Free ranging together?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HappyPlace, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2011
    Middle of the Mitten
    Has anyone ever free ranged together a group of chickens that was about half roosters and half hens? Would this even work or would the roosters torment the hens?
  2. maybejoey

    maybejoey got chickenidous?

    Do you have them seperated now. (the roos and the hens).
    How many do you have?[​IMG]
  3. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Can't say but I think you might have alot of action going on in your yard......all day from mating to squabbling to who's the the real king here!
  4. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    In mine there is one dominant rooster, and another who would like to usurp him - the hens seem to choose who they want to hang with, the rejected roosters have there own order...alot depends on the age too...come spring I expect to see alot of feathers flying, but right now they have already figured out who is who, It is better to have more hens and few roos if you prefer peace and quiet.
  5. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2011
    Middle of the Mitten
    Right now, my 19 chicks are only 5 weeks old and they have all been together since day one.

    I plan on seperating them after I know exactly who are roosters and who are hens, but I live on several acres right now, and I was just curious if they could be free ranged together. I have a feeling that if the group is half and half (which it seems to be), there would be quite a bit of squabbling most days, but I was wondering if there's that much room to run around in and be able to get away from each other if it would really be that big of a problem...?

    Just kind of throwing ideas around in my head as to what will and what won't work with this group as I don't plan on getting rid of my extra roosters... [​IMG]
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Roosters raised together can usually be housed together with few issues.
    If hens are involved, the dominant roo will keep the others from breeding if he can.
    There's sometimes squabbling among the lower ranking members, sometimes requiring culling.
  7. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    We used to free range our 3 roos with the hens they grew up with. But we had to stop when the boys started to get too aggressive in their mating attempts and started to break blood feathers on the girls. We tag time free ranging time. If someone has to miss out, it's the boys, the girls' are now laying and they need the added exercise, nutrition and just more elbow room since there are 3 times as many of them than roos.

    They are kept in His & Hers run/coops and are never allowed to mingle any more.
  8. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2011
    Middle of the Mitten
    Hmm... That's what I was thinking it would be. Had to ask, though. [​IMG]
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have 19 chickens also, 12 are laying girls, 3 are 16 week olds, and 3 are roos, all free range together, no issues...the dominant roo does what he wants, the other 2 drift off, but all 3 take care of the girls, they each seem to have their own fighting or anything...if you have 8 roos, and 8 pullets, that is too many when they get older for certain...but for now, at 5 weeks you said, it should be alright, just keep an eye on them...there shouldn't be any issues at this age. Mine, BTW are 26 weeks.
  10. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2008
    For another persective, here we have wild chickens roaming around freely. The flocks are always small, with one rooster and up to several hens, although sometimes you see multiple roosters in a larger flock though too, who get along fine. You also see pairs and lone roosters. But I also see lone hens occasionally too. Often the lone hens will join up with an existing flock, or with a lone rooster. Hens with babies are almost always solo.

    So in light of this I think to keep that many roosters together, in anything approaching a one-to-one ratio with the hens is just to invite chaos and stress. You'll have more dominant roosters trying to drive out the weaker ones, and the hens will undoubtedly be pestered incessantly with that many roosters, all competing to claim and mate with them. And I can only imagine the cacophony of crowing as all this going on!

    I have two roosters on just over a dozen hens, and while one is clearly dominant, they both get along fine, and the less dominant one still mates and leads the flock to some degree.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011

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