Multiple roosters in a flock question/strategy

JJandtheBoys

Chirping
Oct 26, 2020
40
33
54
Need advice!
I have an established flock of 6 hens and 1 Easter-Egger Rooster (he's a bit of a jerk). They are 18 months old.

We now have a flock of 6 to 8 week olds that consist of 5 bantams (not sure of sex, including brahma, cochin, silkies, cornish) and 7 standard pullets. Right now, they are in their own Coop that feeds into a run - housed in our chicken yard.

Our chicken yard is 350 square feet for the 19 birds, and there is, within the run, two coops (elevated, so the chickens are able to access space underneath). We also live on 6 acres, so the chickens free range for a few hours daily.

At some point, we will inevitably learn that some of our bantams are (sadly) cockerels. Here is my question:

What, if anything, can we do to try to KEEP as many of the roosters as possible?
Is there anything we can do doing the integration process to improve our prospects? Additional feeding stations, extra hens, etc?
Acquiring the bantams in this flock was a risk, we know, and we know that giving up some might be the only solution, but we REALLY love our other bantam girls (silkie, wyandotte, d'uccle).

We are open to acquiring more hens if we need to, by the way, and I think our yard size can accommodate a few more.
 

CrazyCochin

❄️Winter is here! ❄️
May 21, 2019
5,220
35,664
901
Washington State, aka The pacific NorthWest
Need advice!
I have an established flock of 6 hens and 1 Easter-Egger Rooster (he's a bit of a jerk). They are 18 months old.

We now have a flock of 6 to 8 week olds that consist of 5 bantams (not sure of sex, including brahma, cochin, silkies, cornish) and 7 standard pullets. Right now, they are in their own Coop that feeds into a run - housed in our chicken yard.

Our chicken yard is 350 square feet for the 19 birds, and there is, within the run, two coops (elevated, so the chickens are able to access space underneath). We also live on 6 acres, so the chickens free range for a few hours daily.

At some point, we will inevitably learn that some of our bantams are (sadly) cockerels. Here is my question:

What, if anything, can we do to try to KEEP as many of the roosters as possible?
Is there anything we can do doing the integration process to improve our prospects? Additional feeding stations, extra hens, etc?
Acquiring the bantams in this flock was a risk, we know, and we know that giving up some might be the only solution, but we REALLY love our other bantam girls (silkie, wyandotte, d'uccle).

We are open to acquiring more hens if we need to, by the way, and I think our yard size can accommodate a few more.
Hello! Do you want to keep the hens and roosters together?
 

CrazyCochin

❄️Winter is here! ❄️
May 21, 2019
5,220
35,664
901
Washington State, aka The pacific NorthWest
Need advice!
I have an established flock of 6 hens and 1 Easter-Egger Rooster (he's a bit of a jerk). They are 18 months old.

We now have a flock of 6 to 8 week olds that consist of 5 bantams (not sure of sex, including brahma, cochin, silkies, cornish) and 7 standard pullets. Right now, they are in their own Coop that feeds into a run - housed in our chicken yard.

Our chicken yard is 350 square feet for the 19 birds, and there is, within the run, two coops (elevated, so the chickens are able to access space underneath). We also live on 6 acres, so the chickens free range for a few hours daily.

At some point, we will inevitably learn that some of our bantams are (sadly) cockerels. Here is my question:

What, if anything, can we do to try to KEEP as many of the roosters as possible?
Is there anything we can do doing the integration process to improve our prospects? Additional feeding stations, extra hens, etc?
Acquiring the bantams in this flock was a risk, we know, and we know that giving up some might be the only solution, but we REALLY love our other bantam girls (silkie, wyandotte, d'uccle).

We are open to acquiring more hens if we need to, by the way, and I think our yard size can accommodate a few more.
If you could post some pictures of the chicks, maybe I can help you figure out some of the genders as well! And if I cant, there are many other members that can give it a shot!
 

CrazyCochin

❄️Winter is here! ❄️
May 21, 2019
5,220
35,664
901
Washington State, aka The pacific NorthWest
Need advice!
I have an established flock of 6 hens and 1 Easter-Egger Rooster (he's a bit of a jerk). They are 18 months old.

We now have a flock of 6 to 8 week olds that consist of 5 bantams (not sure of sex, including brahma, cochin, silkies, cornish) and 7 standard pullets. Right now, they are in their own Coop that feeds into a run - housed in our chicken yard.

Our chicken yard is 350 square feet for the 19 birds, and there is, within the run, two coops (elevated, so the chickens are able to access space underneath). We also live on 6 acres, so the chickens free range for a few hours daily.

At some point, we will inevitably learn that some of our bantams are (sadly) cockerels. Here is my question:

What, if anything, can we do to try to KEEP as many of the roosters as possible?
Is there anything we can do doing the integration process to improve our prospects? Additional feeding stations, extra hens, etc?

Acquiring the bantams in this flock was a risk, we know, and we know that giving up some might be the only solution, but we REALLY love our other bantam girls (silkie, wyandotte, d'uccle).

We are open to acquiring more hens if we need to, by the way, and I think our yard size can accommodate a few more.
Well, we have around 50+ chickens, and the majority of those are hens, but we have four roosters in with them, three large fowl, and one banty, we have one feeding station, and they all do fine! But it wouldn't be a bad idea to get more hens, even if they are sex link chicks, like Red Stars, or Black sex links, chicks that you can tell what genders they are.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,040
22,680
907
Southeast Louisiana
Some people on here believe a hen to rooster ratio is important. I don't. Many of us on here have flocks that prove it just isn't so. If you want to use it as an excuse to get more girls go for it, but I don't consider it a real reason.

