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Old English Game Fowl fouls

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by russ_t, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. russ_t

    russ_t In the Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Taylor, Texas
    I bought two 6-month old trios of OLGFs last year. The cockerels were raised together so they got along pretty well... until the dynamics of the flock were disrupted by predators. I free range them a lot. In the early fall I lost two of the four pullets in a weeks time to hawks. The cockerels were still OK together. Shortly after, I started keeping them in the coop and run full time for the cooler weather, and for their protection.

    Things went on well until last week. We had our first freeze of the year, so I put a red heat lamp in the coop. Within 24 hours I had two bloody cockerels. When I saw them they were at opposite ends of the coop and ignoring each other, so I let it go. Bad idea!! I hadn't realized that the red light would increase their activity this much. I wonder if the hens started showing signs of a new clutch of eggs, and the boys got excited.

    When I got home from work the next day one was crowing on the roost, and the other was laying on the ground in a corner in bad shape. I set up a brooder box out side in the lee of the coop and moved him in it with food and water. It took two days before he was standing again. I opened the brooder so he could get out when he was ready. Last night he was gone. He either has gone to the neighbors flock, or joined the pullets in the here after.

    The long and short of the post is that flock dynamics are important. They can give us grief when they are disrupted, two or more disruption together can cause pure havoc.

    Russ_T
     

  2. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    What I found when I had several roosters and my flock changing with new additions, predatation, ect... was that I had to add an addition to the coop for each rooster. I had two top boys, who worked together and had the most girls. From there I had 3 others at maturity. I cooped them over night in a Rabbit hutch that was on stilts. So I started building below, adding an additional 3 "compartments". Each rooster took up his appropriate section, stood in the doorway, letting in his hens but never another male. They didn't fight at all after they had everything the way they wanted it. The top 2 of course had the larger top "penthouse".

    This time I have a proper chicken house and run, with just one rooster. My dad keeps bringing home wooden shipping crates from work... they look perfect to make secondary houses if I get another rooster. Since they're territorial, it makes sense that you have to offer territory specific to each male or else they'll fight for the rights to the one single coop. Unless you have a giant coop with several tiers of roosts.

    Sometimes I didn't have enough girls to go around, but with the seperated territory, they still didn't fight that bad. I had a flock of rooster-only bachelors, and the main flock with the hens and the top 2 roosters.

    Think of aggressive fish... you have to provide a rock cave for each in the tank or else they'll fight over territory.

    Right now my issue is hen drama. So I added another roosting site. Prissy and Jibbers (the rooster) took over the new, higher roost and the other hens line up on the old roost and hormony was restored.

    Sorry you lost your rooster. That happened to me and is what got the project started of adding more territory for over-night roosting since I had more roosters due to hit maturity. I then started sellling them too.

    But if you add another rooster, try giving him his own area, and they'll each be busy guarding their respective "zones" instead of fighting each other.
     
  3. russ_t

    russ_t In the Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Taylor, Texas
    It looks like the aggressive behavior was sparked by the girls beginning to lay again. They have been laying laying every day for the past week. I think the heat lamp was bright enough to kick things off again.
     

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