Dominant Cockarel

lmadeline146

Songster
Jun 6, 2022
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I own 2 EE cockarels and one is larger and more dominant while the other is more skittish and strays from the group. As long as I don’t see them fighting, is it okay to allow one to be more dominant and crow while the other remains silent and not mixed in with the flock?
 
I own 2 EE cockarels and one is larger and more dominant while the other is more skittish and strays from the group. As long as I don’t see them fighting, is it okay to allow one to be more dominant and crow while the other remains silent and not mixed in with the flock?
Yes.

How old are these birds, in months?
What's your long term goal for having 2 males?
I'd have a place ready to separate one of them in case thing get ugly.
 
Yes.

How old are these birds, in months?
What's your long term goal for having 2 males?
I'd have a place ready to separate one of them in case thing get ugly.
They’re around 4 months atm.
I plan on free ranging them, which the roosters may protect the flock if any predators approach. Plus, we may allow a hen or two to hatch a few eggs.
 
I own 2 EE cockarels and one is larger and more dominant while the other is more skittish and strays from the group. As long as I don’t see them fighting, is it okay to allow one to be more dominant and crow while the other remains silent and not mixed in with the flock?
Yes. Having two or more roos means having two or more eyes on the look out for trouble.
 
Yes.

How old are these birds, in months?
What's your long term goal for having 2 males?
I'd have a place ready to separate one of them in case thing get ugly.
I just went down to their run and i noticed our dominant cockarel and 2 of our hens occasionally going to our less dominant cockarel and taking a peck or two at his tail, but not taking any feathers out. At one point, our less dominant cockarel beat his wings and ran away when one of the hens pecked him. Is this just a part of the pecking order or should I be worried?
 
At one point, our less dominant cockarel beat his wings and ran away when one of the hens pecked him. Is this just a part of the pecking order or should I be worried?
Are the hens also 4mo?
If they are older, then it's not unusual at all for the older girls to put young male in his place.
 
I own 2 EE cockarels and one is larger and more dominant while the other is more skittish and strays from the group. As long as I don’t see them fighting, is it okay to allow one to be more dominant and crow while the other remains silent and not mixed in with the flock?
Sounds fairly normal at 4 months. The more dominant often suppresses the behaviors of the younger boys. Some may not even enter puberty by then. Each chicken is different. If they free range and have a lot of room it is possible they may always get along and not cause any problems with your girls. Or when the hormones hit both, they may seriously fight. Sometimes those can be fights to the death (usually not with lots of room), sometimes they reach an accommodation. It's possible they can each claim a territory away from each other and attract whatever females they can. There are all kinds of possibilities of what might happen. Since they are in a run now, the bigger your run is the more likely a good outcome.

At one point, our less dominant cockarel beat his wings and ran away when one of the hens pecked him. Is this just a part of the pecking order or should I be worried?
That's what is supposed to happen, if there is conflict he runs away and stays away. That is where room is important. He has to have enough room to get away and enough room to avoid the others. How big is that run? I don't mean these square feet numbers you often read about on here, does he have enough room to run away and stay away? Clutter (things to block line of sight and give him something to hide under, behind, or over) can improve the quality of the room you have.

I agree with the others, you should have a plan where you can isolate him on a moment's notice if it gets bad. Some skirmishing isn't too bad but if you see any injury or blood I'd separate him. But make your decisions based on what you see, not what might possibly happen. If you see him squatting down and one of the others standing over him and pecking at his head intervene immediately. That can be fatal.

They can be bullies, whether the same age or older. That's how they set up the pecking order. The dominant cockerel or rooster are usually at the top of the pecking order but not always. Some pullets hens can really be strong willed. The less dominant cockerels or roosters can sometimes be outranked by the hens. Each chicken is an individual with its own personality and will fit in the pecking order where they fit in.
 
Sounds fairly normal at 4 months. The more dominant often suppresses the behaviors of the younger boys. Some may not even enter puberty by then. Each chicken is different. If they free range and have a lot of room it is possible they may always get along and not cause any problems with your girls. Or when the hormones hit both, they may seriously fight. Sometimes those can be fights to the death (usually not with lots of room), sometimes they reach an accommodation. It's possible they can each claim a territory away from each other and attract whatever females they can. There are all kinds of possibilities of what might happen. Since they are in a run now, the bigger your run is the more likely a good outcome.


That's what is supposed to happen, if there is conflict he runs away and stays away. That is where room is important. He has to have enough room to get away and enough room to avoid the others. How big is that run? I don't mean these square feet numbers you often read about on here, does he have enough room to run away and stay away? Clutter (things to block line of sight and give him something to hide under, behind, or over) can improve the quality of the room you have.

I agree with the others, you should have a plan where you can isolate him on a moment's notice if it gets bad. Some skirmishing isn't too bad but if you see any injury or blood I'd separate him. But make your decisions based on what you see, not what might possibly happen. If you see him squatting down and one of the others standing over him and pecking at his head intervene immediately. That can be fatal.

They can be bullies, whether the same age or older. That's how they set up the pecking order. The dominant cockerel or rooster are usually at the top of the pecking order but not always. Some pullets hens can really be strong willed. The less dominant cockerels or roosters can sometimes be outranked by the hens. Each chicken is an individual with its own personality and will fit in the pecking order where they fit in.
Our run is 14x20, and we plan on free ranging them once our pullets start laying. I’m going to be keeping a close eye on them, and we’re going to have a cage nearby just in case they do start fighting. Thanks so much for the help!
 
I own 2 EE cockarels and one is larger and more dominant while the other is more skittish and strays from the group. As long as I don’t see them fighting, is it okay to allow one to be more dominant and crow while the other remains silent and not mixed in with the flock?
I have to also agree with the others to be ready to separate asap if needed. I had two that were fine together last year until they were about five months old. Suddenly, the smaller one started beating up on the larger one but it was minor so I left them together. A few weeks later, the dynamics changed and the big one started confronting the little one. Then they quit bothering each other at all for a while. After that, they fought daily, and the hens were the ones who suffered for it, so I finally separated both from the flock. I literally spent November to February dealing with those idiots almost nonstop it felt like. 😂 I guess my point is that those dynamics could easily change, especially while they’re so young. But I also think you just have to learn as you go a little because all flocks and chickens are different. Good luck!
 

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