Keeping Multiple Roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RavenWood, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. RavenWood

    RavenWood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2012
    Vanderhoof, BC Canada
    I would like to have several different breeds and be able to produce purebred offspring; consequently, I need to keep a few different roosters, but how do I manage the roosters? Do I keep them in with just that rooster's hens all the time? Can I keep a mixed flock of hens and only put the rooster with select hens in a breeding cage when you I want to harvest hatching eggs? Do I keep the roosters in their own cages so they don't fight? Just running scenarios for my set up and would love to know what others do?
  2. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    I don't have ANY roosters but as long as the roosters have enough room to get away form each other and there are no corners to get trapped in they should be alright. It would also help having all the roosters the same or roughly the same age. If you have all thit they can mix together and then you separate them when you want their eggs.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    If you want to keep different breeds and keep them pure I think the best and least complicated way would be to keep the different roosters with their hens each in their own pen. If you let the roosters out together they are very likely to fight and they will mate with the hens left right and centre and fight over the hens, possibly injuring them. Keeping the breeds pure for hatching will take careful management and planning ahead if they are all mixed up as a hen can lay fertile eggs for up to 2 weeks or longer after a mating, so you'll have to separate the hen for 3 weeks to be sure she's laying eggs fertilised by the rooster you want to breed from.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Yep, that right there. You can have a bachelor pad and some breeding pens, but then you have to be sure you're past the 2-3 weeks to be sure the hen's fertilized by the correct rooster. And any time you mess with who lives where with who you're going to force your birds to re-establish their dominance, that would get tiring. I think the best thing is to limit yourself to 2-3 breeds, concentrate on quality in those breeds rather than mediocre birds of 12 different breeds. Much easier to manage.
  5. Fly Fisher

    Fly Fisher Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2011
    Upstate New York
    There are a few different ways to accomplish what you want but the best scenario would be directly tied what your goals are. . You did no mention what you plan to do with your flock. Are you planning on selling, showing or just keeping a backyard flock. Are you planning on improving your birds qualities or just remaining status quo.

    These few question have major bearing on which route will work best for you.

    I can use my operation as an example. My goal is to produce birds with exceptional feather qualities. Another goal is to improve my brood stock every year.
    For me this could not be accomplished without multiple breeding pens, Hen grow out pens, Cockerel grow out pens, individual cages for Roosters.

    This approach allows me to monitor health, food rations, and breeding.

    When you look at your goals you will find what works for you.

    Post some of your plans and I am sure you will get some additional ideas that might be a fit.

  6. farmhand

    farmhand Chillin' With My Peeps

    @Fly Fisher
    I am planning on building additional space and trying to plan so that I can keep more roosters without the problems. I was thinking of building a mini cage within the run where I would house a rooster until I needed him. Is this a good or bad idea? I have read they get very lonely by them self's but if next to everyone would it be ok? How much room would a lone rooster need?
  7. eggsellentfarms

    eggsellentfarms Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2010
    I've got a similar scenario. I currently have 2 roosters and 11 hens. The older rooster is a barnyard mix with some bantam mixed in I think. I recently purchased a young blue orpington rooster. He gets harassed a little by the older rooster but nothing too bad. I'm planning on getting a young black australorp rooster soon and finding a new home for the older mixed rooster. Then my plan is to be able to breed orpingtons, australorps, and some mixed. They will be to replenish my stock, eating, and possibly selling. I'm thinking about just letting them all run around and see what happens. Obviously if I want to sell hatching eggs, I'll have to sequester some apart from the rest for a while, but I'm curious to find out what happens if they all run together.
    I guess my biggest concern is that the two rooster don't hurt each other. I plan on having about 15 to 18 mature hens at all times. Is that enough to keep 2 roosters out of trouble?
  8. farmhand

    farmhand Chillin' With My Peeps

    15 to 18 hens is enough for most roosters (there's always one who won't get along with anyone) if given enough room. But to get pure eggs, you would need to move hens. Hens don't like to be moved and may stop laying for 2 to 3 weeks. Which is counter productive.
  9. eggsellentfarms

    eggsellentfarms Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2010
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Listen to Donrae in post #4, she has it right.

    Also to really improve any well established breed it may require thousands of hens and roosters just so you the breeder can come buy a few superior individuals to go into the brood pen.

    Attempting to keep any breed only or just pure is IMHO impossible because the natural tendency for every species or breed is to return to the lowest common denominator if not actually go down hill.

    I am not saying it will happen, but this seems to be where the heritage breed movement is headed. Nothing in nature is static, and when you stop going up the only way to go is down.

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