Flock dynamics & gender ratio

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by warmheart, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. warmheart

    warmheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've got a tiny flock (4 girls, 1 "retired" rooster) of rescued chickens. The girls are 6 - 8 months, but our roo, Alfie, is very old, could be 7 - 8. He doesn't breed the girls, walks with a limp from an old injury, rarely crows, has spurs we may need to trim for his mobility, and has an air of mellow, quiet dignity to him.

    We are considering rescuing another older mellow, retired gentleman rooster from a sanctuary, where the staff is skilled at knowing which roos are mellow & get along well with other roos. Once they settled on rank, would this give Alfie a break? Alfie's always on sentry duty, managing the girls, calling them to treats, standing by while they lay. Evenings, Alfie lays down in a nestbox instead of using the roosting pole, perhaps his joints hurt from "working" all day. The staff at the sanctuary is skilled at knowing which roosters get along well with other roos, and would help us select an older, mellow gent.

    Are 4 girls enough for 2 elderly roos to feel relaxed in their golden years?

    Our tiny flock's day is spent roaming the green woods and large meadow in our goodsized yard, lazing in dust bath wallows, foraging in brush, and getting chopped veggie treats brought out to them in the woods or field. The roos would have space, and brushy, wooded, wild areas to forage the girls in. Can we keep our flock this small with just 4 girls, and the roosters would still be content? Or is this too few girls for them, and they'd feel stressed?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Why mess with a good thing? Alfie is happy with his little flock and another rooster even a mellow one will most likely be viewed as an intruder and rival.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm with Sourland, I wouldn't mess with what's working. Generally, 2 roos are too much for 4 hens. He may be breeding them and you don't know it, or he's not now (I don't think my roo is breeding much either now) but will start up again in the spring. Another rooster is just going to stress your current roo enormously, possibly injure him, and that's going to stress your hens in turn.
     
  4. warmheart

    warmheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True, things are pretty peaceful here now. Alfie is happy, he seems content here. I'll keep this in mind with how well everyone's feeling now.
     

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