Keeping roosters together

SniperGoose

Songster
Apr 15, 2018
289
1,096
247
Central Pennsylvania
It's generally a bad idea to keep 2 roosters together once breeding age hits. I've never personally done it, but I've heard that each rooster needs at least 10-12 hens. With you having only 8 hens, there will most likely be fights breaking out between the two.

I'd look into re-homing one of them sooner rather than later. That would be the best option for everyone.
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,226
26,174
972
On the MN prairie.
It's generally a bad idea to keep 2 roosters together once breeding age hits. I've never personally done it, but I've heard that each rooster needs at least 10-12 hens. With you having only 8 hens, there will most likely be fights breaking out between the two.

I'd look into re-homing one of them sooner rather than later. That would be the best option for everyone.
This often quoted ratio has more to do with big hatcheries and desired fertilization. Backyard flocks are a different situation.
There are people who have one rooster and 15 or more hens that still end up with a couple of hens that get over bred and ratty looking. Others keep one rooster and two hens as a breeding trio and everything is fine.

However, two roosters to 8 hens can be problematic if the roosters start fighting (which they most likely will). Sometimes they'll gang breed the girls so each can show their dominance. I would not keep two roosters to 8 hens unless I kept two separate flocks.
 

Krazyquilts

Songster
Aug 2, 2016
1,018
839
237
Geneva, Ohio (northeast of Cleveland)
so just found out i possibly have 2 roosters out of my 10 chickens. They are my favorite chickens and would love to keep both. Is it not a good idea to keep 2 roosters with 8 hens?
What breed are your roosters? Some breeds are more easy-going than others. Right now, I have 2 Orpington cockerels around 9 months old with a free range flock of around 14 hens, plus 3 "teenage" Orpington cockerels (maybe 3 months old?) that I'm growing out with the free range to decide which ones to keep as back-ups. All the boys get along fine. The older cockerels decided a while ago which one was the head of the flock but they both breed the hens and crow and have a generally chicken-y good time.

Conversely, we have an all-rooster flock in our sheep pasture, including "charity case" bantams, breeding stock grow-outs, and ones we intend for butchering. Even though it's an all male flock and the free range hens don't go up there, we had a LOT of problems with several of the roosters, mostly Olive Eggers, who spent their entire day attacking and "mating" the smaller or subordinate roosters. The mean roosters recently got sent to "freezer camp" and the remaining seven roosters get along perfectly politely with each other.

So I think it depends on breed, roaming space, and individual personalities.
 

Stacylynnlac

Chirping
Apr 20, 2018
76
129
96
New York
That could change in a heartbeat once they hit breeding age. Let me guess: those cockerels are your favorites because they're the first ones to come running over to you, eat out of your hand and are the most "friendly"? They're more curious than the rest?
Ha ha ha yes they let me hold them and are super friendly
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,226
26,174
972
On the MN prairie.
Ha ha ha yes they let me hold them and are super friendly
This is the time I would start teaching those young cockerels that you are the boss. I would stop hand feeding them and holding them and start distancing myself from them. When they are old enough to go outside, I would not let them into my space. I would walk through them if they happened to be between where I am and where I want to be. I'd move them away from the feed and not let them eat unless I decide they can. It all sounds pretty cold and callous, but you need to read all the "Help! My sweet rooster attacked me!" threads. Almost all of them start out saying how he was handled, hand fed, and the friendliest as a chick.

It seems that the more they are handled, the more they think they are dominant over you. It seems that in the chicken world, respect is shown by giving ground. Staying out of a dominant bird's space. You can do as you like, of course, but I have been raising my cockerels this way for several years and have not had one turn on me yet.
 

Stacylynnlac

Chirping
Apr 20, 2018
76
129
96
New York
That could change in a heartbeat once they hit breeding age. Let me guess: those cockerels are your favorites because they're the first ones to come running over to you, eat out of your hand and are the most "friendly"? They're more curious than the rest?
What is breeding age?
 
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