Gentlemen cockerels...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rivers, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Rivers

    Rivers Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2010
    I have four hens and three cockerels. These guys are enormous and eat huge amounts of food so I know at least two need dispatching. When getting chickens I had looked forward to tasting some home grown poultry too!

    But my problem is, these cockerels keep showing me high levels of intelligence and character! Number one is safe because he is show worthy beautiful and pretty clever too. Number two and three dont look so great as their colouring is a messy mix of brown and white. But the larger of the pair consistently shows excellent manners! If you throw out ANY treats, he just wont eat it. He puts it in his mouth then drops it out again, cluckin and gesturing to the ladies to come have it. He doesn't give up the act even when the other roosters come and snatch it! The other one has started to learn this habit it of him too, although a little more inconsistent.

    Is this sort of thing normal? Have any of you had problems eating birds who you 'liked' ?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I never enjoy the dispatching part, but my main goal is to raise them for meat, so no, I don't have any significant problems. They have a good life chasing bugs and eating all sorts of disgusting things. When it comes to deciding which to keep, I choose based on what I want the offspring to be like, not just color and pattern but behavior too. I do sometimes have favorites, but those don't always get selected to stay around. I force myself to be ruthless in that regard.

    Speaking of behavior, which rooster is dominant? If you are happy with him and the way he acts, he is the one I'd suggest keeping. A dominant rooster has a lot of responsibilities. When one goes from not dominant to dominant, his personality can change. Not always, but it can. Of course, they are all living animals and you can never tell what will happen or if it will change at all if one suddenly finds himself the only rooster present.

    Before someone jumps in to tell you of all the dire problems with keeping that many roosters with that many hens, I currently have 4 roosters with 9 hens. My hens are not barebacked, over-mated, or stressed out. The roosters know who is dominant and don't fight, at least not enough for it to be serious. Those numbers will change in a couple of weeks, but they are getting along fine now. I always recommend you keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals because the more roosters you have the more chances you have of having problems, but multiple roosters are not always a guarantee of disaster.
     
  3. Rivers

    Rivers Out Of The Brooder

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    Well number 2 & 3 are the most agressive & scrappy. They fight each other all the time, sometimes its brief other times it goes on for hours and they create a blood bath.

    Number 1 is bigger and stronger but doesnt take much interest in being macho. He breaks up the fights amongst others with no effort at all. Its clear the other two accept him as top gun.

    When they were growing, we thought for ages that number 1 was a hen. Because he learnt to crow & mount the hens only after the other two got big enough to show him. He actually let the number 2 & 3 mount HIM in the early stages. Another reason we thought he was either a hen, or gay!
     
  4. abel1940

    abel1940 New Egg

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    I had 3 roosters and 6 hens (buff orpintons) when they got old enough the 3 roos started fighting to become dominant, I sold 2 but I might have sold the wrong ones. I decided to have some eggs incubated but none of the eggs hatched. Maybe he is also Gay or infertile.
     
  5. Rivers

    Rivers Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2010
    Ok, I guess ill get rid of number 3. And keep number 2 for at least a few months in case our hens get broody in the summer. Number 1's lack of aggressiveness may hint at low testosterone which may make him less virile I guess.

    Also, more birds = more genetic diversity. Its fun getting a mix of chicks.
     

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