Pecking order question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by redsoxs, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I have a mixed bag of 17 cockerels - all came from a local farm and ranch store - there are some barred rocks, a coupleof leghorns, some RIR (or some derivative) and 6 EEs. They are about 16 weeks old and let me tell you, in the last 3 week it has been a testosterone factory! The RIRs seemed to be aggressive first, picking on whichever chicken looked weakest. Two of the meanest are now "cooling their jets" in the freezer to be enjoyed at a later date. The leghorns never seem to play the pecking order game. The EEs are fine with the exception of one & he is a real son of a gun - just looking for opportunities to pounce on another chicken. In the last three days the rocks turned the tables on all the others, ganging up on everyone - particularly the reds. But my question is about the EEs. As a group, with the one notable exception, they are the kindest of all out there. They are friendly toward me and the other chickens. Two or three barred and maybe that one mean EE are going to freezer camp in the morning - I wish they were a little bigger but I've had it with the aggression. Eventually all will make their way to the freezer. Here's my question (finally). I'd like to keep a couple of the EEs roos but after I start culling the others will my two EEs just move up the pecking order and show the same level of aggresssion the reds and now rocks are showing? In short: Given the opportunity will every roo turn dominant and mean? Sorry for the long post!
  2. Cockadoodledon't

    Cockadoodledon't Chillin' With My Peeps

    I love your post.

    It is hard to tell about what the Roo's will do for sure
    Some breeds just have a tendency to wanna fight. Sounds like the EE's are a good choice and sounds like their behaviour is a little more consistent.

    Either way.....sounds like your ""Plan B""is foolproof!
    Good Luck.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    All you can do is give them more time and watch them. I'm down to 4 roosters (from 8) in my 2nd coop, and I'm watching them to see how they are going to treat the hens. You can have a mean rooster in any breed, so all you can do is remove the obvious problems and watch how the others adjust. You could be seeing more aggression than normal because of too many roosters being together - they are in competition for the hens.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    There are "good" non aggressive roosters. Cull the trouble makers and hope that the EE don't become aggressive. They may not. It's very much about their DNA. Like begets like.
  5. maizy'smom

    maizy'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2011
    Philadelphia suburbs
    I was under the impression that there was a limit to how many roos can coexist, period. Not exactly sure what the hen-to-roo ratio should be, but even two in one flock may be too many.

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