Removing Cockerels or not?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CMethvin, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. CMethvin

    CMethvin New Egg

    Jul 18, 2014
    Galt, CA
    I have 4 cockerels and 7 pullets; they are all 4 month old sizzle chicks. I have a 10 x 13 x 10 enclosed coop for them all. I allow them to have supervised free range 2-3x daily. At what age should I seperate the cockerels? I have another coop they can stay in at night and then free range during the day. Should I leave 1 of the cockerels in with the pullets for additional protection when they free range? Once I seperate them will they be able to still free range all together without fighting? I'm hoping to keep all of the cockerels.
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.

    Your cockerels will soon reach sexual maturity. When that happens, they will most likely continually chase your pullets, sometimes gang breeding them, and yes, they will most likely fight. Your pullets will suffer much stress from this. It's your choice entirely if you want to keep one with the pullets or not, but I don't know how free ranging them all at the same time will work. I know it didn't work for me when I had way too many roosters. My poor hens didn't have a chance to eat or drink because those hormone-driven cockerels were so busy chasing them to breed them. It was much more peaceful when they went into the bachelor/grow out pen.
  3. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2013
    It is sort of a case by case basis. If they grow up together, they may have an established order among the boys that keeps things calm. But, with a male to female ratio like that, they will likely tread the hens pretty hard which means they mate a lot (especially the 1st year when hormones are raging) and that results in hens without feathers on their backs. You can put hen saddles on them to help combat this, they are sold online or there are free patterns if you like to sew.

    I separate cockerels from pullets around 14-16 weeks, whenever they start really getting aggressive with trying to mate the girls. The girls aren't ready to be mated until they are closer to laying, more like 20-24 weeks.

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