How do I decide which roosters to get rid of?????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mary Coleman, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Mary Coleman

    Mary Coleman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Eastern Oregon
    So over the past year and a half I have purchased several groups of chicks. Some st. Run and some not. Consequently, I have ended up with more roosters than I know what to do with. My ratio is 18 hens to 12 roosters!!!! I know horrible. Majority of the roosters are young enough that they haven't began to breed with the hens though. So I am wanting to get rid of them before they start breeding with the hens. My roosters are:
    - a very young ( maybe 2 months old) black tailed buff Japanese bantam.
    -an Easter egger
    - 2 polish a white crested black and a gold laced
    - a white Cochin bantam
    -an unknown extremely small brown-ish bantam
    -a mottled Cochin bantam
    -two silver Phoenix
    - a black and red frizzle
    -a road island red/ bantam Easter egger cross
    - and a white faced black Spanish bantam
    So how many roosters would you guys recommend having with 18 hens??? Which roosters would you guys keep??? Also. What roosters tend to be protective over hens? I was thinking a Malay? I would think that a 3 foot tall rooster would be pretty intimidating to a local fox or hawk.
    Thank you so much for reading! And for your help!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can keep all of them if you put them in a rooster pen. They will be OK together (or should be LOL as you never know until you try it as chickens are individuals).

    But a Malay...I don't know if a Malay will tolerate another cock.

    Then when you want baby chicks just select your breed of cock and you are set.

    The reason I say I would keep them all is that as they get older you will get to know which ones are nice to you and which ones flog you. Then you can keep the nice ones.

    But if you can't keep them all then that is a hard choice...they are all going to be very cute!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  3. Mary Coleman

    Mary Coleman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Eastern Oregon
    Wow, I never thought of that.... But that is actually a really good idea!!! Thank you!!! :) :) :) About how large if a space would I need do you think?
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The general rule of thumb often quoted on BYC (I don't know where it originated) is 4 square feet in the coop PLUS 10 square feet in the pen per chicken (large fowl). So for bantams you can squeeze more in.

    For 13 cockerels, most of them bantams, I wouldn't go smaller than a 4 x 4 coop myself (if they all get along fine and were raised together) if they are only going to be sleeping in there and the weather is fine outside (no snow). If you get snow then they need more room as they will need to be out of the weather a lot. Just my opinion. Bigger is better and the more room they have the happier they will be. Even a 4 x 4 coop will get squeezy as there won't be very much roost space and all...I'd go bigger if possible.

    In terms of the pen for them, I'd go as big as you can. They will get on each others' nerves less if they have more space.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    There is also an advantage to having a second coop and run, even if you get rid of all your cockerels later...it is excellent to have a place to raise chicks and to separate broody hens. Also a hen hospital.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    First, which roosters are protective? A good one, breed doesn’t matter. Which roosters are not protective? A bad one, breed doesn’t matter. How do you know if a rooster is protective or not? You don’t until crunch time.

    How many roosters should you keep with 18 hens? I don’t believe in mythical mystical ratios. There is no magic ratio that will keep roosters from fighting or stop hens from getting barebacked or being over-mated. There is no ratio that will cause any of that either. You may have barebacked hens if you only keep one rooster with 18 hens. Plenty of people have with ratios higher than 18 to 1. You may have no real fighting or over mating if you keep a few roosters with the hens. When they go through puberty it will probably get pretty exciting but if you can weather that phase and they mature, it usually works out. Adolescence with chickens can be a trying time though.

    I think space is a huge issue in this too. The more you shoehorn them together the more likely there is for you to have problems. The more room they have the more likely they can work out the issues.

    My normal recommendation is to keep as few roosters with the hens as you can and still meet your goals. Not because you are guaranteed problems with multiple roosters but because the fewer roosters you have the less likely you are to have a problem.

    I notice you have a lot of bantam roosters. I assume you have bantam hens. When chickens mate the hen squats. This gets her body on the ground and transfers the weight of the rooster to the ground through her entire body, not just her legs. That’s how a hen can manage mating with a rooster much bigger than she is without getting hurt. The more size difference there is, the more likely there is for a hen to become hurt though. Plenty of people keep bantam hens with full sized roosters and never have a problem. There is no guarantee that you will have problems with bantam hens and large roosters, but with bantam hens I’d think about keeping bantam or mid-sized roosters, not huge ones.

    Which rooster should you keep? What are your goals? Why do you want a rooster? You are the only one that can decide that. If you plan on hatching eggs, what do you want the chicks to look like and how do you want them to act? Both appearance and behavior are inherited to a certain extent. The hen has some influence too in those genetics.

    The idea of a bachelor pad is a great idea if you want to keep them all. It depends on your goals, but lots of people do that. If you do a search on that, you can probably find a lot of good information. How much space do you need in a bachelor pad? Just like with any flock of chickens, the more the better. I don’t believe in magic numbers for space either, but I find the tighter I pack any flock, the more likely I am to see behavioral problems, the harder I have to work, and the less flexibility I have to manage problems. It doesn’t matter if that space is in the coop, in the coop and run, or if they sleep in trees and totally free range. What matters is how much space is available when they are awake. There are different ways to do that. Build big (which I encourage) or get up before daylight every day of the year, even when you are sick and on vacation, and let them out. I think you can see why I recommend building big.

    Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Mary Coleman

    Mary Coleman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2012
    North Eastern Oregon
    Which ones are protective you ask? Well honestly they are all kind of wimpy. If my mini schnauzer walks out, the roosters run for their lives! The hens actually challenge my dog whereas the roosters run away. Is it because there are so many of them? How can I get them to be protective???
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They will become more assertive hopefully as they age. They will have a personality all their own.
     
  9. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cracking reply
    Yes build big
    Some of mine are in here a converted kids climbing frame

    [​IMG]

    They have a 1/3rd of an acre to play in whilst we wait for them to grow up ........or eat some!
    However my Vorwerks and Araucanas can easily get over my 2M high stock fencing so to avoid situations of excess hen chasing consider clipping their wings

    [​IMG]

    Most now live in here a 4m x 2M Poly-tunnel framed portable coop which was also used a our 8 week old+ chick brooder in the summer

    [​IMG]
     
  10. X2 You can keep 2 roosters with the hens, then put the rest together somewhere else. I have 2 roosters in my flock, and 2 roosters in their own place, I also have a house rooster :p I would keep the less dominant roosters in your big flock, they are less likely to A fight over the hens and B become aggressive
    Good Luck!
     

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