Cockerel housing

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mixed flock enthusiast, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Mixed flock enthusiast

    Mixed flock enthusiast Songster

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    Hi All, not sure that this is the best forum to ask this? My teen daughter is interested in breeding olive Eggers for fun. We have 13 pullets and four cockerels. Currently two cockerels (6 and 8 months old) are in the main coop with 11 pullets (6-8 mo) and six ducks. Older cockerel is boss. Have a silkie cockerel in a tractor and copper marans in a grow out pen with two pullets. We are working on a new 3x7 ft coop with planned 7x16 ft run. Intended to put all four cockerels in that new coop/run, remove one as needed for a few hours or day to breed, then return. However, yesterday we let all birds outside together and all cockerels fought. My question: is this an unworkable plan because the roosters are now too old to be introduced together and will kill each other? Considering whether to split the new coop and run and try housing as two pairs of cockerels? Thanks!
     
    Trish1974 likes this.
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

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    Oh ya, it would be hell frozen over before I could add boys together that age without a blood bath...

    I keep lot's of rooster together and swap them into the ladies as you hope to do... but ALL identifiable cockerels go into the stag coop as soon as they are noticeable and/or weaned from mum or heat. The stags don't care too much about chicks that aren't competition. Some even take them under wing and protect them or call to treats and by the time they get big enough they will already have some order established that will get challenged on occasion but *usually* no all out wars.

    If you do split into 2 runs... there should be a visual barrier if they just have a fence between them (or an E wire works WELL)... fence fights get bloody and no one actually wins.

    My head cock, breaks up fights. :love

    Yours are still in their formative (teen) years... it's the worst. They still have lost of maturing to do. Right now they are hormone enraged idiots for the most part. :barnie

    You may find.. you have to work with your best, eat the rest... and start your program on your next generation. My stag pen does include Marans, Silkies, large fowl and bantam Ameraucana and a few other breeds... it can be done but it's a process.

    Good luck! :fl
     
  3. Mixed flock enthusiast

    Mixed flock enthusiast Songster

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    Thank you for the reply. For individual rooster pens, how much space should each rooster have?
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

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    That depends on how much cleaning you wanna do. It makes me uncomfortable to have them penned though I realize they may prefer the pen to freezer camp.

    I have kept Silkies in rabbit cages when needed. And I built a few open bottom pens that were 18x36 LW and 18 inches tall. They worked well enough... It might depend on your weather... here wider would be better because we can get some sideways rain. Also my pens were only short term so they didn't have roosts. And they do like to roost. Moving the open bottom pens was more of a hassle then wire bottom or bedding (to me).

    One consideration... that I haven't used YET, but did buy... rooster tie outs... I mean sure, similar to what cock fighters use... but with different intentions. That way... they can still be on the ground and access the ladies IF the ladies like them enough to approach but still avoid any over mating or cock fighting...

    Hopefully you will get some more viewers.. I know many on here do also keep rooster flocks. They may have more ideas or different experience than me. :pop
     
  5. Mixed flock enthusiast

    Mixed flock enthusiast Songster

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    Uncomfortable to have them penned individually as opposed to in groups? Yes, that is why we wanted to house them together, so that they would have company. However, if that’s not going to work at this point, I’m trying to figure out how to work alternatives...
     
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Do have a plan B, so that you can separate fighting birds. A long handled fish net can help.

    Do be aware, that some roosters become human aggressive, and will tend to attack children first, so if your daughter is under 5 years of age they are vulnerable to an attack in the face.

    I do think that if you put them all together, they will work it out... most of the time. But some will not give it up, and can fight to the death.

    If you are new to this, it would be a more doable idea, to pick a flock rooster, and leave him with the girls, and cull the rest. What are your breeding plans with the roosters? This is going to cause a lot of stress in your flock, and a lot more care.

    I do understand that you want to keep them all, but sometimes the birds do not understand. Roosters do not often get the idea of sharing either hens or territories very well.

    Mrs K
     
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  7. Mixed flock enthusiast

    Mixed flock enthusiast Songster

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    Thanks for your input. My daughter is 16 so capable of handling herself and deciding whether she wants to keep roosters. Our 9 mo old EE roo and the 6 mo silkie roo both needed human aggression addressed but our methods seem to be working there; our EE is becoming a real gentleman while the silkie is still a highly hormonal work in progress, but a good one for her to practice on. We have a net. Stress is a concern, but I’d also like to support my daughter’s goals, which include keeping all four guys. I anticipated some fighting and so planned on putting all four Roos together at night, then being there when they wake up to separate them if it gets out of hand. Now I’m rethinking this plan, and wondering if I should divide the new coop in anticipation that getting these four to live together will be unlikely. Note that the 9 month EE and a 6 mo Ameraucana roo presently live together in a larger coop/run with the pullets. They aren’t great friends but do ok.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    You can fairly consistently make stable bachelor groups with full adult roosters when several or more roosters are involved without opportunity to defend access to hen(s). There is fighting at first that may require some level of intervention as described preciously in thread.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    On the other end of the spectrum, I will be penning up 2 of my Missouri Dominique cockerels each in his own pen. Then another can still stay with hens.
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    What are your plans for all the cockerels that will be hatched?
     

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