Housing Roosters and Hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Haljov2, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. Haljov2

    Haljov2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have six pet chickens that are about a year old. I bought them last year as chicks. I ended up with three roosters and three hens. They have always been housed together without any problems. Recently I noticed that two of the hens are losing feathers on their backs. After researching online, I learned that they are probably over mating. I did not even know that this was a possibility. I am in the process of building another coop for the roosters and I got saddles for the hens. If I house them separately, are they able to interact together in the yard or do they have to be separated at all times?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If you house them separately and then let them all out together to free range, you'll most likely still be in the exact same situation you're in right now. It may even be worse, since you'll have hormone crazy cockerels that have been housed together without any hens. When you let them out, I bet the first thing on their minds will be to chase the girls down and mate them until their hearts content. However, you could alternate free range days. Let the girls out one day, and the boys the next.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'd consider saying goodbye to two of the roos and getting more hens. Whilst not caste in stone, a ratio of 1 roo to 10 hens is advised to mitigate the problems you are having.

    Best wishes

    CT
     
  4. Haljov2

    Haljov2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I want to keep all three roosters even if I have to separate them. They are pets. My children love them!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Then you need to alternate ranging days, so the poor hens aren't abused.
     
  6. Haljov2

    Haljov2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I was hoping that there was a way to make it work since they have all been together since birth, but I guess I will have to separate them and alternate days. Thanks for all the advice.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Tho you may think of them as 'pets' ......they are livestock animals, domesticated but not like a cat or dog.
    Multiple males almost always cause problems and subjecting a relatively small number of females to multiple males is not really humane, IMO.
     
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  8. Haljov2

    Haljov2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Though you may think of them as just "livestock"', they are my pets. I came on here looking for advice so that I could do the best thing for them . As i previously stated, they are being separated. Thanks.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm re-quoting your original post so I can address your primary question. Yes, it's possible to house the boys separately from the girls and still make it possible for them all to interact.

    You've pretty much agreed that a bachelor coop is necessary to take pressure off the hens. When you go about designing it, try to design their bachelor pen to have a common wall with the hens' run. Roosters very often are quite content to interact with the hens through a fence barrier. This has worked for me for years, and I saw no downside from it.

    When I had more than one rooster, I would alternate days that one roo could free range with the hens while the other remained penned up. That way, each roo got his chance with the girls, and the girls were far better off. Although, you may find that even one rooster allowed access to three hens may result in over-mating. I would then restrict access to perhaps one day a week.

    You can have your pet chickens and manage them well, too.
     

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