Having trouble deciding which rooster to sell

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by slaird61, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. slaird61

    slaird61 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 3 Plymouth Barred Rock roosters who are about 7-8 months old and I have 13 pullets who are 13 weeks old. The pullets and roos are not in the same pen yet because of the size/age difference but once the pullets are big enough I would like to mix them with the roos. I have decided to get rid of one of my roos since my hen to roo ratio is off (though I will be getting 10 more pullets in the end of February) but I can't decide which one to sell. All three of them are nice to me but they have been fighting with each other lately. My largest roo had a bloody comb yesterday and this morning I saw him being attacked by my smallest roo. Should I get rid of the smallest roo because of this? I'm worried that I will get rid of the wrong roo. I have no idea how they will act with the hens and I originally thought the smaller the roo, the better it would be for the hens. What do you all think? [​IMG]
     
  2. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Having Roos that are the same age and size can be tricky...if there is a size difference then most likely it would work to their advantage towards establishing a pecking order. It's best to have one older(wiser & more rational Roo) to keep the younger Hormonal Boys in line![​IMG] I'd say keep one Roo of these three and later on once this guy has grown up and matured a bit then introduce a new baby roo. The Younger Roo will know right from the start where he stands in the pecking order and not be threat to the older Roo for girls for a long time. By the time he does become "competition for the girls...the older Roo may decide to "retire" as head Roo and willingly surrender the position to the New Guy![​IMG] Ok...I know...I know...I've been snowed in the house WAY too long![​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm not sure what your goals are for having the roosters and pullets together. I'll sssume you want fertile eggs but there could be other reasons which might change my suggestions.

    I'd wait at least until some are laying before I introduced any roosters. The boys are likely to be on hormone overdrive and the pullets will not be very cooperative, so it will probably not be pretty. Once a few are laying, they are more likely to accept the rooster's advances which makes it more tranquill in the flock. It is a shared responsibility. Often, not always but often, the rooster is a lot less violent if the hen does not resist.

    When roosters are raised together in a flock with hens or pullets, they often work out their dominance issues when fairly young and are able to settle into a dominant rooster/subordinant rooster partnership and work together quite well to protect the flock. This does not always happen. Sometimes they fight to the death.

    You don't have this situation though. Your boys have been raised together but separated from the girls. They have set up a pecking order (though from the fighting it seems they have not totally settled that) but they have not set up a flock dominance. (It is possible if the pullets are next to them the current fighting may be working out flock dominance, even as young as the pullets are.) Whenever you put two or more roosters together with the girls for the first time, expect some pretty serious fighting. Pecking order and flock dominance are different things. With both pecking order and flock dominance, size is not the most important thing. The spirit of the two fighting is.

    I don't know how old the pullets you will be getting next month will be. With a total of 23 pullets, you will need two roosters to be pretty assured they are all fertile.

    I can't tell you which rooster to get rid of or which to keep. If they were with the flock and dominance established, you could tell how they will treat the girls and each other. You are not there. You don't know how a subordinate rooster will behave if he becomes dominant. There is no clearcut easy answer for you. While I do think size difference between the hen anbd rooster is one criteria for barebacked hens, I think personality of them both is much more important. And it is hard to tell what the personalities of any of them, roosters or hens, will be until you are in the actual situation.

    Not much help, I know. Good luck!
     
  4. slaird61

    slaird61 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your replies. I do want to mix the roos with the pullets so I can have fertilized eggs plus I only have one big coop. The little pullets are staying in a dog igloo at night which won't be suitable when they start laying. The pullets and the roosters' runs are right next to each other. They are only seperated by chicken wire. Here are some photos of my roos and my pullets.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In this photo you can see the temporary set up the girls have. You can see the tail feathers of one of the roos just on the other side of the chicken wire. And yes, I know the BO chick on the right is a roo. He was supposed to be a she but he's not. Someone has already agreed to buy him from me in March though so he will be gone.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:Absolutely BEAUTIFUL roosters !!!!!!!!!!!! [​IMG]

    And the pullets are beautiful as well.
     

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