Before you make a bachelor pad, a cautionary tale.

Dona Worry

Crowing
Jul 5, 2018
1,526
6,918
377
Vermont
I work/co-own a dairy farm where there have been feral chickens forever. My hen Susan was the last female of the bunch, and since she left the farm, there are just 3 roosters, ranging in age from 8 months to 4 years.
They have all the food they can eat, literally everywhere. Dozens of access points for water. An entire farm, with all the barn, outbuildings, and nooks and crannies that you find.

And yesterday, they got into the worst rooster fight I've seen in years.
They will all occasionally spare, usually the two older ones. Nothing has ever come of it-- usually one runs underneath a cow and even a chicken is smart enough not to pursue a fight under a 1200lb animal.
I don't know what was different about yesterday. They all seemed normal in the morning, but when I showed up for evening chores, the middle roo was completely covered in blood, comb torn almost completely off and one eye may be punctured. The old roo was bloodied and battered, but obviously the winner, and I searched high and low for the youngest, and never found him.
I wanted to doctor or cull the middle roo, but he wasn't so hurt that he couldn't still outrun me, and when it got dark, I couldn't find him anymore.

SO, even when you have rooster that are biologically related to each other (father and 2 sons) raised by hens in a natural setting, have all the space, shelter, food, water, and hideouts they could want, with no hens within a mile... they might still try and kill each other.
 
Last edited:

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
This cautionary tail is something that everyone concerned with so called bully hens or roosters should take to heart.

Chickens in a natural setting can only do well if there is a pecking order or some other type of hierarchy in force. Without the pecking order a flock of chickens will soon become an unruly mob and every chicken will take off to parts unknown to start his or her own one chicken flock.

Only by every chicken having its own place and knowing where that place is can a chicken flock come and stay together.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,609
137,685
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
I’ve had two what I call death fights here. One was very early on when I came to Catalonia. This fight was between all the roosters. Apparently the rooster who used to be overall boss died and left 4 related roosters who then fought to see who would take the dead roosters place. It was shocking. It went on for hours on and off. One rooster called Major beat all comers, but on loser would not leave the issue alone and despite getting beaten every time he fought Major he just wouldn’t stop. He got eaten in the end.
The other was just between two roosters and this also went on for hours.
I would break them up and an hour later find them at it again. Eventually one rooster lost most of one ear and a great deal of his comb. It took two days of constant intervention before the injured rooster finally gave up.
Fortunately most rooster fights are over very quickly once the hierarchy is established.
Roosters need hens to function fully.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,284
20,119
907
Southeast Louisiana
When you deal with living animals you can never be sure what behaviors you will see. We can often tell you what is most likely to happen in certain circumstances but no one can give guarantees about what behaviors you will actually see with your individual chickens and your unique conditions.

Bachelor pads work for a lot of people, many people are able to keep flocks of different roosters and hens together without serious problems especially with a lot of room, and most flocks of just hens can get along quite peacefully with enough room. But Dona's story of a free ranging all-rooster flock and Shadrach's story of multiple free ranging flocks of hens and roosters show that about anything can happen, even the unexpected. If you read enough posts on here you can find where a flock of all-hens can have some serious fights. While a lot of techniques usually work you just don't get guarantees with living animals and their behaviors.
 

Dona Worry

Crowing
Jul 5, 2018
1,526
6,918
377
Vermont
Some times more is better. I do not setup small bachelor groups like OP has because I know better.
I don't know if it is or isn't-- but I see the advice of 'set up a bachelor pad!' bandied about pretty frequently, and a lot of the advice is the same-- plenty of space, multiple feeders, far enough that they can't see or hear the hens.
These guys have all those things, and a pretty well established pecking order.
Middle roo hasn't been seen since the afternoon of the fight, but the youngest popped up yesterday. A little beat up but no worse for wear.
 

Saaniya

Crowing
Aug 31, 2017
2,447
7,407
482
New Delhi India
I work/co-own a dairy farm where there have been feral chickens forever. My hen Susan was the last female of the bunch, and since she left the farm, there are just 3 roosters, ranging in age from 8 months to 4 years.
They have all the food they can eat, literally everywhere. Dozens of access points for water. An entire farm, with all the barn, outbuildings, and nooks and crannies that you find.

And yesterday, they got into the worst rooster fight I've seen in years.
They will all occasionally spare, usually the two older ones. Nothing has ever come of it-- usually one runs underneath a cow and even a chicken is smart enough not to pursue a fight under a 1200lb animal.
I don't know what was different about yesterday. They all seemed normal in the morning, but when I showed up for evening chores, the middle roo was completely covered in blood, comb torn almost completely off and one eye may be punctured. The old roo was bloodied and battered, but obviously the winner, and I searched high and low for the youngest, and never found him.
I wanted to doctor or cull the middle roo, but he wasn't so hurt that he couldn't still outrun me, and when it got dark, I couldn't find him anymore.

SO, even when you have rooster that are biologically related to each other (father and 2 sons) raised by hens in a natural setting, have all the space, shelter, food, water, and hideouts they could want, with no hens within a mile... they might still try and kill each other.

Woah that seems like they are angry I've also.two roosters they fought too but not so often but anytime they can trigger the fight on anything.i need to stop them.anytime i notice


Just yesterday I was not at home my roosters injured each other minorly

In summer I use to shower them whenever I notice them but nowadays it's winter
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I don't know if it is or isn't-- but I see the advice of 'set up a bachelor pad!' bandied about pretty frequently, and a lot of the advice is the same-- plenty of space, multiple feeders, far enough that they can't see or hear the hens.
These guys have all those things, and a pretty well established pecking order.
Middle roo hasn't been seen since the afternoon of the fight, but the youngest popped up yesterday. A little beat up but no worse for wear.

Let us get past the apples versus oranges bit that make the birds appear unpredictable.

I set groups of animals routinely for a variety of purposes. Many of them, including groups of adult male chickens, have default inclinations to setup hierarchies. Typically those at the bottom, under natural conditions, disperse to find areas where they can be higher up the social latter. When birds are confined or otherwise have no options for dispersal (which can be realized even for free-range groups), the stakes get higher where taking greater risks in battle is worth it.

What I do is make so winning is not worth it. If you have too many competitors, then a critters head does calculations and concludes fights are not worth the effort. Additionally, if a dominant individual has too many targets for aggression, then the effort becomes diluted.

Above you left out the key item that needs to be more. The number of roosters in the social group. Minimum I feel comfortable with is six. Maximum I run in 12 using 10' x 10' dog kennels for containment. Thus range 6-12.

I almost always have multiple groups in parallel so have handle on the random nature of keeping such groups. Smaller groups are more likely to do the battle royal.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,609
137,685
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
My opinion is the advice regarding bachelor pads is based on erroneous assumptions.
In my experience fights (the serious ones) are not over hens.
The hens choose the roosters in the end. While a rooster may be able to force a hen to mate, particularly if the hen doesn’t have a rooster of her own, a rooster can’t make a hen live with him, follow him about, take the treats he finds, or even breed with him. A hen can abort unwanted sperm.
The roosters know this, so they have to attract the hens.
The roosters have it seems to me at least a separate hierarchy from the hens and often it seems this is based on access to resources. The rooster that can take his hens to the ‘best’ spots attracts hens.
So, having hens out of sight of the roosters seems to me to be a bit pointless. The roosters may still fight.
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom