Please Help- what to do

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hegazi, May 25, 2017.

  1. hegazi

    hegazi Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi I am loving our new venture into backyard chickens but I am not sure what to do. I have 2 roosters that are just over 3 months old -hatched and grown up together, 15 hens that are maybe 1-1.5 months old, and 21 -3 week old hens. I am finishing up the coop and decided to move the older chickens in(roosters and older hens). They've been in our garage until now and I feel bad about it. The roosters have been loose most of the time and the hens have been in a baby gated area. On occasion the roos would get in with the hens but they didn't seem to bother them. Today I put them in the coop together and the roos were attacking the hens by biting and holding on to their tail area. Because the attacks wouldn't stop, I moved the roos' cage into the coop and put them in it while I'm not out there but then they started fighting. Does any of this make sense? Am I trying to move them in together too prematurely? Should I keep trying while I'm out there but separate them when I'm not? Is it possible to keep two roos together? I thought having so many hens would keep each of them happy but we haven't gotten to that point yet. I'm looking for advice on moving them in together and what to do about the roos. Also, when and how would be good for moving in the youngest set of chicks once it warms up a bit more and they are a little older? Thanks so much!!!
     
  2. chicklady21

    chicklady21 Just Hatched

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    Keeping two Roos together is possible as long as they have enough room. I would recommend slowly integrating the Roos by letting them see the hens with wire in between for a couple days. There will still be fighting until they establish a pecking order. I wouldn't be too worried unless someone gets seriously injured
     
  3. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Your roosters are beginning to be active with the hens and making fertile eggs. That was their mating activity. Two roosters even growing up with each might become combative. Depending on the amount of space they have and their breed. I would carefully evaluate and watch them to be sure that they do not harm each other. Your baby chicks, I would also be certain that they have sufficient feathering and are not subject to times where it is too cold for them in the evening. Usually we do not move chicks in with adults because there is a danger they will not be assimilated well. I have seen both hens and Roos attack babies so I would say that the first then is letting them grow into adequate size and then stay with the youngsters to determine if the transition is going well. If not, pull them out and let them grow to young adult hood together and then make decisions on your coops, etc. Hope this was helpful and have a blessed day
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    What size is your coop? Your run? Do you free range? It's a little difficult to try and give advice without knowing a something about your set-up.
     
  5. CDcluck

    CDcluck Out Of The Brooder

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    It sounds like the roos are discovering testosterone, and the change in the environment has shaken them up a little. As long as there is enough space that they are not all in each other's faces all the time the flock should settle down within a few days. If there isn't enough elbow room, enough drama to cause true injury instead of just ruffled feathers, or if the roos insist on continuing to cause ruckus, one may have to move out of the coop.

    I've kept roosters together in happy groups as big as 7, but only if there were no hens nearby. Our roo flock stayed at the barn, and the hen flock in the backyard.
     
  6. hegazi

    hegazi Out Of The Brooder

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    The coop is 12x16 I haven't let them free range yet because they've been in the garage and I want them to know where home is first. The run is still under construction so they haven't been in it yet but is roughly 35x22. They've been outside but in their open bottom cages and roos and hens have been kept separate with the exception of the roos getting into the hens area in the garage on occasion.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  7. CDcluck

    CDcluck Out Of The Brooder

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    Is there any way to keep the roos out until the girls are older and better able to self-advocate against feisty roos? That's not a lot of space for an unsettled group, and if the roos are really trying to breed then they may hurt the immature pullets. Once the big run is secure and ready then introductions will be a lot easier.
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Just something to consider - your coop is not adequate for 38 (if i understood your numbers correctly) standard birds, once they are all adult. Your run size is great, but it's likely only to partially address the balance of such a small coop is some of the run is covered, both top and sides.

    I think that you have done the right thing by separating the cockerels (though I do find it interesting that 3 month olds are behaving in the way you describe to 6 week old chicks - never had that experience, thank goodness).

    Once your 3 week old chicks are ready for the outdoors (around 6 weeks) you can keep them in the coop, but in a separate crate / area so the older birds and younger ones can become acquainted) -
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method

    Once the chicks are around 9 weeks old, you can then see how they fare with supervised mingling.

    I've had 2 cockerels that were brothers and one day decided to have a real ding-dong of a fight - they both ended up in such a state that I killed both of them. Sometimes keeping two cockerels works, other times not. Either way, I'd be inclined to keep them separate until the youngest birds are 2-3 months old, assuming the cockerels are still acting like jerks.

    I'm sure that you will get further advice - some of which may be conflicting. In such cases, I'd advise going with what you feel is best for your situation.
     
    hegazi likes this.
  9. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second CTKen, he always gives good advice. Those 2 cockerels need to be kept apart until the hens mature and even then watch them, most cockerels are full of hormones and haven't learned rooster manners yet.
     
    hegazi likes this.
  10. hegazi

    hegazi Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh my!! I had a typo it's 12x16
     

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