Keeping two roos?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by aShMaNv, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. aShMaNv

    aShMaNv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello [​IMG] I have a smaller flock laying hens including rhode island reds and barred rocks. Right now i do not have a rooster, but was wanting to get one. After thinking about it, I have decided if possible, I would like to get two roos. One barred rock and one Rhode island. My chickens are free range so they wouldn't be penned up in a close space together. Does anyone have experience or advice on the idea? [​IMG] I just dont want them to tear one another apart. I have heard horror stories of roos torn to shreds from fighting. I understand some fighting is required to establish and maintain pecking order.
     
  2. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Quote:If you get them less than half grown, they will have very limited aggression to one another. The big consideration is your number of hens, as you need at least 5-6 hens per roo, preferably more. they wear the girls out otherwise. I have 17 hens to one roo and he still wears out the backs of his favorites if I don't protect them...and he hasn't a bottom beak with which to grasp. They line up for him.
     
  3. aShMaNv

    aShMaNv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice [​IMG] I will make sure of the number of hens i have is enough for two roos. Also when i get them i will make sure they are young. Any other pointers? [​IMG]
     
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Quote:Yes- handle them as much as possible. I always handle my roos as much as I can and end up with friendly bird who aren't much different than hens in their treatment of me. They trust me and look forward to my visits. You'll hear all sorts of conflicting info about respect and whatnot. I treat my roos like cuddly pets and they act like cuddly pets. I'm not sure that will always hold true, since some birds might have a differing personality from what I've always had. I find that if they know you intimately and can trust you, they won't think of you as competition or a threat, so they are placid around you. You need to handle them daily. Walk around with them for a bit, petting them.
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd also like to add that RIR roosters are known to be quite aggressive. Not all of them are, I'm sure, but since they have that reputation, please be very careful in making a decision on what breed of roosters you will be getting. Research is key! BEST of luck!
     
  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Quote:Yes, what she said! [​IMG]

    It does depend on the breed, and disposition can only be mollified if not inherently evil...I haven't had any RIR roos, but I hear they are evil incarnate oftentimes.
     
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    I have several roos husbanding my flock of laying hens. These individuals seem to have come to a "gentlemen's agreement" over space & hens. They coexist fairly peacefully, with a minimum of fighting. There will be some squabbling over hens, one will begin to mate with a hen and another will chase him off. Occasionally a couple will stand off & fight. But they NEVER show aggression towards any of the humans here.

    I think a rooster's behavior is part nature, part nurture. Some are more wary & defensive, right from the egg. Others are more calm & confident with less to prove. I think it's easier to make a roo more defensive/aggressive through rough handling than to retrain an agressive one to be more calm.

    The Fact of Life for roosters is that there are "job openings" as breeders, flock husbands, or pets for a mere 10% of their population. This leaves a good 90% of them with their purpose to be on a plate. THERE IS NO NEED TO KEEP AN AGRESSIVE ROOSTER AND PUT UP WITH HIS COMBATIVE BEHAVIOR!!! You may be fortunate to find two well-mannered roos your first time, and I hope you do. BUT don't let yourself get too attatched to them right away, don't knit them their own Christmas stockings just yet. That way, if you find that they need to be sent to The Other Side of the Road (you can learn to do it, or give/sell them to someone who will) it won't be so difficult. Then you're free to find new candidates to fill your job positions.

    Often you can find roosters being given away for free by folks who cannot keep a crowing bird in their yard.

    You may also consider hiring roosters of a different breed than your hens, they needn't be the same unless you're determined to breed more purebred chicks. Even a mixed-breed rooster can be a great addition to a flock, and they often come in spectacular & unusual colors & patterns. My criteria for choosing a rooster is: non-aggressive towards humans, not highly combative towards other roos, generous & attentive towards the hens, and attractive. I am fortunate to have found several that meet my standards. The rest have joined the family as dinner guests.
     
  8. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have 4 Roos with my flock of about 40 hens. I usaully keep a couple of Roos or more, one older one that keeps the younger Roos in line and when he dies (from old age/heart attack) the next oldest usaully takes his place. I've noticed that the dominant Roo tends to keep the younger ones subservient and the younger ones have smaller tail feathers if any (I think the older one pulls them out!) When the old "Mr Studly" passes on, the next one begins to grow much more fancy looking tail feathers and neck feathers as he takes on the role of "Mr Studly"
     
  9. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lots of good advice here and I say "ditto".

    I always keep 2 roos, Head Roo and 2nd-in-command... and always enough hens to accomodate both. Most times my 2nd is a son or grandson to my Head Roo and has been around his entire life... kinda grows into the job. Good luck!
     
  10. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got two Roos that have grown up together since day 1, both have their hens, both are great guards for them and there's very little arguing. One is a Barred one is a Buff Rock. No aggression towards people, but I still keep an eye on them.
     

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