is my Brahma (mix) rooster going to injure our 3 smaller hens?

salty midnite

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
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5
10
We asked a local breeder for seven 8-week-olds, barnyard mix in the spring. Four turned out to be roos, of which we kept 2. The big guy is sweet, mild-mannered, and takes good care of this small flock (5 total now), but he's twice as tall of the hens, and probably 3x heavier. They're fond of him. Will he harm them over time?
 

salty midnite

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
13
5
10
Thanks...I had hoped to keep the flock very small, but I may have to add hens like you say. Didn't really want any roosters, but now I love this gentle giant and can't bear sending him to his death.
 

salty midnite

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
13
5
10
If he has good technique they might be fine.
But 2 cockerels with 3 pullets may not be good mix.
By now they must be old enough to have commenced trying to mount the girls.
It's great to hear there's a chance it could work for the Brahma. He is gentle with them, dances for them, tidbits etc.

The other cockerel is maturing later and not learning any of the gentle ways-- he just attacks them, and the one he has a crush on is terrified of him. So just this morning I have removed him and am cobbling up a second run just for him. He'll have to be roosting in a big dog crate in there. My nerves can't take any more of those evening attacks on the hens. Should've done it a couple weeks ago, but hoped they'd find a solution. Silly me.

I know a lone rooster isn't going to be a happy one. Hard to find a good home for an unmannerly rooster. Although, I think he could drop his sneak-attack method if he had a flock of his own.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Feb 2, 2009
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Southeast Louisiana
Will he harm them over time?

You do not get guarantees with living animals, it just doesn't work that way. Part of the mating process is that the hen squats. That gets her body onto the ground. That way the rooster's weight is passed into the ground through her body, not through her legs. That tremendously reduces the pressure on her from his weight. Roosters of about any breed re heavier than hens of that breed. The squat is nature's way to protect the hens. The more difference in weight there is the greater the chance of injury, but many people keep bantam hens in with full sized fowl roosters without problems. I can't give you any guarantees but I personally would not worry about it that much.

I think he could drop his sneak-attack method if he had a flock of his own.

A huge unknown. When you have two males of a certain age in the flock, they know which one is dominant. The dominant one may suppress some of the behavior if the other or the competition may spur either one on to less than acceptable behaviors. It's hard to tell how a non-dominant male will behave if he suddenly becomes the dominant chicken in the flock. There are a lot of dynamics going on between those two males and between them and the girls. Lots of different things could happen. Certainly no guarantees here.

What are your goals related to those boys? The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Anything else is personal preference. Nothing wrong with personal preference I have a few myself. But those are a want, not a need. My general recommendation is to keep as few males as you can and meet your goals. That's not because you are guaranteed more problems with more boys but that more problems are more likely. I don't know what the right answer is for you, that depends n your goals and desires.

Sometimes two roosters can coexist in a flock, especially after they leave puberty and become mature. There are different ways that can work out, a very common one is that they have enough room so they each claim their own territory out of sight of each other. The number of hens each has isn't that important, one member on here has several roosters, each widely spread out in their own territory, including a separate coop to sleep in, with each rooster only having 2 or 3 hens. Another does that with maybe 7 hens or less per rooster. But a huge part of that is that they are mature hens and roosters, not pullets and cockerels going through puberty, which it sounds like you have.
 

salty midnite

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
13
5
10
I appreciate your detailed reply, and definitely am on board with the concept of no guarantees. It sounds like there's an okay chance the Brahma and the smallish hens can keep on mating together fairly safely. Now if he might learn to straddle instead of stand upon them, as one member mentioned hers doing, that'd be superb. I do want to keep him, simply because I'm very fond of him by now. He's a friend, and I'm a vegetarian, so....

As for the second male, we don't have the space nor the facilities to keep more than one flock. He is brokenhearted today, being kept separate from the others. I stayed with him all day, but I'm not much of a stand-in for his family. He was so stressed he barely ate. Gotta find him a sweet home.
 

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