can roosters live together peacefully without hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gonda, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Gonda

    Gonda Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    I have three roosters, and two coops, each with separate runs. There are two roosters living in one coop with hens right now, and they are getting along fine. The other rooster is in the other coop with hens and young pullets. He's the older guy, and was the alpha rooster, but the two younger ones went at him a few weeks ago so I had to move him. I'd like to keep all three for breeding purposes as they're different breeds. I'm needing to reorganize. The two younger roosters are more active with the girls, and one is a very big guy (Orpington) and some of the hens are small and a few have just grown their feathers back and don't tolerate a lot of attention from roosters. I have a few Orpington hens that are bigger, but the ratio would be wrong. The older guy isn't too persistent and mostly goes for his own kind (Wyandottes) which is what I would like. So I'd like to let him live with all of the hens over the winter, and then put them with their own kinds in the spring, for breeding.

    I'm wondering if it would work to put the two younger roosters in the small coop/run on their own, and all the hens and the older rooster in the bigger coop and run. Would that be a problem, for the two roosters to have no hens, and to be right next to the other run, seeing the hens and the older rooster? Might they get really frustrated? If so, might they go at each other? It would be an Orpington and an Ameraucana rooster living together.
  2. Gonda

    Gonda Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Can anyone tell me if you've tried or currently have roosters living together without hens, and how that works? So far they have been living together with hens. I know I've read to separate roosters from hens if the hens are getting too much attention, so I assume it's not uncommon practice. Just wondering if the frustration level will get high and it they might then start getting aggressive with each other. If anyone has experience with this, I'd love to hear from you.
  3. Gonda

    Gonda Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    I've just done a bit more searching and found a few comments at other sites, stating that typically, if roosters are on their own, without hens, there is little or virtually no fighting, as there is no competition for hens. They typically fight more when going for the same hens, and gang up on hens sometimes, which is in fact what was happening so I've been removing hens gradually. The other thing that seems to be a factor is whether they grew up together which these two did. So, I'll give it a try and I can keep an eye on them this weekend.
  4. Pinky

    Pinky Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    I had 5 buff orpington roosters in a coop to themselves. I never seen them fight, but I think this is something you'll just have to try as everyone's chickens are different. I did the same with 3 leghorn cross breed roosters and I had to separate them from each other.
  5. If there's a hen involved then they will fight.
  6. Lots A Cluckin

    Lots A Cluckin Songster

    Feb 28, 2012
    yes they can as long as they have plenty of room 10 sq. ft. or more per rooster and there are no hens in sight.
  7. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
    I have 4 roosters and 10 hens + their chicks.

    They all get on fine. The rooster are not even related and I added each one at different times. When I added a new one there would always be a short fight and then some chasing about - like the pecking order thing. Then after a few days they all knew their place and no more trouble.

    However, they mostly free range and they have a huge run with lots of space. The roosters also roost far apart from each other - not cuddled together like the hens.

    Maybe it depends on the breed. Mine are Japanese Bantams.
  8. RetiredRN

    RetiredRN In the Brooder

    May 18, 2013
    I have 19 total chickens - 7 big hens and 12 silkies - 5 of which are roosters. One rooster is big and beautiful and he is really the leader. He is protective and nice with the little silkie hens. The other 4 silkie roosters can be aggressive. I caught 3 of the 4 silkie roosters after my littlest Mama silkie-mix. She is a third of their size! I threw these 4 silkie roosters over into the pen with the big hens and they are terrified. They are completely safe with the big hens. I don't think the big hens will tolerate any sexual advances. Will this situation work? Can they be sex-less without problems? The silkie roosters were born in May so they're still fairly young. They are nice roosters with me but I can't risk them hurting my little Mama!
  9. It can take some creative space management but it is possible. I have 22 hens with one very sweet Dominique rooster and that works fine. Then I have a "bachelor pen" with 7 roosters that will eventually go to freezer camp but right now they get along just fine. In addition I have a large pen with 4 Bantam hens (2 Golden and 2 Silver Sebrights) and a Silver Sebright rooster. They do just fine. In another pen, apart from them, I have 3 Golden Sebright roosters and they do fine together. So, depending on your arrangement, space and situation you can have roosters alone with other roosters with no problem. I suspect however, the roosters you tossed in with your large hens, may eventually find themselves in an awkward situation. Rooster hormones do not differentiate the size of the female and they will fight each other whether that "affection" is returned by the hens or not.

    Best of luck to you.

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