Bachelor pens -- Did yours work out?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SilverPhoenix, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    I have five roos in one of my pens. The five boys get along great, but on occasion it seems they will gang up on a hen and chase her and bother her so much that she refuses to leave her perch. There have been about five "victims" of this kind of behavior so far, and I was isolating the girls in my extra dog kennel until they recovered and got some of their confidence back. Of course, if I keep removing the girls, that doesn't solve the problem, though--they'll still eventually choose another hen to pick on. I'm not interested in getting rid of the roos (well, some can go if I can find them good homes, but I want to keep most of them). So I decided to switch the beat-up hens with the roosters, and I have all of the boys from that pen plus a couple more (and my male chukar because he's as much a perpetrator of harassing the hens as the roosters). So far they're pacing dramatically and making sharp movements like piranhas. [​IMG] Not hurting each other or anything, though.

    My question is, if you've had a bachelor pen, how did it work out? Did the guys settle down and end up fairly content? Or should I brace myself for drama and more bird sorting? I'll work it out regardless because I can shuffle birds until peace is restored to the chicken kingdom, but it'll be awfully convenient if my boys can just have their own place while the girls are able to relax.

    Give me your bachelor pen experiences and stories so I know what to expect!
  2. pipthepeep

    pipthepeep Chirping

    Aug 19, 2010
    I would say it depends, just keep an eye out. Sometimes they will surprise you! My two "bachelor pen" roos were raised together and never had any problems other than a minor scuffle until one week ago, when all hell broke loose and they pretty much tried to fight to the death (ripped off waddles, blood everywhere, had to separate them by force with a stick). I put them in separate pens, and the one time I let them out to free range one at a time I found them fighting through the chicken wire, bad enough to cause streams of blood....bff one week, enemies the next....I have read stories of lots of other people who successfully keep their bachelor roos together with no problems...
  3. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    [​IMG] Thanks SO MUCH for creating this thread, I will be watching and am very curious.
  4. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Crowing

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    I have 2 bachelor pens. Most of the time it works. Every once in a while one will get picked on. I did have to remove one roo from the pens because for some reason they all hated him. I only keep roos together that have been raised together as chicks.
  5. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I have a bachelor pen. It's a large pen with a nice area for the birds to escape to. I had a LOT of boys in there together earlier this year. These were all boys who grew up together (in that pen), and although I had certain boys who were obviously the bottom of the totem pole, there were no major injuries and it kept the boys from harassing the girls. Then I pulled a half dozen boys for a sale and put them back a day later. Overnight they attempted to kill 1 of those boys. I had to remove him from the pen permanently. Other than that, they were okay. I have whittled my rooster population down to only 2 left in that pen, and they did grow up together, so they are best of pals. I have 3 extra roosters in my big yard currently, and if they weren't going to become lunch for someone in a few days, they would be moving into the bachelor pen themselves, once the 2 boys leave in the next week.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I keep a bachelor pen as well. If the boys were all raised together then they have long since settled their pecking order so there will be few problems.

    It's when you introduce new boys that there can sometimes be problems. I have to watch them close for the first week or so when I put new birds in to make sure the newcomer isn't getting beat up too badly. Occasionally it's one of the birds that has been there all along that gets beat up so it can work both ways. But by and large the bachelor pen works well for me and allows me to keep more cock birds than I'd want running around with my hens.
  7. vatterpa

    vatterpa Songster

    May 4, 2010
    Indiana, PA
    I call mine "Death Row" because that is where the excess roosters are located. So far I have only had one problem. They picked on the leghorn rooster, who previously was a top "dog", he had to go to camp early. Other than that, just changing the pecking order. It took about two weeks and now they have calmed down.
  8. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    Thank you for all the helpful replies, everyone! It's great to know the bachelor pad method, while not failproof, tends to go fairly decently in general. Already this morning my roosters were looking calmer and pecking around. Not so much pacing and frantic movement. One or two of them may be crowned "Most Eligible Bachelor" and put back in the main coop if he can prove that he'll treat the girls well, but for now I think I like this arrangement. [​IMG] They all decided to sleep on top of the dog house they have instead of in it, but I suppose that's all right and hopefully eventually they'll move into the doghouse instead.

    It's so funny how much the chukar seems to think he's a rooster. He's just part of the crew, doesn't know any different! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: