No more big brother :(

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Adanault, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Adanault

    Adanault Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2013
    Clarksville, TN
    We have two pullets and two cockerels that are 2 months old and have been raised together. Recently we have acquired 3 hens who are part of a flock and 3 more 5 month old pullets who are part of a flock. (so three little groups) My dominant cockerel protects his girls from the older pullets and is obviously their "big brother" right now. We are looking to rehome the cockerels and are concerned about leaving the babies without a protector. They are not the smartest kids in the class and I worry about them getting really bullied. When the little girls are separated from the cockerels they totally freak out. I guess we could wait until they get a little older but the dominant cockerel is already trying his hardest to mate with the 5 month old pullets and he is getting really crabby and cocky already. Any suggestions?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Are the youngest pullets close to the same size as the others? Have they already all been penned or free ranging together? Is there a reason you want to get rid of both cockerels? (I can understand at least one - two would be too many for a flock with 8 hens. Just curious as to why both are going)

    If they've already been spending time together, I think your youngest pullets will be fine when you rehome the cockerels. There will be some spats as they try to reestablish their pecking order, but that happens every time there is a change in the flock, whether it's an addition or subtraction. Just make sure they have plenty of room to get away, and places to go hide if they need to.

    Your cockerel isn't being their "big brother". He's claiming them as his harem. He will begin trying to breed them when they get closer to laying age.
     
  3. Adanault

    Adanault Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2013
    Clarksville, TN
    Thanks. Yeah I know he's not being their big brother but right now I know they're not of breeding age. The little ones are small compared the rest. We can't have roosters in our area and I think the whole bunch might get along better without them.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Absolutely...but....the younger chooks need to gain size before integrating with he older hens.
    Keep them separate but visible to one another until the youngers gain size, then let them together to work it out.
     

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