Eight Roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Judy4222, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Judy4222

    Judy4222 Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens are close to three months old and I have so far discovered at least 8 roosters out of the bunch. I would like to separate them especially at night and am thinking about getting separate enclosures or cages for them. Any suggestions? I do not want to get rid of any for fear that the people will not treat them well or maybe even kill them.
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Some people do have "bachelor pads" for their roosters. Hopefully someone will chime in with guidance on that.
     
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry to hear you've got so many cockerels.

    How old are they? You will definitely want to separate them when the start trying to mate or they will mate the pullets to death if there isn't enough of them! Night won't be when your issue is, they are sleeping then... it's early morning, all through the day, and right before roost. Let them get a hold of your girls and I bet you change your mind real fast about killing them! [​IMG]

    So, let's talk about keeping them for a moment and the realities there of. Are you financially able to feed that many mouths for years to come? Are you able to hear 8 roosters all trying to out crow each other without it interrupting your inner peace? They do it to show they are the cock of the walk, to attract mates, to compete with each other and other roosters in hearing distance, to ward of predators, to show dominance. AND they don't care where the sun is in the sky.... they crow at 3 AM, and 4 am, and 5:30 am, and noon, in the middle of your conversation, or whenever they want to! I know feed cost vary, but I figure it cost me at least $2.25 each month per bird with free ranging. And that doesn't include any cost to treat illness, worms, injuries, bedding, time, treats, supplements... You get the idea. [​IMG]

    If you make a separate enclosure, it will need a covered top to keep them from flying over and mating your girls. And the general suggestion for space is 4 square feet in the coop and 10 sq feet in the run per chicken. Cockerels will need more than this in order to coexist... IF they even can. And they might be able to.

    I would never feed that many rooster layer feed as the calcium is way too much for any bird not laying and can (doesn't mean will) cause kidney failure. And the protein is just enough to support a light bodied laying machine type girl. But not really the heavier breeds as well. So I would use a starter, grower, or all flock type feed for the boys at least. If you like it for the girls they can have it as well as long as you provide oyster shell on the side. That is what my entire flock gets as I always have all ages and genders in my flock. Many do feed their roosters layer and never experienced issues. It's not worth the risk to me. SO you have to decide what works for you. [​IMG]

    I actually did have 8 cockerels until yesterday when 1 went to a new home. So now 7. Three of them are on the menu and the others I keep for breeding. My FBCM are quite aggressive, while my Salmon Faverolles and Ameraucana are not. So breed might have some impact on how well they get along. I provide extra feeders and visual barriers with places to escape to help alleviate the competition. But I guarantee you NONE of those boys are truly happy in that pen. They pace the fence trying to get to the girls most of the time. [​IMG] I provide them a good life... but mating is what's important to them! They have 144 sq foot coop (just for the boys), and about 2000 sq feet of lush range.

    That being said, please consider finding most of them new homes.... because if you're gonna lock them up, you can see that even nice digs aren't really a happy life per say. [​IMG] AS I have just recently noticed myself. If I keep them with the girls, that's different. They are out on range most of the time. Standing guard over the ladies (or mating), and sometimes just relaxing. Big difference between the two. There are lots of good folk who don't fight chickens or treat them bad. You just have to be discerning when you talk with them. Some people actually do want a cockerel for their flock. Ask their experience and their intentions, and read between the lines... then follow your gut. [​IMG]

    On the other hand... letting them feed someones' family is a very honorable thing to do! All of my birds live the good life. And when their time comes, I treat them gently and with care. Their last minute is NOT spent in fear! Everything is very calm and I make a quick cut that feels no different to them than when you cut yourself shaving or grating cheese. Before they even have time to process in their mind that they've been cut, they pass out. I am an animal lover! And we could not eat chicken from the store again after seeing a couple of videos about the horrors of the whole industry. [​IMG] There is NOTHING humane about that! [​IMG] Me (a woman) and my 17 year old daughter do it. It isn't something we enjoy. But we eat meat and it's a fact of life... something has to die! So unless you don't eat chicken, you are essentially giving all those factory chickens a cruddy life and death, making it hard for me to see the point of keeping these ones out of the freezer. I'm not pointing fingers or saying anything bad about people who eat market chicken. Not everybody will be able to raise their own, much less have the guts to process it. I am only sharing a possible way to look at it that might let you see that it COULD be OK for someone to feed their family and the cockerels don't actually have to suffer for it to happen. [​IMG]

    Oh, and even more than that... those boys, and us all... are dying! Just at different rates. [​IMG] None of us truly know when that is.

    Sorry so long. You can tell I've put some thought into it. And I hope I've given you some things to think about as well!

    Best wishes! [​IMG]
     
    4 people like this.
  4. Judy4222

    Judy4222 Out Of The Brooder

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    Saint Cloud, Florida USA
    I do not care about the cost to take care of them and I do not care about the cockadoodledoing. One of them is on antibiotics for an abscess where his back meets his tail and goes back next Wednesday to the vet for a recheck. I just need guidance on how to separate them. Your suggestion to separate them during the day is a good start. I plan on getting aprons for all of my girls. I just want all of them to get along and live peacefully. I just hope I don't have anymore that turns out to be a rooster.
     
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    How many hens do you have? Unless you have 70-80 then you very likely have too many cockerels. If you absolutely cannot part with any of them make a permanent bachelor pad and keep them separate. Or rotate 2 or 3 at a time with the hens.
     
  6. Judy4222

    Judy4222 Out Of The Brooder

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    Unless more turn out to be roosters I should have 58 hens. Can I make a bachelor pad and have all of them in the Bachelor Pad together? Without having them separated?
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Just wanting them all to get along and live peacefully, just does not always work with roosters. Some roosters will live together just fine. Some will fight to the death. Roosters raised together do tend to get along better than strange rooster. Some roosters become very aggressive with people especially children.

    I did set up a bachelor pad with my roosters out of a hatching I did. At about 6 weeks, I pulled the roosters from the flock and placed them in a separate out of sight of my main hen house. I kept them there until I processed them at about 5 months. I did not have any trouble with them.

    From the sounds of it, this is a first flock and all the birds are the same age. If so your rooster chicks will become sexually mature, long before your pullets, so if you can separate all of them away from the young girls it would be best until your pullets start to lay. Then pick your best roosters, and put with the flock. This will upset the dynamics of the flock and there may be several fights until they get it figured out.

    They are your birds, do what you want, but Eggsighted has very valid points.

    Mrs K
     
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  8. Judy4222

    Judy4222 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2017
    Saint Cloud, Florida USA
    Thank you for the input. Going to try to figure out an area to keep the roosters in and maybe find some friends that would like to have a rooster in their flock. It is such a shame that roosters raise so much Havoc. When I originally ordered my birds I only ordered one rooster. I adopted an additional 15 and out of the 15 seven ended up being roosters. [​IMG]
     
  9. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    It really is a shame. I like rosters, I just hate the level of tension some can bring to the flock, with harassing/fighting over the girls constantly. I wish they could be castrated easier. I've thought of practicing on one's I cull (after they're dead) but it still just seems so painful even if you're skilled :(
     
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  10. Judy4222

    Judy4222 Out Of The Brooder

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    I had no idea that a rooster could be castrated. That may be an option. If I get five castrated could they be around the roosters not castrated?
     

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