Fighting Roo's

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Marilyn, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Marilyn

    Marilyn New Egg

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    I'm new to raising Chickens so please bear with my silly questions. I rescued 23 chickens Nov. 07 from their deaths (12 hens/11 Roos). Hubby built a gorgeous, completely closed in Coop complete with nesting boxes, roosts, and Heat. We separated the mature Roo's from the hens early Feb. 08. as we didn't want anymore chickens. We live on a small Ranchette allowing the Roo's to free-range, however they have their own large Coop to sleep at night. Now, almost 7 wks. later the five oldest Roo's have begun fighting with eachother. Three of them are worse than the others. We've separated them from eachother in their own individual pens as they were going to kill eachother. We ended up putting a third one back in with the girls just to keep him from fighting. The other two are a bloody mess--even squirting them with the garden hose doesn't deter them. My questions are:
    1. Is this normal behavior and will it continue?
    2. Is there anyway to stop the fighting?
    3. Should we get rid of them?

    We so enjoy these guys..they're gorgeous! I'd hate to lose them.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.
     
  2. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is just natural for roosters to fight,they have been doing that long before man domesticated them.They are just made that way.That 12/11 ratio is not really good.Should be like 12/1 to be honest.Your best bet would be keep the one you like the best and find new homes for the others .You don't have enough hens to keep them all happy.They are going to want to see who is the big boy on the farm. good luck will
     
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Your roosters will end up killing each other if you keep them penned together......best to find homes for them....or each to his own small pen...
     
  4. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    the roos will keep fighting till they deteramine top roo or some will get killed.an some will always keep challanging the top roo.its best to get rid of all but 1 roo.
     
  5. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, your sex ratio is off. You have too many roos and not enough hens. Sometimes, depending on the breed of your chickens, you can seperate out the most aggressive and find them a new home. This will not stop the fighting/sparring, it will just single out those that are doing the most damage.

    I would try to put two roosters with the girls. 2-12 isn't bad. As for the other roosters, you should try to single out the most aggressive, and rehome them. Do this until you get a small bachelor group that gets along "OK". Free-ranging them would help, you will probably never have a perfect group of well-behaved roosters.. boys will be boys..

    -Kim
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Just because you add a roo or two to your hen pen doesn't mean you "have" to make more chickens. Certainly they'll be laying fertile eggs, but if you collect them all daily you will never see/taste a bit of difference. You don't have to worry that you'll crack open an egg to find a half-formed chick inside. This would ONLY happen if you pulled an egg from under a broody hen who had been constantly incubating that egg for a week or more.

    I like having at least one roo in with my hens, it makes for a more normal chicken society and the roos watch over the hens' well-being & protection. It's possible for more than one roo to live amicably together with 12 hens, depending on their temperment, but it may take time to find the most peaceful combinations.

    Many hens never go broody. Years of selective breeding have given us laying hens who are solid working girls and have few brooding instincts. Even those who do want to brood can be discouraged by placing them in a wire-bottomed cage for a few days until the feeling passes.

    But 11 roos is quite a large number to have together, they'll either kill/maim each other, get picked off by predators, or eventually persuade you to invite them in to dinner. Pick out your favorite, the most mannerly & handsome, perhaps keep a second or third as backups, and find new careers for the rest.

    I wish you joy & success with your feathered friends.
     
  7. Marilyn

    Marilyn New Egg

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    Thankyou everyone for your quick responses and all your help! Based on all of your answers, hubby and I've decided to find new homes for most of our Roo's...we'll probably keep only 2, one inside the henhouse, and maybe one out (or maybe both inside). We hate to see any of them go as they're so colorful (black/red/yellow mixed) with such gorgeous tails...just so beaUtiful and we love to watch their funny "antics"...however I just cannot take seeing them hurt one another. There's no way I could ever have one for dinner...it's out of the question, lol. They're all my "buds"-- But a few more questions, if you please;

    1. If we allow ALL 12 hens to free-range, do you think this would help stop the fighting? Is this wise, allowing all the hens to run loose?

    2. Will they lay eggs all over the place or will they seek out their nesting boxes to lay their eggs?

    Thankyou all so much for your input/info. I can't tell you how much it's helped. We're so "green" and really don't know much...just enjoying these chickens (we've even named most of them). I can't believe how protective I am of them--lol. I love it! It's gonna be hard to say goodbye to these beautiful handsome boys. [​IMG]

    Thankyou again for your help.
     
  8. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    if you let the hens free range sooner or later theyll start hiding their eggs.if i was going to let them free ramg some.id let them out 5 or 6 in the evening till dark.an them lock them up for the nite.id only keep 1 roo with your hens.an 1 roo in the bachlor pen.an you can rotate the roos with the hens.
     
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    The benefits of free-ranging your laying hens is that they'll have acccess to all sorts of good things to eat in addition to their feed, which will improve the taste of their eggs and lower your feed bills. But it won't do much to keep the roos from fighting.

    The disadvantages would be missing eggs that would be laid in the yard, and increased vulnerablility to predators. You can pen them in for part of the day, especially if you get suspiciously low egg counts in the nest boxes. But often if the hens get used to laying in their pen & they will keep going back, even if they're out in the yard.

    If ever some of my hens start a fad to lay in the yard I'll pen them in for a few days to get them reprogrammed.

    I agree that roosters are handsome animals who are fascinating to observe -- even the ones who become dinner guests! But that many roos in one yard is a recipe for trouble. Sometimes they work out their disagreements without bloodshed, just posturing & posing & bluffing. But you never know just when the next fight will turn serious, and they can really do great injury to each other.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    My hens freerange most of every day and have most of their two years. They have never laid eggs in secret places, always going back to the nests to lay, no matter where they are. I only had one hen who would just drop her egg wherever she was standing, but she never laid in a secret place. If they are used to laying in nests, they will probably continue that. With 12 hens, really the best number of roos is 1.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2008

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