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I have a decision to make, input would be appreciated

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by glendaschicks, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. glendaschicks

    glendaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a small flock of 7 birds that are approximately 6 months old. 2 Black Australorps and 5 Buff Orpingtons. They aren't pets or lap chickens, but I have gotten attached to them. Our problem is we ended up with 3 roosters... 1 BA and 2 BO's. We want to keep 1 rooster since we are in a rural area, the flock is free ranged and we would like to raise some chicks in the Spring.

    So we need to "eliminate" 2 roos. 1 is going to be easy, the BO who has gone completely bonkers in the last few days, (attacking the girls, ripping one's comb, fighting the other roos) but the other BO and the BA are equally nice. Does anyone have an opinion on which would be a better choice to keep with the flock? My fav is the BA roo, he's a very pretty boy, not at all aggressive... just a complete sweetheart. The other BO roo is also a handsome guy, not aggressive either.

    We aren't interested in raising show chickens, we only want healthy, happy egg layers for our family, and a nice roo to keep a close watch on the girls, and respect his human caretakers.

    All input will be appreciated!!
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    the rooster who is the most respectful to the people. You may need to wait a while to see who that is, esp the Orpingtons as they can be slower to mature and not show their true colors until they're older.
     
  3. coffeychicks

    coffeychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would eliminate the problem boy now and keep an eye on the other two. You don't want to pick now and have him develope an attitude. You want one who sees you as alpha. And respects your space allows you to handle the girls without protest but is very good to the girls
     
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    If they aren't causing problems, I'd keep them both, because just as sure as you cull your flock down to just one, something will kill him

    Murphy's Law
     
  5. glendaschicks

    glendaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all so much!!

    We culled the meanie this morning. He had chased and attacked one of the pullets so much that she hid in between some rolls of hay in the yard for the last 2 nights, wouldn't go in the coop. Now that the meanie is gone, flock has settled down, and are foraging together. So far so good...

    As long as they can all get along without too much drama, it will be OK to keep both of the roos a while longer?
     
  6. coffeychicks

    coffeychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I currently have 4 roos together a few fights but many others use bachelor coops with success
     
  7. glendaschicks

    glendaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm How much fighting is too much fighting between roos? As long as they don't draw blood is it alright for them to fight it out?
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    That’s pretty much my attitude. You are dealing with adolescents. Hormones are running wild and there is no parental control.

    The two you have left are 6 months old. They will (and probably already have) determined which one is dominant. That can change as they mature and there may be a few challenges, but a lot of time with only two, you won’t see much unless you are there at the right time. What normally happens is that the two face off, flair their neck (hackle) feathers, and stare at each other. One might run away at this point. They can tell which one is dominant. They may jump at each other, claws raised, scratching and pecking. This might go on a little bit but usually it doesn’t take long for one to realize he’s better off running away. There is a good chance there will be some chasing and maybe even a rematch, but often you don’t even see this much.

    The problem comes in when they are really evenly matched. Neither one realizes he is outclassed and runs away. They can keep going at it until one gets injured which can get deadly. But even when they are pretty evenly matched, as long as they can avoid a bloody injury, they still usually reach an accommodation. They are living animals so no one can give you any guarantees, but with your two and them free ranging where they have plenty of distance to run way if they want to, yours should be OK.

    You don’t have to worry about this one, but some roosters have been bred for cockfighting. They just won’t run away, even if they are outclassed or the winner just won’t quit, even after it has clearly won. But BA’s and Orps are not bred for cockfighting. You don’t have to worry about his one.

    As far as which one to keep, which one do you want the chicks to look like and act like? That’s a personal decision no one can make for you. Appearances and behaviors are inherited to a large degree.
     
  9. glendaschicks

    glendaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Black Australorp has seemed dominant for a while now. He got bigger much faster than the Buffs, (altho now the remaining Buff is about the same size) and when they do square off, he's not the one running. Things got a bit tense a couple of times today, as the pullet that had been so abused by the meanie was getting back into the thick of the flock, but it would settle down fairly quickly. I have stayed out with them quite a lot, just to keep an eye on things. She just went up to the roost for the first time in 3 nights! Yay!
     
  10. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm biased and would would say keep the Buff Orpington. They are personally my favorite breed thus far and very docile toward the girls and humans. But I would agree with Bear Foot Farm and say keep both as long as things don't get to dicey between them. I've heard many a sob story of people culling all but one roo and as soon as they did something killed him and then they're up a creek. I say this only a couple weeks away from culling all but one of my Roos (a BO). lol. But I have a friend with plenty of roos running around and I can get one from him. Anywho, just my 2 cents worth there. Good Luck!!
     

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