Multiple roosters in a flock question/strategy

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
26,714
18,486
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Southeast Louisiana
Would you err on letting them out of their playpen earlier?

You can try letting them out earlier and go by what you see. My main fenced run is 12' x 32', about the same size as yours. I also have a large area inside electric netting, 45' x 65'. 350 square feet isn't that big but you can increase the quality of that space with clutter.

But sometimes it really is that easy. Try it when you can observe and see if you really need to lock them up or not. All these tricks are to make it more likely you will be successful. That includes housing them "see but no touch" for a while. None of these give you any guarantees you won't have problems. Skipping one or more does not give you any guarantees that it won't work. Use as many of them as you reasonably can and see what happens. Go by what you see more than by what strangers like me over the internet tell you what you might see.

Where are they going to sleep at night? You mentioned two coops but I don't remember if these are sleeping by themselves or with other adults. If they are locked in a coop with other adults when they are awake there are some risks. They can't run away if they need to. They may need to be trained where to sleep. If you do lock them in a coop with adults overnight I'd be down there at daybreak to open the pop door until you are OK with them being locked in there together. I let mine roam with the flock for a while during the day before I try that and I have a large coop with clutter, it has never been a problem. But I still make a point to be down there at daybreak the first morning or two just to be safe. My brooder is in the coop. Sometimes if the numbers aren't that high I just open the brooder door at 5 weeks of age and walk away. If it s getting crowded I keep some in my grow-out coop for a few weeks before I move them into the main coop. I haven't had a problem with any of these.

I'd be OK leaving them penned next to the adults for a while before I let them mingle, I think yours are still young enough and that does introduce them to the rooster. Can you use that time to train them where to sleep? And you would have a safe place to put them if they need to be isolated when you do try.
 

JJandtheBoys

In the Brooder
Oct 26, 2020
29
29
44
Would you err on letting them out of their playpen earlier?

You can try letting them out earlier and go by what you see. My main fenced run is 12' x 32', about the same size as yours. I also have a large area inside electric netting, 45' x 65'. 350 square feet isn't that big but you can increase the quality of that space with clutter.

But sometimes it really is that easy. Try it when you can observe and see if you really need to lock them up or not. All these tricks are to make it more likely you will be successful. That includes housing them "see but no touch" for a while. None of these give you any guarantees you won't have problems. Skipping one or more does not give you any guarantees that it won't work. Use as many of them as you reasonably can and see what happens. Go by what you see more than by what strangers like me over the internet tell you what you might see.

Where are they going to sleep at night? You mentioned two coops but I don't remember if these are sleeping by themselves or with other adults. If they are locked in a coop with other adults when they are awake there are some risks. They can't run away if they need to. They may need to be trained where to sleep. If you do lock them in a coop with adults overnight I'd be down there at daybreak to open the pop door until you are OK with them being locked in there together. I let mine roam with the flock for a while during the day before I try that and I have a large coop with clutter, it has never been a problem. But I still make a point to be down there at daybreak the first morning or two just to be safe. My brooder is in the coop. Sometimes if the numbers aren't that high I just open the brooder door at 5 weeks of age and walk away. If it s getting crowded I keep some in my grow-out coop for a few weeks before I move them into the main coop. I haven't had a problem with any of these.

I'd be OK leaving them penned next to the adults for a while before I let them mingle, I think yours are still young enough and that does introduce them to the rooster. Can you use that time to train them where to sleep? And you would have a safe place to put them if they need to be isolated when you do try.
My profile pic is a photo of our yard. Inside the yard, we have a walk-in pen with two coops that feed into the pen. Right now. I have the PEN partitioned, so the babies are confined to the play pen (partitioned area) when they come out of their coop. They are not sleeping with the adults yet (who occupy the elevated coop). Then, during the day, I give the babies full run of the walk-in pen after the adults have finished laying eggs. The adults spend their day in the yard and free-ranging. Since you posted, I have added lots of clutter (a whiskey barrel, lots of junky stumps with branches still affixed. They already had a wooden ladder. I really appreciate your help. I have decided to keep them doing this process until the youngest of my babies reach 12 weeks old (primarily, because the babies consist of bantams all the way up to a Jersey Giant). I am also kicking the adults out of the yard for a few hours each day, so the babies can really get to know the yard and their future escape-routes. The babies outnumber the existing flock 2 to 1, so hopefully, the bullying will be spread out when I integrate. I'm about to start another thread to ask if anyone can identify a "mystery" chicken that Ideal Poultry sent me and possibly take a guess at the gender of our bantams. Thank you AGAIN! You are a Chicken Jedi.
 

JJandtheBoys

In the Brooder
Oct 26, 2020
29
29
44
UPDATE! We have successfully integrated our juvenile birds (13 of them, ranging between 11 and 13 weeks) with our 18 month old flock (6 hens, 1 rooster). We rehomed our 21st bird, when we confirmed he was a roo. We know that 11 of the 13 juveniles are pullets. The only juveniles for whom we aren't certain of the gender are our two silkies, but so far, our rooster has not been aggressive to any of the juveniles at all. In fact, there has been very little pecking and bullying by ANY of the birds, except our little D'uccle who doesn't have much patience for the young birds. Here's hoping that if either or both of our silkies are roos that they can stay with us OR - what we really hope for - is that our roo gets to enjoy a flock of 19 ladies. For now, our flock of 20 is the peaceable kingdom. Thanks to everyone for the advice. It was really helpful.
 
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JJandtheBoys

In the Brooder
Oct 26, 2020
29
29
44
Well if you are not using those cocks for breeding then i would suggest you caponize /castrate them
But first find out if caponing chickens is legal in your country
Here's a video on how to caponize chicken-https://shrinke.me/BAnFRhq9

Heres another video you can watch if you found the first video not helpful-https://shrinke.me/3Ansy6K

We won't be castrating our Silkie roos. I would rehome them instead.
 

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