Can I keep them?

Shireen

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 8, 2012
7
4
67
I had one hen left so I got a new flock this spring. Four hens and 5 straight run mixed bantams. Out of those 5, four turned out to be roosters. So, now I have 4 roosters (silkies, cochin, and idk) and 5 hens total. I've looked into rehoming the roosters. Every time I get close to finding them a home, my heart breaks and I get a lump in my throat. They are behaving fairly well. They fight each other a little but end it quickly. They peck at the hens or a couple of roosters will try to mount the same hen. Most of the time they are free range so the hen gets away pretty easily. But winter is coming and they will have less space. Also, I think they are still maturing. Most of the hens started laying last week.
Is there a good chance this will work out ok if I keep all 4 roosters or will I be setting myself up for lots of problems and an unhappy flock? I just love each one of them. I do not have the ability this year to keep them in separate coops/runs.
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,241
1,287
Washington State
I think you'll know fairly soon. Your cockerels are probably just reaching their hormone induced amorous stage. Then you may find your pullets are losing a lot of feathers on their backs from over-mating, and you don't want that going into winter. If you find a way to set up a bachelor pad, I understand it needs to be out of sight of the pullets. You can plan for separation now, or do it when you don't have a choice. Then again...what if it works? :confused:
 
3

333113

Guest
I have had rooster pens in sight of hens and pullets and also out of sight, and I don't see much difference in behavior in either case.

If you keep the cockerels together as they grow into roosters, they will get along fine. By fine, I mean they will spar a lot and break a few feathers but not kill or seriously injure one another. If there is a big difference in size among them, they could accidentally hurt one another. You will want to watch them pretty carefully until they are adults. Then they will be fine. Fine, as described above.

Be aware that if you separate the roosters, they may not get together again gracefully. You would have to watch that, too, for a while. Sometimes separating them breaks the brotherhood. If after you put them back together they keep seriously drawing blood or ganging up on just one bird, that's not fine. Then you will have to keep them separately, permanently.

I think you'll know fairly soon. Your cockerels are probably just reaching their hormone induced amorous stage. Then you may find your pullets are losing a lot of feathers on their backs from over-mating, and you don't want that going into winter. If you find a way to set up a bachelor pad, I understand it needs to be out of sight of the pullets. You can plan for separation now, or do it when you don't have a choice. Then again...what if it works? :confused:
 

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