Can I keep my Roos?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by IonaFarm, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. IonaFarm

    IonaFarm In the Brooder

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    I too ended up with roos instead of pullets from the feed store.

    One is a light Brahma- Captain Doodle and the other is a BR- Sir Cluck. They are both beautiful. But Hormones are raging. Will it ever calm down?

    The other chicks are 16-20 week pullets: 2 brown leghorns, 4 EE, 2buff Orp, 1 BR plus 4 NH from last year. Are 2 roosters too many for my little flock? Or does one need to go? How do you choose?

    Is there a way to separate the roos, from the girls, without them killing each other?

    I have learned so much from this website! Thanks everyone.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    One is a light Brahma- Captain Doodle and the other is a BR- Sir Cluck. They are both beautiful. But Hormones are raging. Will it ever calm down?

    By hormones, I assume you are talking about fighting. One of two things will happen. Either one will kill the other or they will work out an accommodation once they figure out which is top and which is subordinate. Usually when two roosters are raised together, they work out their differences as they mature. There is some fighting involved but usually not a lot and it is usually not exceptionally violent. They form a partnership to protect the flock and work pretty well together. One will lead the way out of the coop in the morning and one will stay with the stragglers so they are all protected, for example. Or if danger threatens, they will both position themselves to protect the flock. This dominant/subordinate position is determined more by spirit than by size or strength. Both get to mate with the hens, but the dominant gets first choice. But sometimes the two are very evenly matched in spirit and neither can dominate the other. Neither is willing to accept the second-in-command position, so they fight to the death. Or sometimes one is so much stronger than the other that the stronger kills the weaker almost in contempt, as if "I don't think you are capable of helping me defend the flock." Often, especially if you have sufficient room, the flock will pretty much split in two with each rooster having his own harem. They get along together and work together, just don't spend a lot of free time together.

    If by hormones you mean that the roosters are chasing and catching the pullets in an effort to mate with them and the pullets are resisting, it may or may not calm down. At that age, the roosters can be like adolescents with hormones raging and they've just discovered a new toy. The pullets have not yet discovered that toy so for the rooster to follow his instincts he has to use brute force. So as the roosters and pullets both mature, it may calm down. Something else has to happen though. The roosters have to be able to dominate the pullets by the sheer force of their magnificent personality. If the rooster cannot do that, then the pullets may never accept his dominance. And the hens do observe the rooster. If he behaves properly by finding them food and letting them eat first, is properly vigilant in protecting them, breaking up fights, and doing all the things a rooster needs to do, they are more likely to accept his advances. It depends on their personalities too. Some hens will never accept any rooster dominating them and some roosters are just brutes.

    The other chicks are 16-20 week pullets: 2 brown leghorns, 4 EE, 2buff Orp, 1 BR plus 4 NH from last year. Are 2 roosters too many for my little flock? Or does one need to go?

    Again, this depends. What are your goals for roosters and your flock? What are your worries? What is your set-up? How much room do you have? There are so many factors involved that no one can answer your question for you or can accurately tell you what will happen. We can tell you what might happen or what happened to us, but each flock has its own dynamics. They are all different. These threads might help a lot more than anything I can type. I specifically included the thread on "breeders managing roosters" to dispel some myths about barebacked hens. Most of the people posting in that thread are very experienced people that I trust a lot.

    Breeders managing roosters
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=250327

    Number of roosters thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=219443

    Managing multiple roosters
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=229968


    How do you choose?

    Again a hard question. When you remove one rooster, the dynamics change, especially if the one you remove is the dominant one. Part of it depends on your goals too. If one has characteristics you prefer, then that may become obvious. I'm raising chickens partly for meat, so some of the characteristics I look for are growth rate and size. Other things come in to play, but that's part of my criteria. I doubt that is important to you, but that depends on your individual goals. One of the things that can affect barebacked hens is the size difference in the roosters and hens. The more size difference the more likely you are to have barebacked hens, so all else being equal, you might want to choose the smaller. Something else to consider. When you remove the dominant one, the behavior of the one who becomes dominant may change and not for the better. If you are happy with the one that is dominant, then I'd suggest you consider keeping him. There is no one right answer.

    Is there a way to separate the roos, from the girls, without them killing each other?

    If you remove the roosters from the pullets and keep them in their own bachelor pad, they will probably calm down. It is pretty much like keeping two hens together if the girls are not around to get them excited. But if you ever separate the roosters from the girls, or separate one rooster from the flock and later put them back together with the girls, you are guaranteed there will be some pretty serious fighting. They may be able to work it out without one killing the other, but they may not. Either never separate them or once you do, never let them back together with the girls. You can rotate them, let one be with the flock for a while and keep the other isolated, then swap them out. Just don't let them be together with the girls. It depends on your goals.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  3. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

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    Ridgerunner - I just had to say - that was a great post! I'm learning so much on this site, and your post is a prime example of the wonderful advice and experience people on here share. Thanks for taking the time to educate us newbies!
     

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