Keeping multiple roosters- Need advice from breeders

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

  1. capayvalleychick

    capayvalleychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For those of you that breed chickens and keep several roosters, how do you manage the roosters? Can they ever be kept together and get along with each other?

    I am down to two breeds now, with 3 roosters. I am going to add another rooster soon, so that I have 2 of each breed.

    I'm taking them out of the breeding pens now and want to turn them all out on pasture for the winter. I have a mobile coop, made out of a travel trailer, so it is roomy enough for most of them. I also have a coop up by the house, where I can keep one group. I close up the coops at night and they all free range during the day.

    The Delaware roo was the first to be placed out in the pasture coop. A few days ago, I put one of the Dorking roos with one of his hens in that coop, at night. He was bloody & battered the next morning. Those two refuse to go back in the mobile coop at night. I locked the Delaware roo in a nest box during the past two nights but the Dorking pair still don't want to return to that coop. I have to chase, catch and put them in that coop at night.

    Will these two roos ever learn to get along or is it impossible for roosters to get along with each other?

    My best Dorking roo is up in the house coop with his group of hens. He gets along with the second Dork roo, but I don't want to have too many chickens up by the house because they end up on the deck, chairs etc. and make a mess.

    I don't want to have my best roo out in the pasture coop because, even though the coop is secure, I worry about predators and I like to keep a closer eye on my best birds.

    It's also very important to me that my chickens get to free range during the day. I felt bad about locking them up in breeding pens all summer but that was necessary. I'd really like for them to have some freedom during the winter. I don't want to always have the roosters locked up in pens.

    How do you pro breeders manage having so many roosters? What is your set up? Do any of you free range roosters together when they are not being used for breeding?

    Do you think there is any way that I can have 3 or even 2 roosters together in a my large mobile coop?

    Thanks for any advice,
    Kim
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I am not a pro- but do have experience managing free range roosters. Most of mine are free ranged 24/7 with multiple roost options and feeders spread out a bit. With my dominiques outside of breeding season, starting about a month ago, multiple males can be run together as part of the larger flock. Aggression greatly reduced until days get longer and temperatures warmup when they will fight more. Brood roosters kept as you indicate, in more secure facility and isolated from each other, at least when producing hatching eggs.

    Yes, 2 or 3 roosters together in large mobile coop OK. Best if no hens in pen with them.

    Rooster free ranged together were also raised either as same cohort or raised under dominant roosters. I no longer mix adult male birds together for first time as adults unless they have already been designated culls.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  3. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It can be very difficult to introduce adult roosters to each other and have them get along if there are hens involved, unless maybe there was a very large number of hens available to them. The best chance of having roosters that get along is to raise them together from chicks. For your situation, it may be best to coop all the hens together and just have the roosters together without any hens if possible. They'll have a much better chance of getting along that way. Otherwise, you may have to put the Dorking back in his original coop.
     
  4. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:X's 2 on the "no hens" rule. Its the best chance of the roosters getting along. Even then they will fight until a pecking order is determined, but girls in the mix are like adding fuel to the fire.
     
  5. capayvalleychick

    capayvalleychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Centrarchid, So you don't have to lock up your birds at all, at night, for predator protection?

    What you said makes a lot of sense and must be the reason that I didn't have this problem before. I used to have pairs of roos that were raised together. Ironically, now that I'm trying to get serious about breeding and be a little more professional in my methods, the roosters that I have for breeding don't like each other.

    Someone else had mentioned giving them enough space, so I'm hoping that the trailer coop is big enough for at least 2 roosters. I'm going to give it a few more days to see if there's any progress. The Dork roo is not challenging the Delaware at all.
    The same person also said no hens, but that defeats my idea of having them all out together all winter on pasture as a big happy group.

    Blue, how many hens is a large enough group for 2 roosters? There are about 20 out there.

    If I have to separate the roosters, I will divide them back into their breeding groups and let them live that way. I need 2 more coops to do that. My husband will not be happy that the beautiful big mobile coop that he built is not going to be good enough for all the chickens!

    Kim
     
  6. capayvalleychick

    capayvalleychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, maybe having all the roosters together in one place and all the hens together in another might work? That would only be 2 coops, which I have already.

    Maybe the mellow Dork boys would band together to ward off the evil Delaware. [​IMG]

    Thank you all for your advice!

    Kim
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  8. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Quote:Maybe you could figure out a way to divide the coop in half.
     
  9. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    In my experience with gamefowl, I find that aduly roosters cannot be housed together. I freerange my youngsters untill one starts making trouble, then seperate him for life. Even ragular breeds like yours will fight strangers. Some never quit. In my mind, seperate pens with a rotating free range schedule is the only way........Pop
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Twenty hens should be enough for 2 roosters, so since you have enough hens, it's just up to whether or not the roosters want to cooperate and get along.
     

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