? dominant roo and subordinate roo - what do you think?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lalaland, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    have a very small flock of 3 hens and two banty roos. One, a silkie, is dominant and crows beautifully, is a little too hard on the one hen he prefers, and chases the other roo away from the food, etc. They are cooped up in a 10 by 13 coop. They are inside 90% of the time -can't let them out much because so much snow has rendered the fences useless and there are many predators, so they are in close quarters unless I'm home to watch.

    The other roo is much sweeter with the hens, but doesn't crow anymore. Did for a few days when they were maturing a month or so ago.
    So, I'm thinking of rehoming the silkie if things don't improve. Which they would once it was spring and they could be out in a very huge run.
    Question: if the silkie roo is gone, will my other roo start crowing? Is this something only the dominant roo gets to do?

    These two roos grew up together. Any advice?
  2. heyeddah

    heyeddah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    Milford Ct
    I seem to have exactly the same dilemma. Two silie roos and three hens. They seem to get along now, but others have told me that two roos will exhaust the other birds. We have not done anything yet. They both crow, but not enough to upset the neighbors. We may be expanding and splitting the house this summer when we hatch this spring. I will be looking to see what the experts say.
  3. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    I've never had silkies, but you may need more girls. A good ratio of males to females is 1 to 8-10. My lucky (or worn out) roo has 20 girls, and most of the eggs appear to be fertile.
  4. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I've never had silkies either, but I do have two roosters and 20 hens. The alpha roo (Silver Gray Dorking) crows all the time. The beta roo (Phoenix) crows like crazy in the coop before the sun comes up, but when he's in the yard, he usually only crows when the SGD isn't around. So basically, he rarely crows outside. Every now and again, he'll fly up to a low branch in a tree and just crow his heart out - and the SGD fusses about it at the base of the tree.

    My guess is that your beta roo would crow a lot more if the alpha wasn't around.
  5. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you get rid of the first one, I can almost promise you that the second will start crowing. It's something all, if not most, roosters do in their lives, for their group as protection, boasting, etc...

    It's a hard choice to make if you love them both. For all you know, the second one may start to be aggressie with the ladies and no longer 'Mr. Nice Guy' anymore, now that he sees he can do whatever he wants. It's all trial and error. Sadly, though, if you get rid of one and can't get him back, you're stuck with the one you chose.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I had some doubts about Thor's ability to take charge of my flock when I was contemplating giving away my former alpha Zeus. Thor was very distant from the hens before Zeus' departure and he just acted like he didn't have it in him to be an alpha roo. He very rarely crowed.
    A very wise BYC'er reassured me by explaining how Thor was playing politics. He somehow knew that any attempt to take care of the hens or show his manliness in any way would be viewed as an act of aggression by Zeus and Zeus would kick Thor's butt for it.
    Thor has really shined as the alpha since I got rid of Zeus. He's so good to the hens and protective of them without being aggressive to humans.
    Yesterday I fed them mealworms for the first time. One hundred mealworms and while Thor called the girls repeatedly to come take them he refused to keep one for himself. I'm very proud of him.
  7. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    I just read that the roos can mate 30-40 times a day - no wonder poor sweet pea looks a bit bedraggled. The funny thing is that the silkie roo is interested only in sweet pea, rufus (the sweet roo) is interested only in a black astrolorp, and the 3rd little hen who is a banty won't let either roo get near her! So that is one hen for each roo - hope they can hang on til I get additional hens this spring.

    Maybe I should be looking for a couple hens now, but it isn't easy to quarantine them in the winter, so I'm trying to wait til spring when they can use the quarantine coop and run.

    Thanks for all the advice.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by