Dominant too vs the other guy.

KakawKakaw

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2020
12
3
13
I have 2 roosters to 13 hens. 1 must go eventually. One is dominant, even does the domination dance towards me sometimes. He bosses everyone around. He doesn’t seem to be violent though. The other is non of these things. They are 4 months old. Which one should I keep?
 

Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
5,177
13,440
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Western Ohio
4 months old? Their hormones are just beginning, so hard to say. Bc there is a dominant male, the other is likely not exhibiting strong male personality. He also may be a bit slower to mature. The dominant one may or may not cause trouble. But, for 4 months old he seems to have developed fast.

can you separate the males from the females? Do you have the space or area to do so?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
86,147
102,015
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SW Michigan
My Coop
I have 2 roosters to 13 hens.... They are 4 months old.
FYI-PSA.....semantics, maybe, but can be important communication terms when discussing chicken behavior.
Female chickens are called pullets until one year of age, then they are called hens.
Male chickens are called cockerels until one year of age, then they are called cocks(or cockbirds or roosters).
Age in weeks or months is always a good thing to note.

Which one should I keep?
Maybe neither?
Do you really need a male?
They can be a real challenge for newbie chickeneers.


can you separate the males from the females? Do you have the space or area to do so?
Yes. It's always good to have a way to separate troublesome birds.
Wire crates work very well here.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...rates-a-good-tool-for-every-chickeneer.72619/
 

Ajd1126

In the Brooder
May 24, 2020
23
37
41
I have three cockerels, 4 pullets and 10 hens. My cockerels are orpingtons. They are 6 months old, and so far, get along fairly well (one cockerel is the obvious outcast, but he is not picked on our pushed around in an overtly rude manner). They’ve been raised together and everyone seems very content.
If you’re one cockerel is attempting the mating dance with you, pick him up. You’re not his hen, your his keeper. He needs to know you’re the boss. If they live well together and there’s not fighting, why do you have to get rid of one? I’ve culled one rooster already (he was viscious and charged my hens, even killed one, so he abosulutely had to go), but if they’re content, I don’t understand why you would go ahead and cull one.
Lastly, if you were to remove your more dominant cockerel, it will change the overall dynamic of your flock. Just keep that in mind as you move forward. My aggressive roo was the bottom of the wrung from a different farm, I was told he was sweet and a bit of a dolt, and then he turned crazy once he figured out everyone was his. I’d just wait and watch right now if I was you, show your more dominant bird you’re the boss and see what happens.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Feb 2, 2009
25,957
16,328
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Southeast Louisiana
Why do you want a rooster? What are your goals involving a rooster? The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Anything else is just personal preference. Nothing wrong with personal preferences, I have a few myself. But that is a want, not a need. I generally suggest you keep as few males as you can and still meet your goals. That's not because you are guaranteed more problems with more boys, but that more problems are more likely. Not knowing your goals I think getting down to one is a good idea. You may eventually decide zero is a better one, but that is totally up to you.

What are your goals involving a rooster? Which one best meets your goals? It doesn't matter which I'd chose, that's my goals. What matters are your goals so that has to be your choice. That could be based on appearance, behaviors, or other things.

As far as behaviors go, you have a problem. To start with you don't have mature roosters, you have immature cockerels. You probably have immature pullets too instead of mature hens. I don't go by the calendar for that, I go by their behaviors. My pullets mostly act like mature hens about the time they start laying. I wish it were that easy with the boys. I've had a cockerel start acting as an adult at 5 months. That's rare, it's only happened once. I've had one go 11 months before I considered him mature, some people on here say they have had some go longer. Most of mine seem to grow up at around 7 months but it is very much an individual thing.

When they hit puberty, which it sounds like one of yours may have, their hormones take over. At that stage the mating act is about dominance, not about fertilizing eggs that probably aren't being laid yet. The one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or by force. It's usually by force. Until they mature the girls don't want to be dominated, especially by immature brats. So they run away. The boys usually chase and force the girls. I don't know if you are seeing this behavior yet or not, but get ready. It can get hard to watch. Once the boys and girls mature it usually becomes a peaceful flock but getting to that point can often be challenging.

The boys determine which one is dominant. Maturity has a lot to do with that. The more mature will dominate until the other matures. It may become fighting, it may involve more running away and chasing. It can be a fight to the death or they make get along great. There are no guarantees when it comes to any living animal's behavior, each is an individual. That's part of what makes this so hard to write about.

The dominant cockerel or rooster will often suppress the behaviors of the less dominant. The flock master has certain responsibilities in taking care of his flock. The dominant one often doesn't let the other one do those things involving peace and security in the flock, let alone mating. Sometimes the competition drives one to excesses in behaviors.

What I'm trying to say is that it is really hard to predict how a certain boy will behave when there are others around. It's much harder when they are so immature and have a lot of growing up to do. I wait longer than 4 months for sure and still don't always get it right. Sometimes neither is a good choice, sometimes either is.

So what can you do? If you are in love with one, you've made your choice. Go for it, there is a fairly good chance it will work out.

You can let them go as they are for a while. Something might happen that disqualifies one. As long as no one gets hurt (you, your family, the pullets, or either boy) life is good.

You say you can't separate them. I don't know your conditions but I'd think about that. If the behavior goes horrible, and it can on the spot, what will you do in an emergency, even if it is just overnight. A dog or cat cage or crate, an outbuilding, just have a plan. It doesn't have to be permanent, just something to give you a chance to handle it.

I know this is long-winded. The bottom line is that there is no easy right answer that works every time. At some point you have to make a choice and live with it. Usually it works out but when dealing with living animals you don't get guarantees.
 

KakawKakaw

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2020
12
3
13
FYI-PSA.....semantics, maybe, but can be important communication terms when discussing chicken behavior.
Female chickens are called pullets until one year of age, then they are called hens.
Male chickens are called cockerels until one year of age, then they are called cocks(or cockbirds or roosters).
Age in weeks or months is always a good thing to note.


Maybe neither?
Do you really need a male?
They can be a real challenge for newbie chickeneers.


Yes. It's always good to have a way to separate troublesome birds.
Wire crates work very well here.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...rates-a-good-tool-for-every-chickeneer.72619/
[/QUO
 

KakawKakaw

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2020
12
3
13
Ok. Thanks. If I made a 2’x6’ cafe out of an old table and 1/2” hardware cloth, could I keep them together? They understand their pecking order.
 

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