Can I keep more than one rooster in a single coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Clay In Iowa, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    That's a question I read 100 times over the past year. There were always replies from both sides of the isle, keep them (if they were raised together)/ kill all but one. I had roosters from 5 different breeds and I really wanted to breed them this spring to increase my flock so I decided to keep all 5. After all they were raised together and hadn’t shown any real signs of aggression outside of a minor stand off so far. In fact they roosted together ate next to each other and really got along just fine.

    In early December I was doing chores. I looked over at my nest boxes to see my favorite Welsummer rooster standing inside one. I shooed him out and went about feeding watering and then stepped out to collect eggs. My nest boxes open from the outside for easy access and so my 5 year old can collect eggs with out a rooser attacking him, again. I opened one of the boxes and was shocked at what I saw. It looked as is a chicken had exploded in the box. There was blood all over. Then it hit me. It’s the box my Wellie roo was in. I ran around the corner to check on him. He was in the corner shaking and on closer examination bleeding from the comb, head and neck. My only choice to save him was to remove him to another pen that was occupied by 10, 8 week old Buckeyes. He was in shock, he wouldn’t eat, drink and could barely stand. Over the next two hours I watched him and froze my butt off, it was in the teens. He stayed under a heat lamp I had in the pen and started to recover. It took him almost 90 minutes but he drank a little and ate some cracked corn from my hand. He seemed better so I was off to tend to my two boys and finish dinner. I was 100% certain I’d have a dead roo in the morning. To my surprise he recovered. It took almost a week but he started crowing again and is now back to normal minus the points on his comb.

    I thought I was back in business with the other roos. Only 4 left in the coop with 28 hens. Well boys will be boys. The roos didn’t really get into it with each other but they certainly did like to do what roosters do. My hens seemed to be taking a beating. Many were starting to show signs of wear on their backs and the back of their heads. All this time my egg production was dropping I told my self it was for the typical reasons, cold weather, less light (even thought I have a light in the coop). After watching my hens lose feathers faster than they could possibly manage I made a REALLY hard choice, 3 of the 4 remaining roos had to go. 2 weeks ago I made my choice and it was “off with their heads”.

    It’s been 2 weeks now and the change in the coop is amazing. Looking back I thought the hens stayed on the roosts all day because it was cold. I remember them just sitting there all day rarely getting down for any reason. When I thinned the roos, just 2 weeks ago, I was down to about 3 eggs a day, from 28 hens. I was going through about 30 Lbs of feed a week and 2 gallons of water a day. Now after my rooster removal program they are almost always on the floor of the coop doing all kinds if chickeny things, scratching, eating (OMG eating) and once again laying eggs. Last week I went through 60 + pounds of feed, 3 gallons of water a day and over the past week I’m averaging 9 eggs a day.

    For me, here’s the take away lesson. Not only will roosters eventually “get into it” and do each other some serious harm, they will in the process of trying to “out rooster” each other stress your hens to the point the won’t leave the roost to eat, drink , or lay. Last night I collected a dozen eggs and the average just keeps climbing. I’m down to 22 layers because 6 are molting. So for this flock over the past 6 months that’s amazing. And keep in mind the jump in productions comes mid-winter in 10-20 degree day with temps with over night temps in the single digits. The only difference is my coop is a very pleasant place for the hens now, no fighting, no gang “roostering” and no stress.

    That’s my 2 pennies on the question "Can I keep more than one rooster in a single coop?"
    2 people like this.
  2. Gonzo

    Gonzo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Southwestern, In
    Very good Point!
  3. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have five roosters in one coop but they are in rooster jails. Three are alone, and one jail has two roosters in it, but they get along. One very docile D'Uccle and a Japanese. Except for the D'Uccle all were born this summer and as they grew up, got more and more feisty. One of them I had to put a tarp around the jail cell as he would stick his head out of the 2 x 4 welded wire it is made from and grab the little hens who were scratching in the straw too close to him. In my case being raised together has little effect. Two roosters that will get into it are father and son, and the two that don't fight...the D'Uccle was the foster daddy to the Japanese who is the product of a friend's donated fertile eggs. I have to agree that it is nature over nurture and if I plan on keeping more than a couple roosters that I'm going to have to keep them segregated.

    I have to go out and turn the heat and the water heater on in the is going to turn cold and snow and ice are coming.
    I am SO ready for Spring.
    Terry in TN
    1 person likes this.
  4. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Well said, Clay. I had sibling roos in one pen until about a week ago. All was fine until about three weeks ago (when they hit about 32 weeks). As I was filling feed buckets I heard incredible screeching. The alpha roo was in hot pursuit of the other. I wadded into the fray and out alpha roo-ed the both of them, but clearly the writing was on the wall. The junior roo was re-homed within the week. I have one more roo in that pen, but he is not mature yet. I see him having to go soon though. He is starting to show an interest in the girls. Sigh. Boys, boys, boys.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Clay. [​IMG]
  5. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    Well I have my Buff Orpingtons and bantams together and I have probably like ... 15 roos all in the same pen! I've never had that happen! But, once I hat to get rid of abunch of roosters cause they were eating to MUCH FEED! Yes, they do eat ALOT!
  6. muddyhorse

    muddyhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2009
    Bloomsdale, MO
    I think the size of the pen and the breed of roo has a lot to do with this. I have a 40x 70 pen with 5 roos. an EE 2 giant cochins, a banty cochin, and a blue sumatra. they all get along. I have multiple roos in the silkie pens as well. I could see this being a problem i I had aggressive roos but crabby roos go bye bye
  7. muddyhorse

    muddyhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2009
    Bloomsdale, MO
    I think the size of the pen and the breed of roo has a lot to do with this. I have a 40x 70 pen with 5 roos. an EE 2 giant cochins, a banty cochin, and a blue sumatra. they all get along. I have multiple roos in the silkie pens as well. I could see this being a problem i I had aggressive roos but crabby roos go bye bye
  8. SAN D I SEZ

    SAN D I SEZ New Egg

    Mar 1, 2012
    I just read this whole thread...WOW! I wish I had read it sooner..... I have 3 roosters and all of them were fine together till yesterday when the 2 younger roosters both 6 mos old decided to attack and almost kill my older rooster -who is much smaller than the 2 bullying giants.......I have my lil guy in my bathtub and I am nursing him back to health.....he seems to be responding an drinking and eating..Oh and crowing!!! lol..the Other 2 will be leaving for a new home tomorrow,This breaks my heart but I should have researched better=/ so today I joined this website and with guidance from all who post here I will educate myself and raise healthy and happy chickens-Thank-you all=)

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