Re-Homing Two Very Dominant Roosters - What to Expect From Flock?

SeaSea47

Songster
Mar 12, 2017
208
227
151
I have 4 roosters and 18 hens. They're about 18 weeks old. Two of my roosters have been dominant from day one. I literally got them out of the box they were shipped in and thought these two are not hens. They get along fabulously with each other, but they are constantly letting the rest of the flock (and my poor dog) know they are boss. I was planning a bachelor pad for them, but a friend of a friend is looking for two new roosters for her farm to protect her hens and said she'd gladly take them, so they will likely go there this week.

I know all chickens and flocks are different, but I'm just wondering how the rest may react to losing their leaders? They've all grown up together. My other two roosters - one is so laid-back you'd never know he's a he. He's a Cochin and is actually kind of scared of the rest of the chickens. Maybe he's just not developed yet? The other is a very small flighty breed and tries to boss everyone around but more or less just annoys them and no one takes him seriously, but he's great at alerting the girls to predators.

My hens are all pretty uptight right now and peck and challenge each other a lot, and I'm not sure if it's their age or just all the testosterone putting them on edge. I'm wondering if I can expect the ladies to calm down once those boys are gone? Will the other guys likely step up and become leaders? Thanks.
 

All4Eggz

𝕁𝕖𝕤𝕦𝕤 + ℂ𝕙𝕚𝕔𝕜𝕖𝕟𝕤 = 𝓐𝓵𝓵 𝓘 𝓝𝓮𝓮𝓭
Apr 23, 2021
3,130
10,633
661
Massachusetts
I would honestly think your remaining two roosters and the hens will be quite happy :)

That's two less roosters chasing the hens around trying to mount them - making them lose feathers on their back...
That's also two less roosters fighting the other 2 roosters.

4 roosters for 18 hens is a little too much, so the hens were probably being over breed either way.
 

SeaSea47

Songster
Mar 12, 2017
208
227
151
I would honestly think your remaining two roosters and the hens will be quite happy :)

That's two less roosters chasing the hens around trying to mount them - making them lose feathers on their back...
That's also two less roosters fighting the other 2 roosters.

4 roosters for 18 hens is a little too much, so the hens were probably being over breed either way.
I hope you are right! They are all just so uptight all the time that I'm hoping they all become much more laid back without the two big bad boys around. They aren't really breeding much yet, but I was afraid it would become a problem in the next few weeks since they're at that age.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,285
23,570
907
Southeast Louisiana
I know all chickens and flocks are different, but I'm just wondering how the rest may react to losing their leaders?
"May react" are the key words. The pecking order and flock dynamics will change. The flock could be more laid back or tension levels could remain high. One or more of the others will become the dominant flock master or contest for flock master, at least for a little while. That could be one of the boys or one of the girls. That may be very peaceful, it may involve some violence, maybe quite a bit of violence. As they mature the dominant one could change. Eventually one of the boys will become the dominant flock master, could be either one. That may be in the immediate future, one of the girls might take over for the next few months. You just don't know until it happens.

Sometimes it's like someone on here said, watching juveniles go through puberty is often not for the faint at heart. I've seen that. But I've also seen times that the process is very peaceful. But eventually, if you can get through their adolescence, you should have a pretty peaceful flock.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,732
14,038
656
western South Dakota
Too many roosters may cause tension in a flock. Not enough space also can cause tension. The reason I mention it, is because what was more than enough space for chicks, rapidly becomes not enough space at 18 weeks. Not enough space will also cause more problems with roosters.

I would expect the flock to relax, I would expect the quieter roosters to 'bloom' so to speak. But I would also do some measuring, looking at the space on the roost at dark, checking your feed bowls, are they out of sight when eating there. Is there hideouts?

Going into the long nights of winter, can really make for a lot of tension in the flock if short on space, so if your flock does not relax almost instantly, I would look again.

Being raised together with chickens really does not affect them much.

Mrs K
 

SeaSea47

Songster
Mar 12, 2017
208
227
151
Thanks for your replies! The boys actually just left a couple of hours ago, and I can say the girls are already much calmer, and my other guys are coming out of the shadows a bit. I know that could change in the weeks ahead because they are still figuring out the pecking order, but I'm crossing my fingers that this is a good sign. They are actually acting more friendly towards me too - those who wouldn't before are eating out of my hands and letting me hold them with less protest.

They do have plenty of space. Their "coop" is a 10x16 shed, and we have a much bigger run with all sorts of things for them to get on top of or up under. They also free-range most days and they have feeders and waterers inside and out during the day. I really think the issue was those boys. Heck, even I'm more relaxed now. 😂
 

SeaSea47

Songster
Mar 12, 2017
208
227
151
good! Always solve for peace in the flock, it is so worth it.
Yes! I sat outside with them for an hour or so this evening, and it was night and day. There were a few squabbles, but I think that is to be expected. They are so much more peaceful (unless my little weirdo rooster is running around bugging them, but there was even less of that). And my big Cochin rooster usually never moves far away from the run when I let them out, but he was all over the yard tonight.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom