Help! Rooster troubles

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by OPPT, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. OPPT

    OPPT Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2016
    New Jersey
    At the end of last March I hatched 12 eggs (barred plymouth rock). 11 of them have grown to adulthood. Five were roosters. We gave 2 away, and seemed to have a stable flock with 3 roosters and 14 hens. Ferdinand, the smallest, and the one with foot deformities, was dominant, but no one was too aggressive and everyone seemed to get along. Then yesterday, Big Jim and Lucky formed a partnership and began attacking Ferdinand. I thought that maybe once the coup was over and the dust had settled, that everyone would get along again, but poor Ferdinand can't even stick his head out of the coop without them attacking him. They just went after him so aggressively that he managed to fly though the hawk netting right out into the yard. What should I do? Capture Ferdinand and put him back in and hope things settle down? Leave him to his fate in the woods? (I'm fond of him; hate to do that), put the other roosters in the yard? Buy a new coop? Unbelievable. Please give me some advice!!
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    You have 2 boys too many. How big is the coop and run?
  3. OPPT

    OPPT Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2016
    New Jersey
    The coop is 6 x 8 and I can stand in it. There are multiple perches and nesting boxes. The yard is maybe 25' x 12 feet (ish). I was really hoping that since they grew up together, they would get along. Sigh.
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Your coop is a little small for 15 birds. The run us fine, if you only had one or two roosters. I had two brothers and their father cohabitation in a coop for a year, with around twenty hens. Of course they had plenty of space in the coop and the electric fencing. It was working, till one of the brothers got out one evening and had a meeting with a fox. You never know if it will work out either that close in space or ratio of hens however. With Ferdinand on the outs now separation is what I would advise.
  5. MountainManFowl

    MountainManFowl Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 13, 2016
    Northwest Colorado
    If it was me, I'd remove all 3 males. If your birds don't free range on a regular basis, they don't need a rooster looking out for them. The only reason your flock needs boys, is if you want to breed. Since your birds are clutch mates, you don't want them breeding together anyways. However, if you prefer having a rooster, I'd just pick your favorite of the three to hang on to, and send the other two down the road. I definitely can't see any reason to keep all 3.
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Peeps are a-peeping Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It's going to get worse here in the next few months as increasing daylight with cause your roosters hormones to increase. Chose one or rotate them out, or get rid of all of them. Roosters kept in a confined coop and run can kill each other if the submissive ones can't get away.
  7. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I agree with Old Hen. If you decide you want to keep all three cockerels, you would do yourself and the flock a big favor by throwing up a bachelor pen beside the hen pen. The boys will be perfectly content to visit with the girls through the fence. In fact, cockerels and roosters spend most of their time girl watching and that's just dandy for everyone.

    It's a myth that cockerels brooded together will be friends, just as it is that sisters and brothers in the same family won't ever, ever fight. Hah!

    I had two cockerels that, the minute the hormones came in, decided to make it their mission to kill each other. It didn't get better. It got worse.

    I solved it by putting a partition down the middle of their coop (I built it specially for them) that they couldn't see through, and during the day, one would hang with the girls while the other had patrol duty outside the run. I let them swap places each day, and I knew I was taking a big risk of losing one should a predator come around. Sure enough, one day a guy stopped by and let his two dogs run loose, and the outside roo is now history.

    Excess roosters are a big problem that requires a good solution. Butcher them, rehome them, separate them. The choice is yours, but you need to do something.
    3 people like this.
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Some very good advice given above by several of the posters. Roosters are a crap shoot, and you can't wish them nice. It is bad now, and it will get worse. It really does require you or the birds to change the situation. If you leave them as is, the deformed one will most likely be killed. That might settle it, but I am betting with the spring, the two that ganged up, will be fighting.

    Mrs K
  9. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Overrun With Chickens

    Eat the bully's, mean ones taste better.

    Gary from Idyllwild Ca here
  10. OPPT

    OPPT Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2016
    New Jersey
    Thanks so much everyone. I came back from work to a lot of good advice. I think we'll get rid of two (I like to have one around) because it sure doesn't sound like things are just going to work out. Now I just have to decide who to give away!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by