Just how aggressive

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by remuda1, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are golden and silver laced wyandottes??? I started the integration process between my almost 6 month old Marans (Cuckoo and BCM - three hens of each and one BCM roo) and my almost 4 month old GLW and SLWs and Brown Leghorns (2 each of the GLW and SLW pullets and one GLW cockerel and the three leghorns are all pullets). I have had them housed next to each other for quite a while now with 1/4 inch hardware cloth between them (on the bottom) and chicken wire (on the top). I wanted to wait till all of the littles had stopped peeping. I was afraid that the larger/older Marans would just slaughter them.... especially since the marans hens have all started laying in the last month or so.

    Anyhoooo, it seems that the joke is on me because the bigs are being pecked by the littles [​IMG] ! Now, the two roosters haven't squared off yet and the Marans seems willing enough to accept the GLW roo, but today was the first day and I was close by monitoring. The GLW roo and one of the Cuckoo hens went at it though! She managed to pull a bunch of feathers out of his disrespectful little head. I separated them and a few moments later, he was ready for more and went after her.

    I wanted to get these two groups integrated into the same coop prior to winter. Do you all think that this is still a realistic goal? I am going to continue to let them all out together in the mornings and watch them. But I won't let the Wyandotte group boot the Marans out of the larger coop. If it comes to that, the Wyandottes will have to stay roosting in the smaller coop from now on.

    I sure wish now, that I had tried this when they were still peepers. Let me know from your experience how good my chances are to have these guys cohabitating by mid November. Thanks in advance and I'll be looking forward to your responses [​IMG] .
     
  2. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Based on the number of hens I'm counting that you have: no this is not realistic.
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    From what I have experienced and read on the forum, some fighting is normal but won't necessarily lead to serious injury. They need to establish the pecking order. I know that is not very reassuring. If someone starts bleeding, separate the chicken out to prevent the scab from getting pecked repeatedly by the flock.

    I don't think Wyandottes have a particularly aggressive reputation.

    One thing you might try is placing the newbies to roost along side the others at night (once it is too dusky for them to want to do anything other than roost pluck them off their old roost and place them in the coop on the roost with the others.) This worked when I reintroduced my rooster after he was separated due to an illness. Hopefully, others will offer some other pointers, as well.
     
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:You have 2 roosters? I think it might not be a problem. The rules are not so hard and fast; you just need to watch that the hens don't seem stressed once the pecking order is established.
     
  5. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With young cockerels you can figure 10-12 hens. Any less than this in a confined space and there will be trouble.
     
  6. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    It really depends on the rooster too, some roosters are really docile and act almost like hens. I have a mutt rooster and he's like a hen.
     
  7. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, there are two roosters and 13 hens. Both roosters had rooster buddies with them until recently and got along well with them. The cuckoo Marans roo went Buh Bye due to his roughness with the hens. The Silver Laced Wyandotte roo was rehomed this past weekend. I kept the GLW roo because he was not the lead roo out of the two of them. The BCM roo was the dominant roo out of he and the Cuckoo. There was no fighting at all between Cuckoo and BCM roos and none between the two Wyandotte roos. But they had each grown up with eachother.

    I kept the GLW because he was submissive to the SLW and hoped that he would be that way with the BCM as well. He did not pick a fight with the BCM while they were together but it just surprised the heck out of me that the littles would be the instigators in the altercations between these two groups. It also surprised me that a lot of the littles pullets were the instigators with the bigs hens! Just shows to go ya!
     
  8. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Try adding one or two new hens at a time instead of the whole group. Wait until they've integrated before adding the next one. You should be ok with two roo's and 13 hens unless the roo's are agressive.
     
  9. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It is normal for cockerels that are nest mates to get along fine for a long period. Even among Games (excepting Spanish and some American strains) we can keep stags together for as long as 10 months. The issue as I see it for you with the breeds you've sited is going to be the limited space you are going to be using.

    As has been stated already, you always have to consider the breeds when asking this question of multiple cocks.

    Also, just so you'll know. Young stags are often 'rough' (your word not mine nor one I would ever use with animals) with the hens. Most generally calm down as they get older and after they have gotten the inital treading down. Plus, a young stag often wants to show some dominace over the hens at first. He will do this by in a variety of ways: including some fighting. This is completely normal. What you don't want is some crazy stag that just wants to kill the hens. There is a difference between these two types of stags but if you are relatively new to chickens then you might not be able to tell the difference at first.
     
  10. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all of you for all of the great info and ideas. I'm going to keep trying to work it out and see how it goes. They were in a 27 X 12 foot run (that works out to 21.6 feet per bird) when the skirmishes occurred this morning as the littles are still cautious about free ranging. Perhaps once they are all out and about together for a while, they will tolerate eachother better. We'll have another meet and greet this evening and see how it goes.

    Saladin, my apologies if my terminology wasn't correct. The cuckoo marans roo would basically ambush the hens. This would happen even if he wasn't trying to mount them. They could simply be just walking by and he would wait until they got in range and just light into them, LOTS of feathers lost. He bloodied a couple of combs and the sound of screeching hens could be heard throughout the day. The hens would go out of thier way to avoid him. That's all I meant. Since he's been gone, it's amazing to me how quiet it is out there. I think the hens are quite a bit happier without him. He also had a very slight misaligned beak so I knew I would not want to breed to him. The BCM roo is a perfect gentleman with them in all ways, he was also dominant over the cuckoo even though the Cuckoo towered over him. At this point, however I am more concerned about the littles hen behavior than the roo.... Of course, that may change many times before this is resolved one way or another, LOL!

    Thanks again everyone, I hope you all have a great day!
     

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