIR. The australorp doesnt allow the RIR to have any hens and the wyandotte has to sneak to get any action with the hens.

    If we were to seperate the australorp (alpha)with about 7 hens and keep the other 2 roosters with about 10 hens would that be detrimental to all involved (pecking order and companionships etc) or would one of the other 2 roosters take all of the rest of the hens for himself and not allow RIR to have any still?
    Could we eventually allow all to be together again or would culling be the answer? If we cull the wyandotte would the alpha allow the RIR to have hens? DOnt know what to look for in a good rooster.
    Any thoughts????
  2. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    k i dont think you need to do anything chickens will always have a pecking order no matter how many you kill. if you want to seperate the first rooster, the other two will fight and one will take the role as new dominant rooster, as long as theyre not fighting, just let them be, because you want chicks from the dominant rooster, hes the strongest,
  3. skand

    skand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    You should see our yard. Pens in every square inch!
    To maintain fertility, you need to divide some of your hens with each rooster. If you give all the hens to one or two, you are not guaranteed to get all fertile eggs. Imagine trying to make 17 females happy every day.. hard huh.
    We got some pens from tractor supply, they work great. Unless you feel the handyman gene going strong, then you can build your own. We use dog igloos for shelter, stick a piece of wood in front with a cinderblock to keep the varmits from getting them. To keep the males from attacking through the fence, we use that shading stuff for hunters, came from walmart for $10.
    Each roo has about 3 to 4 hens. Our hatch from yesterday.. 40 eggs far we've hatched 30+...It's working for us, might you too.
    Good luck
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    IMO, keep the australorp. A rooster that's good to and with his hens, but ignores or is just a tad bit afraid of humans is what you want.
    You have one too many roos for the number of hens. Roos have a seperate pecking order from the hens. If you remove the alpha (australorp), the other two are going to fight for the top spot. Once they get it they may not be as nice about it as your alpha is now.
    If you want to keep a second rooster, which you could with the # of hens you have, pick the one that is most respectful of you and your place at the very top of the flock. The one that is clumsey with the hens in mating will get the hang of it in time.
    The alpha roo is suppose to keep the others from getting any action when he can. That's one of his jobs and his way of making sure that he as the strongest leader of the flock is the daddy of any resulting offspring.
  5. cherig22

    cherig22 Green Fields Farm

    Sep 2, 2008
    SW Missouri
    Imagine trying to make 17 females happy every day.. hard huh.

    Tell that to my two Polish roos, lol. They were the bad boys until the other roos caught up. Dang, they did nothing all day but chase the hens.

    They are better now that the two Marans are bigger. They chase them away most times from their hens.

  6. skand

    skand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    Not every mating will guarantee fertilization if they have to tend to business 17 times every day. Just cause they do it, don't mean it's done right every time.
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Your coop is very small for 3 roosters in the mix. If you continue with more thanone rooster in with hens in any number of pens your hens will be severely overmated - even when you think a subordinate roo is not mating hens you can bet he is.

    Pick one good rooster with the qualities you like and get rid of the other 2 for the very best scenerio in your coop. If you split the coop into 2 pens then keep 2 small flocks. Generally speaking you have 1 too many roosters in that case.
  8. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    I would divide your hens to two pens and keep GLW and Australorp Roo. You have a good fertility ratio there and you will be able to have offspring from your GLW roo.
  9. thewobsers

    thewobsers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2008
    near toledo ohio
    OK, just to give the latest on the situation here.

    we processed the meat chickens thurs and cleaned, disinfected the one side of coop, removed the divider and now have double the space for our laying flock and 3 roos.
    The atmosphere, feeling if you will is very peaceful and the roos are not fighting either... the alpha australorp is still making sure the other 2 know he is watching them and will chase them some but nothing nasty. They have been kept indoors the last 2 days due to driving rain and snowy muddy cold conditions.

    we have hung veggies for them to keep them busy too.
    but so far they are getting along, i also read in the storeys guide book that 3 or more roosters seem to fight less... we shall see if that holds true here.

    thanks for the expert advice.
  10. skand

    skand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    Good to hear everything is going good.

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