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Can a rooster have all the hens? explanation in thread..

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tadpole98, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a flock of 60-70 chickens, and three main roosters (the others are bantams lol!). i noticed each roo has its own set of girls that follows him around, but the "Top Dog' AKA Dart, he doesnt seem to have any. I know hes highest on the pecking order, and i always see him breeding a random hen, then after that having to prove his rank to the rooster that the hen belonged to. So i was curious if a rooster in the top order had to have his own set. sorry if this doesnt make sense, I tried to explain it well, lol!
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Free-ranging chickens tend to separate themselves into family groups, that I've seen. Interesting that your top roo seems not to have hens that are exclusively his own, also that the apparently subordinate roosters challenge him to breeding rights. I assume these subordinates always back down or get chased off after one of these encounters?
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I had a similar set-up with anything between 2 and 7 roosters at a time and around 50 hens. My "top roo" also went around, mating with random hens and keeping the youngsters in check. He didn't have his own little group of girls, he had the whole flock. The other roosters were allowed to hang out with their groups, but the top roo was the boss. And if he wanted to mate with a hen, or heaven forbid, catch another roo in the act, he stepped in and did what was needed. When we hatched eggs the chicks were usually 50/50 between him and the second in command, so he got around.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If the birds are confined, then being a harem master probably does not benefit the dominant rooster since he can mate with any and all so long as he has the spunk to do so. Being a harem master is expensive for the harem master and a cost to rooster in free-range setting. He is investing in a group of hens in a manner that competes with effort that could otherwise be directed towards spending more effort mating with hens.
     
  5. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nobody is confined, they are 100% free range all day. At night we do put them in a coop to keep them from the predators.


    The other roosters just look at him all mean and kinda come near him as if to fight, but then just walk away mad. [​IMG] the poor things.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    One of the things I look to distinguish harems is they have ranges with very little overlap (essentially territories) and roost in separate locations. If all roosting in same location, then harems may not be discrete enabling dominant rooster to do as he pleases. You may see a different pattern if groups of hens with a harem master have their own coop to roost in and areas to feed and hange out where others harems do not.
     

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