Population planning for upcoming spring

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tess36, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. tess36

    tess36 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2015
    Central Virginia
    I have fourteen hens and a cockerel that is about to get the axe, literally, due to unprovoked aggression issues. I know I don't have to have a roo in my flock, but I have grown accustomed to the crow and presence of some 'yardly testosterone'. [​IMG]

    My run and coop was built to the 4/10 rule (originally had 16 birds, lost a barred rock to unknown etology at approx 4wks). My chickens free range every day from about 8-10am until sunset, rain or shine. I've noticed that all fifteen chickens roost along one 8ft roost, leaving the slightly lower 8ft roost bare. In early March (planned) will be an adjoining approx 140-160 sq.ft. run for our six ducklings. The plan is to have the ability to let the flocks intermingle, but also to separate if needed.

    Sooo...all that said:

    I want to add about four or five hens and two roosters in the spring. This would give me 18-19 hens and two roos. All hens are LF, dual purpose birds. The roos would be a Brahma and a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte. I was originally going to cull four hens to keep original par numbers but worried about not enough hens for the roos. Also, I am fully prepared to cull a cockerel in the event that I have another cowardly hit, flog, and run roo on my hands. I'm ok with some rude behavior with myself, but not where my one and three year olds are concerned.

    Does my idea seem sound? Thank you so much for any and all input.
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2015
    Aggression in a rooster is a fight for dominance. Owners can fight back and win dominance over the rooster. I have to do this periodically with my roosters. When they get aggressive I immediately get aggressive right back with a hand up along side their head; not hard-it does not have to be hard to scare a rooster into submission. And then everything is fine for another month or so. Sure beats putting a beautiful rooster into the stew pot. ...and I'm the dominant cock in this roost. Just don't tell my wife....PLEASE!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I keep multiple roosters, your numbers are sound. My best suggestions for rooster raising is you know what you are ordering, identify them early and mostly ignore them, pick them up occasionally and look at them but don't pet them or hand feed, they will grow up slightly fearful of you, use this to your advantage, when they reach sexual maturity and start making the hens scream I toss something at them, like my plastic blue feed scoop, a hat or gloves can work, something soft but throwable, it's not to hurt them but to startle them, I do this whenever necessary, I don't allow them to face me nor come forward for food. And you might have to chase them down and pen them up occasionally if they are really obnoxious. Which simulates what a dominant rooster would do.

    Now some never need any of this, others need it all, I don't have aggressive roosters so it works, don't consider your roosters fully matured and settled until a year old.
  4. tess36

    tess36 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2015
    Central Virginia
    Lol, don't worry. I won't tell. [​IMG] I truly appreciate the input, but there is a lot more to the story about this rooster. I actually have a thread under the 'chicken behavior' forum about him. And there's even more things that have come to light after being questioned at length by some people in person whom are very experienced chicken owners that implies he just isn't good rooster material. I truly wish it were otherwise. In fact, I've had people in person telling me to cull him for a couple months. I was actually this guy's biggest fan, it's a shame.
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I was reading your thread I think, polish rooster, I had one too that we culled, not for aggression but for poor roostering.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    don't ever feel guilty about getting rid of a mean rooster. Some birds work out, some don't. Some work for you, some don't. Generally speaking you are going to have to cull some birds, may as well cull anything not nice. Certainly never keep anything that could damage those children.

    But as to your original post. I have made lots of plans, some work out, some don't. Good luck!
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Don't ever feel bad about getting rid of ANY bird that doesn't work for your flock. For some birds this means the pot, for some it may mean selling them. Hens can be a misfit as much as a rooster, and sometimes one girl just has to go.

    but anyway, I think you might be good to go. Just be aware the new birds and the old birds may never make a cohesive flock, they may always be two separate groups. Other than that, you'll just have to give your plan a try and see how it goes. You have a good contingency plan in place, so that puts you a step ahead of many flock owners.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sounds good, you are thinking things thru ahead of time and have no aversion to getting rid of a problem bird.
    You say you follow the 4/10 rules, but, no one number fits all flocks, climates, or management techniques.
    4/10 is bare minimum IMO. Great article on 'Space' linked in my signature.
    Integration of additional birds can take more separate but adjacent space too..keep that in mind when planning your additions.

    Is this your first winter with chickens?
    What is your climate? Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better advice/suggestions.

    I've found that I can get away with a larger population in the summer when they spend more time outside,
    than in the winter when my climate and management(winter lighting) has them spending many more hours confined to coop.

    2 cock/erels can be great...or untenable....only time will tell if it works with your birds at your place.
    Having separate enclosure(s) ready to go, partitioned coop/run and/or wire dog crates are a key tools for ease in long term chicken keeping.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by