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Are hens emotionally attached to roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by asinnamon, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. asinnamon

    asinnamon In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I've posted a couple times about our rooster problem. We still have them all, 3 roos to 9 hens and the roos are still over sexing our hens. We are so torn on which rooster(s) to invite to dinner!! We would never make it as farmers!

    If we get rid of all three roos, will the hens miss them? Will they accept a new roo?


  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    They will probably wave good bye with great glee. Yes they will accept another rooster. If the roosters are causing problems, have you considered separating them from the hens? It would make for a lot less stress and possible injury.
  3. StewedMammal

    StewedMammal Songster

    Feb 19, 2013
    Pembroke, MA
    They should be fine. In fact, they may actually be happy when they are gone since they won't be bothering them any longer. Yes they would accept a new rooster after.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    if you get rid of all three roosters, your hens will likely be far more happy. Right now I'm guessing they can hardly eat, drink or rest because one or more of them is trying to breed them. At least that's what it was like here when I had way too many roosters. I don't believe chickens get "emotionally" attached to anything. They are chickens, not feathered people. Chickens don't like change, so if you get rid of two or all three roosters your hens will be confused for a while, but believe me - they won't mourn the loss of the roosters. They will enjoy being able to live in peace. Another thing that will happen when you change the flock dynamics is, they will need to re-sort their pecking order. This may or may not involve squabbles here and there, but every time you add or subtract chickens, they need to sort things out. If you want to keep one of them, go out and observe your flock. Figure out which one has a temperament you like the best. Are any human-aggressive? Get rid of any that are. Do you see any one of them being particularly harder on the hens than the other roosters? Invite him to dinner. If you want to get rid of all of them, the hens will be just fine. One of them will probably take on the role of flock-watcher and alert the others to danger. Ask yourself why you want a rooster in the first place. Your answer may guide you in whether you get rid of two or all three of them.
    4 people like this.
  5. asinnamon

    asinnamon In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2013
    New Hampshire
    All good news, thanks!! We didn't actually want any roos to begin with. We mail ordered and I think a new chick sexer was being trained on our order, lol. Yes, all three have gone after us humans more then once. Now we are thinking it would be good to have 1 roo for flock protection, given that we have hawks and fox that frequent our area in the Spring.
  6. COChix

    COChix Crowing

    Jun 12, 2014
    My Coop
    We just went through something similar, we had 24 hens and had 4 roo's, they are all from the same hatch and are a mixed flock. We culled two RIR cockerels around month 6 as the roo's started over mating the girls. Plus they were aggessive, one was a decent flock protector but huge and agressive with girls. Anyway, two days after culling them we got our first egg. Things had been good up until about 10days ago. We had 23 hens and 2 BO roo's and they were great together, but I came out one day to bring them in from free range and I found them bloody and fighting. They had some squabbles before but this was different. I reviewed our video system and could see that the fight probably started off camera and from when they came into camera view to when I found them it was 40 minutes. We seperated them and left the alpha with the flock and the second in command in a separate coop. The next day they fought through then run chicken wire, I also had a chance to check them over better. The second in command took the brunt of the fight as evidenced by his comb and head feather's or lack thereof. The alpha seemed to have some scratches on his comb and a couple chunks of his wattles missing.

    Then came decision time, we knew we couldn't keep them both after their first fight most certainly would have ended in death, if I had not found them when I did. Secondly, the second in command was rough mating with the girls and they were over mated as evidenced by the barebacks. Our alpha was alpha from the day he crowed first, so it was an easier decision. Even though they are named and I had grown attached to the second in command. So on Valentine's Day we processed our second in command. The alpha is recovering and is very skitterish and seems to not have to strut his stuff so much. The flock seems more at ease and some girls are getting pin feathers again on their backs. Egg production has been all over the place this past week, we will see what happens from here.

    While it is hard to make these types of decisions, it is necessary that you maintain the balance of your flock. Fighting will most certainly only escalate from here. Good luck.
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    A peaceful flock is a joy to have. I go for that. If they have gone for people, that would be a ticket out of the flock. Look around locally, talk to other local chicken people, telling them you need a nice rooster. Ten to one, someone will have one they have not butchered because he is so nice.... and that would be the best rooster for you!
    1 person likes this.

  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Your poor hens will throw you a great big egg party for relieving them.
  9. Naser

    Naser Songster

    Oct 29, 2014
    I had 3 roosters. recently I culled 2. the only reaction from the hens was they wanted to eat the carcass
    The real emotional reaction came from the remaining rooster. he was crowing and dancing in joy.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I posted this in your other thread.....did you try it?

    Also, a rooster may, or may not, 'protect' your flock from predators...he may warn them in time to take cover, or may just get eaten first, or he may just run and hide at the first sign of trouble.
    1 person likes this.

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