What can you do to improve your odds. First I'd raise them all together with that rooster and the hens if you can. Boys raised together in a flock whether as siblings or as father-son have a better chance to work things out. That does not mean they will but your odds are better.

Give them as much room as you possibly can. The more room they have the better the chances they will work things out instead of having issues.

Expect some squabbling as they go through puberty. At first it will probably be the boys jousting among themselves or chasing after their girl siblings. If the boys start chasing after the adult hens the rooster will get involved. With enough room that is likely to be mostly chasing and running away. Even though they are bantam they might at some point of maturity stand up to the rooster, that fighting can get bad. Even that doesn't always mean death or serious injury but it can. When they fight they are trying to hurt each other. But it often turns more into chasing and running away.

If they don't work it out build a bachelor pad. Usually if they don't have any girls to fight over they don't fight that much.

This is how I'd approach it is you want to keep them all. Good luck!
 

JJandtheBoys

Chirping
Oct 26, 2020
40
33
54
Some people on here believe a hen to rooster ratio is important. I don't. Many of us on here have flocks that prove it just isn't so. If you want to use it as an excuse to get more girls go for it, but I don't consider it a real reason.

What can you do to improve your odds. First I'd raise them all together with that rooster and the hens if you can. Boys raised together in a flock whether as siblings or as father-son have a better chance to work things out. That does not mean they will but your odds are better.

Give them as much room as you possibly can. The more room they have the better the chances they will work things out instead of having issues.

Expect some squabbling as they go through puberty. At first it will probably be the boys jousting among themselves or chasing after their girl siblings. If the boys start chasing after the adult hens the rooster will get involved. With enough room that is likely to be mostly chasing and running away. Even though they are bantam they might at some point of maturity stand up to the rooster, that fighting can get bad. Even that doesn't always mean death or serious injury but it can. When they fight they are trying to hurt each other. But it often turns more into chasing and running away.

If they don't work it out build a bachelor pad. Usually if they don't have any girls to fight over they don't fight that much.

This is how I'd approach it is you want to keep them all. Good luck!
So helpful! I'm most concerned about our existing rooster trying to hurt any new roosters. Any tips?
 
Nov 29, 2020
28
159
64
Indiana
Need advice!
I have an established flock of 6 hens and 1 Easter-Egger Rooster (he's a bit of a jerk). They are 18 months old.

We now have a flock of 6 to 8 week olds that consist of 5 bantams (not sure of sex, including brahma, cochin, silkies, cornish) and 7 standard pullets. Right now, they are in their own Coop that feeds into a run - housed in our chicken yard.

Our chicken yard is 350 square feet for the 19 birds, and there is, within the run, two coops (elevated, so the chickens are able to access space underneath). We also live on 6 acres, so the chickens free range for a few hours daily.

At some point, we will inevitably learn that some of our bantams are (sadly) cockerels. Here is my question:

What, if anything, can we do to try to KEEP as many of the roosters as possible?
Is there anything we can do doing the integration process to improve our prospects? Additional feeding stations, extra hens, etc?
Acquiring the bantams in this flock was a risk, we know, and we know that giving up some might be the only solution, but we REALLY love our other bantam girls (silkie, wyandotte, d'uccle).

We are open to acquiring more hens if we need to, by the way, and I think our yard size can accommodate a few more.

I had a similar situation. I have 9 roosters and 8 hens. I originally just had the Fluffy Butt Hut (see below), but when I realized I was going to have a bunch of roosters, ground was broken on Chicken Village.

I also have 6ish acres, so plenty of room for everyone. I built a second coop, Camp Cockadoodle, for the boys. The hens are confined to their own coop and run. The boys are free range. They have their own coop that I lock them up in every night and multiple other structures for during the day.

Since no one has access to the hens, they have nothing to compete for and are a happy little rooster gang. The run is covered, so they can not get in.

I love my rooster flock. They are so much fun and have huge personalities. They are surprisingly affectionate. I would definitely recommend having a rooster flock!

E548CD21-ED2D-4166-BD97-D84131592C25.jpeg

4371EB71-1B95-447A-880A-4E2D13EDBE3A.jpeg

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JJandtheBoys

Chirping
Oct 26, 2020
40
33
54
Other than what I said above, get them integrated as soon as you can. The younger they are the more likely he will see them as his and is more likely to help take care of them or just ignore them than to hurt them.
Stupid question, but... does the following "count" as integration? I am doing the "playpen method." So the new chickens are in a wire enclosure WITHIN the chicken yard RIGHT by the ramp to the older chickens' coop and beside their feeding station. I was planning to leave them in there for AT LEAST a week, and maybe longer. Would you err on letting them out of their playpen earlier?
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,455
13,086
656
western South Dakota
I would get them out ASAP. The younger they are the better, you want them to be a complete flock BEFORE the hormones hit.

Ridgerunner gives good advice, I would add three points:
  • add clutter to the run, a lot of hideouts, platforms and roosts where birds can get out of site
  • add additional feed spots set up so that a bird eating at one spot cannot be seen by other birds eating at a different spot
  • Plan B set up and ready to go and a way to separate birds if they get to fighting. I use a chicken hook, but a fish net is also usable
Mrs K
 

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