Integrating a 2nd roo - is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RiddleMe, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    618
    28
    146
    Feb 8, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I have a happy little rainbow flock of 15 pullets (3 EE, 2 BR, 3 BO, 3 SLW, 3 LB, 1 blk sexlink) and one cockeral (Gold Campine), all currently ~7 weeks old and raised together so no drama. Currently in a large coop with covered run (we have hawks), but I plan to free range the gang daily on 1.5 fenced acres when they are a little bigger.

    I was given 2 more EEs (siblings), approx same age, told they were pullets but at least one is definitely a cockeral and I'm 90% sure the other is as well (BYC inputs). Neither EE wants anything to do with human contact, no hand feeding, etc, though I'm working on that. One settles as soon as he's caught and just waits it out, the other one cries and struggles. The one that settles is the more dominant of the two, they took about 3 minutes of chest bumping and feather pulling after I put them in their quarantine run to settle that.

    They are almost done with quarantine, but now that I could integrate, I'm not sure I want to!! My questions:

    1) Is there any benefit to having a second roo?
    2) What would be the cutoff age for easiest integration?
    3) Based on their descriptions, if you were going to integrate one, which one would it be?

    edited to clarify subject line
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  2. MommaOrp

    MommaOrp Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    0
    89
    Jun 6, 2011
    Derbyshire, England
    I'm not sure i can answer all your questions but i have 3 roos running together that have been reared together also. They get on fine amidst some power struggles! I just love having chickens, roos or hens and welcome them all but if we get major squabbles we struggle to break up, i separate and one usually has to go (this is only in older birds being intergrated).
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,748
    1,393
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I understand it that you have a roo in with your current flock. With 15 hens, unless you are doing serious breeding and need high fertility in your eggs, I think one roo is enough. Standard is 1 roo/10 hens for fertility, so you are kind of in between.

    You can try it and see, but you may have some major fighting.... I rechecked your post and they all are about 7 weeks old, so... no real hormones yet,,,, you might just get lucky, throw the pair in there. It is difficult and kind of mean to stick one bird into a flock of birds, unless it is a mature rooster. But being no one is grown up yet, there should not be real serious fighting...they would really grow up together, which is what you want if you want to have 2 roos.

    So my advice is add the pair, realizing that you probably should get rid of at least one if not two roos later.

    MrsK
     
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    5,916
    546
    341
    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I tend to agree with above poster, Mrs. K. If you want to give it a try do it now because the ideal is having them raised together. Keep an eye on them and if it seems to cause more disruption than you want, well at least you weren't too attached to them in the first place.
     
  5. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    618
    28
    146
    Feb 8, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Originally, I wasn't planning on having any roos, but then my Campine crowed at 5 1/2 weeks, and now these two EEs are boys... So now, my main reason for keeping a roo is for flock protection when they are free ranging as we do have a fair number of hawks in the area. I like my Campine roo, he's polite, very gentle when being hand fed treats (unlike the BRs!), friendly in a "I don't want to be picked up but I won't argue" kind of way, always keeping an eye on things and cute as can be! But if I were to breed to renew the flock, I'd prefer an EE roo over the Campine, since the Campine cross would probably reduce the egg size (small white eggs vs the larger brown/blue/green eggs I should get from the current girls) and that's the main reason I have chickens - that and the entertainment value.

    So really, it sounds like the issue with 2 roos is as much the potential for overbreeding the girls when they mature as it is 2 boys getting along?
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,748
    1,393
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Thing is roosters are either great or horrible, they can change in an instant. And the one eating out of your hand now, may be either, there really is no way of telling ahead of time. I had flocks without roosters for years, I have had two, one at a time for the last year.

    I like the EE roo that I have. He is not my friend, I don't pick him up, and he gets out of my way, but he is pretty sure that I am bringing something good for his girls. He is only 11 months old, and all of my hens 7 are barebacked. I am hoping that his technique will improve, he is not quite as active as he was there for a while. My flock often free ranges during the day, and last week when my dsil dog came to visit, the rooster had all the hens in the coop, while he stayed out in the run acting very aggressively. The run is securely fenced as to keep predators and dogs that think the coop is bird heaven out. But nonetheless, he stood his ground.

    imo when you keep a rooster, you have to know that this might work, and this might make soup.
     
  7. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    618
    28
    146
    Feb 8, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Thanks for the feedback! Honestly, I really don't want barebacked hens. Since I'm not really worried about fertility levels, it sounds like I should just plan to keep one and rehome the other two. Maybe integrate the two now, when everyone is still young. Then let them get a little older, into the hormonal jekyl/hyde stage and pick the one that seems to be causing the least problems/has the best personality.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by