1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Help needed with new roosters.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Frizzlett98, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    19
    96
    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    I'm not sure really where to post this but I was recently given 2 Red Sex Link roosters and I've been wondering when to introduce them to my other chickens. I currently have 4, yes 4, roosters (2 are still young) and 6 pullets (3 of them are still young). I'm working on selling one of the Sex Links and getting 3 or 4 more hens. We have a Silkie rooster just for breeding to a Frizzle and another Silkie, a Barred Rock rooster for breeding to Barred Rocks and Tetra Tints. The Sex Links are over year old and aren't really mean to me but when I grab a hen and put her close to the ground for them to see, one of them keeps dropping his wing and creeping up to her sideways. I won't introduce the rooster my brother's keeping until we sell the other but I want to know if he will hurt my young hens. They haven't started laying (getting close though!) but he seems really interested in them when he's cooped up but every time he's out he acts like he wants to kill them. I want to get a hen that's already laying for my brother to breed his rooster to and I would love any opinions about when I could "release" him. We have 3 separate pens and all of the chickens can see each other. That should help right? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    19
    96
    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    Anyone?!
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,172
    2,124
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Sorry - I was having trouble keeping track of what you were asking. You currently have 6 roosters and 6 pullets - is that right so far? Two of the roosters aren't on your place yet? You want to sell one rooster and get 3 or 4 more hens so you will have a total of 5 roosters and 8 or 9 hens? Do you plan on keeping all those roosters with the hens? I think that would be disastrous for all the birds involved. I think the roosters would be fighting for dominance and breeding rights, and your poor hens would be run ragged. A few years ago, I hatched out 25 chicks and got 25 more straight run. When the roosters came to sexual maturity, they were constantly chasing the pullets, not allowing them to eat or drink and gang-breeding them. One would breed and two or more would think that was a good idea, and then they would try . Needless to say, all those roosters got put into a bachelor/grow out pen in short order. They sure tasted good!
     
  4. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    19
    96
    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    I know it's confusing but let my try to make it easier. I have 4 roosters and 6 hens. I am getting 3 more hens today so I'll have 9 hens. 7 of those hens will be for laying eggs and the other 2 for breeding. 2 of the roosters are new to my flock. I am selling one of the new roosters but I'll still have 3 roosters. I am worried that my new rooster will hurt the others if given the chance. I was wanting to know when I could possibly let the Zeus (new rooster) out with the other birds. He acts like he wants to kill the others when he's out and about, but when Zeus is in the coop he's fine with them and acts like he's going to die if he can't go out with them. I will only let my roosters mate with my hens when I need to hatch some eggs but I wont let my hens be "run ragged". Hope this is more clear. Sorry about that :)
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,601
    1,147
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I still think you have too many roosters. And when you turn them loose, there is going to be problems.

    A new rooster to a flock of hens is probably the easiest integration, however, if there is a rooster with the flock, then it is the worst.
    I am not sure if adding a strange rooster to a pen of roosters will work much better.

    Mrs K
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,937
    3,094
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’m still not sure of all the ages involved. Level of maturity has a lot to do with it, both for the males and the females.

    If you put all the chickens together, they will mate. Period. End of story. If they are together they will mate. You can’t prevent it.

    When the males are at a level of maturity where the hormones are flowing, they will determine flock dominance. The mature rooster will dominate until the others mature enough to offer a real challenge, but the dominant one will teach them that he is dominant. If you have a whole lot of room, it may work out OK. The younger ones will just run away. But it sounds like space is fairly tight when you speak of pens. If they don’t have enough space to run away and get away, the immature makes could be seriously hurt or even killed.

    When they are adolescents the hormones really flow for the young males. They will be mating with the females or at least trying. Again maturity level of the males and females come into play but adolescent males can be pretty hard on females, young or older. Again, the more space they have the better. With enough space the females can run away, but young cockerels hopped up on hormones will probably be persistent enough that they will often catch the fleeing female even with a lot of space. A dominant rooster will not have much patience with a young partially mature cockerel messing with his girls. That can really get messy.

    I’m not a great believer in magic numbers for chickens. Plenty of breeders keep one rooster with one or two hens the entire breeding season without over-mating, but a key to that is that they normally use mature chickens, male and female. Those chickens are mature enough to keep the hormones under control. You can’t compare adolescent males to mature roosters. There are a lot of differences in how they behave and how the females perceive them. Again. The level of maturity in the females plays a part too.

    With three pens and three roosters of varying age, I suggest you keep all three pens in use. Pair the roosters with the females you want them to mate with. Keep the flocks separated. See how that goes. It may work out well or you may have to revisit the situation until they mature.

    The differences in ages of your males concerns me. If they were all about the same level of maturity I’d suggest a bachelor pen, just males and no females to fight over. But with the differences in ages I’d worry about that.
     
  7. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,975
    174
    198
    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    I agree with the other posts. One roo for 3/7 hens is the max, and I would never keep more than 2 maybe 3 roos with a large flock. At the moment I personally have 28 hens and 3 roos, and a couple of my hens are being over bred. I will be getting one roo caponized and getting rid of the extra. If you are wanting to breed then separate pens are essential. Why are you wanting the sex link roos? If a roo is showing aggression before introduction then you are definitely going to have a problem.
     
  8. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

    5,157
    1,106
    338
    Apr 5, 2013
    Wisconsin
    X2 I think you're going to have trouble with all that testosterone. I had two roosters with 13 hens and I learned my lesson. It doesn't always work.
     
  9. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    19
    96
    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    Ok. I will keep the roosters separate like I intended to do from the beginning. My brother wants to keep the Sex Link. I'm all in for selling him. We might sell him anyway but for now I was wondering around how long it will take before he will stop dropping his wing and try to fight with them. I know they will mate but not if I keep the roosters penned up. Anyway the whole question was when I could introduce Zeus to the hens or will he always try to fight with them? He looks out for them when he's penned up, warning them of a hawk that's been flying around here for 3 weeks now . Now about the pens, we turned an old shed into a chicken coop. We have 3 separate pens to the coop that can hold 8-15 chickens each depending on size of chickens and we have an area that we let them go out into from morning to evening that is predator proof. It's not a huge area but it is plenty for all of my birds. My Silkie rooster is really sweet to everyone and everything and my Barred Rock rooster needs a little work to get the meanness out of him but he's not that bad. The 2 little roosters don't fight or even peck each other or the hens so they won't be a problem. My brother wants his own rooster as a "pet" or "just for fun" but we don't want to keep him penned up all the time.
     
  10. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    19
    96
    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    I plan on keeping all 3 pens in use. The age difference worries me too but my brother insists on keeping his Sex Link. The 2 younger rooster are the same age and there's no behavior problem there and hopefully there won't be. Thanks so much!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by