Cull or Not to Cull (my roo)?

Apr 29, 2018
45
61
99
Grande Prairie, Alberta
Hello! I have a few questions and searching for opinions. I have a flock of Buff Orpington hens and a rooster. I have had them for about 3 years now. They are lovely and nice looking birds, I have really enjoyed managing them.

I am looking at some variety for my flock and did some research on adding a different breed. I decided on the Plymouth Barred Rocks. I found a lady not too far from me (a few hour drive) that is selling her barred rocks (apparently a rare colouring or something). She has a rooster and 5 hens but selling them for $50 a hen and the rooster for $30. I found that is a bit expensive for me and I was thinking on just getting the rooster and a hen (pure bred hen just to have as another hen for egg laying) I want to breed the rooster with my buff Orpingtons and have some hybrids to hatch and have for egg laying (rooster carries the egg laying gene, and barred rocks will lay more than my buff Orpingtons).

So I have come to a dilemma- should I cull/give away my buff Orpington rooster or keep him? If I keep him- I can keep him penned up separately when I want the barred rock to breed my hens. Will the roosters fight if I keep them in the same coop?

If anyone can help that would be awesome! Some pics of the big handsome Roo (my step daughter named him diamond cat 😂)
 

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CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
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Aug 3, 2018
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Some roosters will fight; others may not. Mostly in my experience, they do fight if kept together in the presence of hens--even when there are plenty girls for them both. Kept together, separate from the hens, mine have lived peacefully even though separated only by wire fence from the girls. As soon as you put a couple of them in with the females, the friendship os OFF. I have heard of people having a head rooster and junior roosters. I suspect in these cases the roosters and hens have always been together from chicks and so, tolerate one nother.

Keep in mind though. You DO have to integrate the new rooster slowly. If you don't, the hens are likely to brutalize him or even kill him. Hens can be beastly that way. The more room they have, the better. You'll have much less trouble free-ranging than introducing him in a confined situation. If that's not possible, then the bigger the run, the better.
 
Apr 29, 2018
45
61
99
Grande Prairie, Alberta
Some roosters will fight; others may not. Mostly in my experience, they do fight if kept together in the presence of hens--even when there are plenty girls for them both. Kept together, separate from the hens, mine have lived peacefully even though separated only by wire fence from the girls. As soon as you put a couple of them in with the females, the friendship os OFF. I have heard of people having a head rooster and junior roosters. I suspect in these cases the roosters and hens have always been together from chicks and so, tolerate one nother.

Keep in mind though. You DO have to integrate the new rooster slowly. If you don't, the hens are likely to brutalize him or even kill him. Hens can be beastly that way. The more room they have, the better. You'll have much less trouble free-ranging than introducing him in a confined situation. If that's not possible, then the bigger the run, the better.

Ok good to know- even with buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks? Both are gentle & calm breeds.
 

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
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I've never had BRs, but with BOs, yes. It'll be dependent on the individual birds, but I wouldn't take a chance on it. Sounds like you've worked hard to find this roo. I'd give him the best chance possible. If you were to buy the seller's whole flock and add the flocks together (assuming a fairly comparative number in each flock), you'll most likely have an easier time.
 
Apr 29, 2018
45
61
99
Grande Prairie, Alberta
Good luck with your integration project! :)
Ok Cindy! Another question. I have decided I want to keep my Roo. But I want the barred rock roo too... we are thinking on converting our garden shed into a small coop for the BRs and fence in a run for them too (so they have separate coops). Now.... if we decide to let the rooster free range with the BOs and the other rooster- will the 2 roosters fight even free ranging? I’m assuming they probably will, so we will just have to have either rooster penned up when they are needed.
 

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
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Aug 3, 2018
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Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
They'll eventually fight if they're gonna fight, but free ranging (ime) puts off the fighting by a lot and tends to make it less severe (no guarantees, though).

I think housing the flocks separately is a good idea. If they'll be side by side and seeing one another, plus free-ranging together, you'll most likely be able to drop the barrier after a couple weeks if you want to. Putting the roos together in confinement with the whole group may not work (very likely won't), but if you wanted the hens on one side and the roos on the other, I think they'd get along okay that way. You could try it if you like.

Do keep in consideration that it's recommended to isolate new stock well away from your existing birds for two weeks, in case they have some kind of disease you/previous owner may not be aware of. Up to you whether to take the gamble. Some do, some choose to keep them apart. A lot depends on how hard it is for folks to do, I think--whether they have the facilities to manage it or not.
 

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