managing multiple roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by muell112, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. muell112

    muell112 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Bangor, ME
    Hello,

    This is my first year with chickens. I ordered 12 laying hens and got 18, 5 of which I've since confirmed are roosters (3 polish, 1 buff cochin and 1 buff orpington). I like all of them very much and was hoping to keep them/figure out a way to manage this many roos within the flock. They are currently 3.5 months old. The white/black polish is the top dog (biggest), followed by the 2 golden polish, then the buffs from what I can tell. So far there has been no problems other than the occasional chasing of hens and one polish running when he sees the black/white one. They are currently all together in a coop that's 7.5X9.5' and a run that's 20X10'. Any advice? Any experience with these breeds of roosters? Here's the disposition of mine:

    black/white polish roo: can touch him, sit near him but he doesn't want to be picked up.

    golden polish roos: are fine with me petting them, picking them up. One is chasing my partridge cochins

    Buff cochin roo: very sweet, smaller/shorter, likes to be petted/picked up

    Buff orpington: tolerates touching/sitting near but is really skittish

    Here are some pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/22356_p1010284.jpg[/img]
     
  2. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    If you leave them all together, they will find a pecking order. However, the older they get, the more likely they are to fight for dominance of the flock. I know some folks (myself included) will have a "bachelor" pen for the boys. They still scuffle but not as much as when the girls are around.
     
  3. muell112

    muell112 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Bangor, ME
    Do you have them totally separated all the time? Do you keep one roo with the hens and the rest in the bachelor pad? Do people ever clip their roo's spurs?
     
  4. chickon

    chickon Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 6, 2008
    I'll be interested in the replies on this too...it will soon be time to cull out the excess roosters from our summer's hatch/order.

    This is only my second year with chickens but I do know this from the first year: our RIR Roo underwent a HUGE change in personality when he got his crow! He had been kind of curious and a little friendly as a youth, then he got his crow and became a big jerk & a menace to adults and children alike.

    That's kind of standard RIR Roos though; maybe your good-lookin' fellas won't go through as drastic of a change. [​IMG]

    Kate
     
  5. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Utah
    Quote:I'de love an answer to the last question, is this helpful? and does it change there personality?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2009
  6. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Utah
    Quote:
     
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    They'll either get along or they won't. There's not much you can do to help them get along except provide plenty of space and hens. If they don't get along you'll either have to get rid of the others or build them their own pen. You can keep however many get along in with your hens whether that's only one or 3 of 4 and the rest in a pen away from the hens. You can't put them together sometimes and not others or you'll cause even bigger fights. Once seperated they are pretty much seperated for life.
     
  8. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    DISCLAIMER: This is my PERSONAL experience.....

    I have a roo who has become a total jerk since he got old enough to crow and breed. However, for the sake of his offspring, I tollerate it.

    That being said, I have a bunch of other boys who are great. I have 3 orpington roosters who are old enough to "crow" and breed. The jerk being one. He is seperate with his own flock of girls. My Blue is good as long as he has room to move. He was SUPER agressive when he was in a small pen by himself. I think he was just unhappy. He's my only "free range" rooster and he's with a mix of hens. He will be in his own pen when the girls I'm breeding him to get older. He's a bit rough and he's really big so I'm waiting. My thrid orp rro is a bit shy around people but he has always been pleasant. Again, he has his own flock of girls that he's being bred to.

    My turken roo is a charmer. His personality hasn't changed at all as he's grown. he is with just one girl right now but he's doing fine when we interact with him.

    Everyone else is in together. I sort them out as they get older to my specific breeding pens. I currently have 9 cockerels running together in a free range lot. They are just starting to understand about the "girls". They ahve been doing some paly fighting and what not as boys do. In another month, they will be old enough to "harass the girls" and at that point I will split them out. Not because they fight too much, but because they inevitably find one girl that doesn't fight as much and they gang up on her. I seperate them to make it easier on the girls.

    As I said before, in the bachelor pen, they do establish a pecking order and they do squabble, but nothing like they do with the girls around. Since I have 9 boys and only 10 girls in this particular grouping, there would be way too much fighting do to the low hen/roo ratio.

    I have my boys in mind that I'm keeping for breeding. The rest will be raised for food. Yes, I do keep them seperate from the girls once they get to be about 3 months. Again, it's because of the low ratio of hens to roos. Also, I have certain breeds that I want to stay pure so I have pens for each. right now they all run together based on age not breed.

    If I want one rooster over another, I will switch them out of a particular pen. I have pens for the solitary roo. This is especially true for my splash vs blue orpingtons. I am raising several splash boys right now and want to see wich one is most "type" for the breed. He will get switched with my blue roo(once that flock is established) because they come from 2 differnt blood lines. Otherwise, I'd just use one or the other.

    Lastly, I don't cut spurs. My guys don't have very long ones and the fighting at their age is minimal. They do a lot more comb and feather pulling.
     
  9. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    I keep 5 roosters with 9 hens and they do pretty well as long as I punish the ones who get out of line. I hold them upside down by their legs until they stop flapping and I wait for them to walk off I don't walk first it shows that they are higher than you. I had 8 roosters in with the 9 hens but had to get rid of a few because of their crowing but they all got along. Some act like brothers. As long as they stay together because I seperate one and then bring him back they all attack the "new" one.

    Or you could leave one rooster in with the hens and then build a seperate tractor for the other roosters and as long as there isn't any hens in the tractor they shouldn't fight.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  10. lorrir

    lorrir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2009
    Upstate SC
    I had one roo for 9 hens, he is as mean as a snake. My DH did the hanging upside down thing for me but he continued to attack me and left the DH alone. After a while I pretty much knew he was headed for the freezer so I became more aggressive towards him. One night he attacked our 2 year old grandaughter who was walking in the backyard. (no where near him) I beat him with a shovel, stunned him pretty bad he drug himself by one foot to his pen where he layed on the floor for a day and half. I felt horrible and hoped he wasn't in pain. But I had had enough of his nonsense. After a couple of days he was back on his perch in the pen and came out of the pen when I let the girls out in the morning to free range. Ever since then he stears way clear of me. Makes a huge circle to avoid be near me. I know it's not the ideal situation but it suits me. I have since been given to young RIR roos. They don't go in the pen at night but hang with the flock during the day. They are able to catch a couple of the hens every day if the older mean roo is not near by. As soon as the hen starts carrying on the mean roos chases the RIR roo, who is chasing the hen. Country entertainment at its best.
     

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