Oh no! Roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mema Dori, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Mema Dori

    Mema Dori In the Brooder

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    New to chickens here. Took the grandkids to pick out 2 chicks each, 6 total. Paid extra for sexed because I only wanted girls. That was in March. In May my grandson volunteered to take 2 more hatched in the class, one is definitely a rooster. I was ok with that but just got back from traveling to find one of my buffs is also a rooster. That gives me 6 girls and 2 boys. Both boys are loved by the kids, what do I do? Am I crazy to keep both?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Kept in a pen together away from the hens, they might be fine. 2 large fowl roosters with 6 hens might result in problems.
     
  3. Keeperofmunchkins

    Keeperofmunchkins Songster

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    It is entirely possible that six girls and two boys could live happily together. It's also entirely possible there could be trouble. It largely depends on the temperaments of the roosters and how much space they have. More easygoing roosters raised together with the girls in a free range environment will be less likely to be a problem.

    The Most likely problems are fighting between the roosters and overbreeding of the hens. However, even one rooster can cause damage to six girls if he is too aggressive or has poor mating technique.

    With two roosters in a flock one will be dominant and the other will end up lower in the pecking order. If the less dominant rooster accepts his place, it should be OK. Its when both are insistent on being alpha that they fight.

    I would wait until they all reach sexual maturity (by around 5-6 months) and watch closely to see what happens, but be prepared to separate and rehome one of the boys if there's trouble.
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    This is going to depend on your set up, and your space. Measure the set up, show us pictures of the space. IF you have a farm set up, then maybe this would work, if you have a truly backyard set up, the odds of this getting ugly are very high.

    How old are the grandchildren, if they are under 6, I recommend no roosters. Roosters are a crap shoot, and some go from the darling to the nightmare in an instant. They tend to attack children first, which if the child is under 6, tends to be at the face level. Often times people who have not seen an aggressive rooster, vastly underestimate how violent it can be.

    If you have neighbors, the crowing can be very loud and irritating. And with two, they tend to have crowing contests.

    Flockmates roosters, birds that are raised together also tend to become bullies, they outgrow the pullets, become interested in mating long before the pullets are ready, and because they are bigger, aggressively demand it. Your pullets will be rode hard, and ragged.

    So yes, in my mind you are crazy to be thinking of keeping two. Personally, I would only add a second rooster if my flock got over 25 hens. I have been keeping chickens for more than a decade.

    Mrs K
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    You are a grandparent and you are talking about pleasing your grandkids. Of course you are not crazy, that's what grandparents do.

    It is possible you could keep both with the pullets and things work out, especially if you have a lot of room. The ideal would be where the males can get totally out of sight of each other when they grow up so they each have their own territory and harem, the more room the better. Some people manage with less room but the risks go up the tighter they are.

    There are different risks. The boys may fight to the death, or they may not. The pullets may become barebacked, that's where the feathers are torn out from mating, usually on the back where the claws stand or the back of the head where they grab during mating. There are different reasons those can happen, not always the male's fault. But if skin becomes bare they can be cut. A raw sore may lead to pecking that kills them. This can happen whether you have one or two roosters, 6 or 60 hens.

    The boys can stress out the pullets by mating them or the pullets may be OK with that. When they go through puberty especially it can get very rough. Do the grandkids know about the birds and the bees? They will!

    You can try keeping them together and see what happens but have a Plan B ready if it goes south. That can happen really fast. Or you can build a separate pen for one or both of the boys, called a bachelor pad. As long as they don't have girls to fight over they are usually really peaceful in a bachelor pad. Usually.

    I don't know what your goals are with those chickens, other than pleasing your grandkids. I suggest you keep as few males as you can and still meet your goals. The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs, the rest is personal preference. As a grandparent I understand personal preference. I generally suggest you keep as few males as you can and meet your goals. That's not because you are guaranteed problems with more roosters, but that problems are more likely the more you have. If you try to keep two males with those pullets you may be teaching your grandkids some hard life lessons.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Definitely have a plan B ready to go.

    Please do not think I was insulting you by agreeing that this is a crazy idea. Sometimes the written word is hard to get the emotion. I do understand wanting to please the grandchildren, but I don't want your grandchild attacked.

    Mrs K
     
    chrissynemetz likes this.
  7. Mema Dori

    Mema Dori In the Brooder

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    Thanks everyone for the guidance. I always wanted a flock of my own but never had the space. We now have almost 2 acres surrounded by larger farms. I am hopeful they will work it out but will definitely watch. Kids are 5 thru 8 and daddy hunts so they have some exposure. The youngest rooster "Batman" is very submissive to everybody. The buff has been the alpha forever but we just thought it was a bossy girl. The kids can still hold them, as they have handfed treats to all every day. I will keep you posted.
     
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  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    Welcome! You may do fine, but as a new flock owner, you might not recognize early signs of human aggression in these cockerels, until there is a bad event.
    I'm of the opinion that hand feeding and holding cockerels can encourage the bird to disrespect people, and also consider humans as flock members, to be pushed around, as the cockerel hits sexual maturity, which is imminent.
    Watch carefully! These cockerels should move away from you, and get out of your way as you walk through the flock. They shouldn't give you that challenging look, or get into your space uninvited. this is difficult with children!
    Mary
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Folly's place is giving you very good advice. Roosters do take experience. And they are not like puppies and kittens, who if you are friendly to them, return that.

    Mrs K
     
  10. RoostersAreAwesome

    RoostersAreAwesome Free Ranging

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    Agreed.
    It is possible for them to be together, but you should definitely have a separate pen ready if it doesn't work out. I have a couple rooster-only pens, one of which has a pair of roosters that works out pretty well.
     

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