Are red sex link roosters aggressive?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Ouwendyker, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Ouwendyker

    Ouwendyker Chirping

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    I’m going to be ordering ready to lay red sex link chickens in the spring, i was thinking 30 altogether. If I order a few roosters as well, will they get along with each other?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    It doesn't matter if they are Red Sex Links, Silkies, Barred Rock, or practically any other breed, certain behaviors are typical of immature cockerels and pullets. The intensity and seriousness of those behaviors can vary widely, I'm not sure what you would find acceptable behaviors. The more room you have the less likely it is to be dangerous, but there is always a risk of injury or death.

    The cockerels will determine which is boss. That is generally determined by intimidation and fighting. Sometimes that is nothing more than a brief skirmish and a lot of running away and chasing. That's one reason you need more room, they need to be able to run away and get away. That might be a fight to the death, especially if they don't have enough room to run away and get away. Most of the time, if you have sufficient room, they fight but reach an accommodation where they all know their places in the hierarchy.

    Point-Of-Lay pullets are still immature. They do not yet understand the roll they play in chicken society and will usually resist any advances of a male. Typically this means they try to run away. The hormones of the cockerels are in control, they don't have much self-control or restraint so they try to force the pullets to submit. At this stage the sex act is more about dominance, the one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or by force. At this age it's usually by force and can be very unpleasant to watch. The pullets do not want to be dominated. Again the more room you have the better the pullets can cope with this unwanted attention, maybe by being in the coop on the roosts to avoid the boys. This stage and these behaviors are when a lot of people decide they really don't need males in their flock.

    You can avoid a lot of this unpleasantness with the pullets by housing the cockerels separate from the pullets until most of the pullets are laying, then combining them. The boys will still probably fight but the pullets should be more cooperative so mating should not be as violent.

    What are your goals regarding males? Why do you want males? The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Anything else is just personal preference. There are plenty of people out there that have all-female flocks and are extremely happy. Others would not want a flock without a rooster, even if they don't want fertile eggs. Your personal preference is what it is so work with it.

    I always suggest you keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. That's not because you are guaranteed more problems with multiple roosters, but the more you have the more likely problems are. For some people the correct number is zero.

    Why Red Sex Link roosters specifically? Again it comes down to your goals. What is so special about RSL roosters that you want them and not some other kind? You may have other options if others are acceptable, such as waiting until your POL pullets are hens and bring in mature roosters from neighbors to avoid a lot of that teenage drama.

    There is nothing wrong with your basic plan, it could work very well. At the end of the day you should wind up with a pretty peaceful flock. People do what you are considering all the time and usually quite successfully, especially if they have sufficient room. But the journey there with adolescent pullets and cockerels can be a bit rough.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Ouwendyker

    Ouwendyker Chirping

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    Jun 8, 2015
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    My goals with the roosters are so I can have some fertile eggs and I enjoy watching the roosters,
    And the sounds they make like when they find a worm and call for the hens. I plan on having them free range so lots of room to get away. I want the red sex link roosters because I’m getting the RSL hens, and because I haven’t had RSL roosters before and they have a nice colour. All in all, thanks for all the information!
     

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