Can they stay friends?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jengro65, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. jengro65

    jengro65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2011
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    My 7 chicks are getting so big (my first hatch ever), The 2 cockerals seem to get along very well and always sleep next to each other on the roost. They are 17 weeks old today and even though they leave their sister pullets alone for the moment, they do grab and mount my hens (much to the fury of Papa rooster and the disgust of me:)
    Is there a chance my cockerals can stay peaceful with each other? Right now I have 3 males and 15 females plus I ordered 16 female chicks from Meyers to be delivered in April.....I'm hoping 10:1 ratio will keep fighting to a minimum.
    [​IMG]
    My 2 boys and 3 sisters
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    There's no pat answer; it just depends on the roos. It's encouraging, I think, that they are doing OK together even though they have started mating. But -- part of why they are peaceful could be the presence of a dominant roo. There's just no telling what will happen when your new ones grow up and get added to the flock, except that, the pecking order will be rearranged.

    I wouldn't worry about it, myself, until a problem developed.
     
  3. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all, get rid of the disgust feeling. You are not going to stop nature unless you get rid of all roos. It happens. Just pretend you don't see it. And also, if you have 3 roos and 30 hens, it happens three times as much as if you had 1 roo and 30 hens:) There is some variance in the behavior of the roos in regards to how gentle it may be but gentle is a relative term. Survival of the strongest and fittest is evolution for most species.
    Until recently we had at least three roos plus the current year's hatch. The EE roo Barney was dominant when he was the oldest. As the Orp Oliver matured, he was #2 until one day we found him chasing Barney in circles around the outside of the house, literally. Oliver took over and Barney seemed content as #2. Last fall we allowed a mature FBlueCM out with the flock. He had spent his first year looking at freedom thru a run fence and sparring with the 2 roos through the fence. Apparently they had settled things through the fence because he assimilated with no problems and we realized that somehow he became #1, and Oliver #2, which left poor Barney #3. They did not generally fight and each of them had their own harem of pretty much their own breed. If one tried to sneak another's hen, the head roo of that group would execute a flying full body tackle and knock the encroaching breeder off the hen. All would then go their own way.
    Nights they all assimilated in the coop and life was peaceful.
    In the interest of winter downsizing and our breeding program, we did process Oliver last month. The day it was scheduled, Oliver attached Barney and drew serious blood for some reason. Barney and Blue are now keeping order with about 20 hens and Blue is head roo. Barney tends to the younger sets and the EEs. Barney has a lifetime job here because he is an excellent guard and has proved himself in a fox attack. Blue will leave us when we find the right FBCM for our breeding program. Assimilation of a new mature roo into the flock dynamics has us a bit concerned.
    It will be interesting to see how your roos deal with the hens if you have all the same breed.
     

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