Roos living in peace-can it be?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sueandthe6, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. sueandthe6

    sueandthe6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2014
    southeast Pa
    So I am reading several of the "roosters getting along" posts with bated breath. I am considering trying to blend a new roo into an established flock and am curious how to decide if/when it isn't going to work. I have a small flock- 2 hens and 2 roos who free range 24/7 with access to a small coop for sleeping. The two hens and one roo are the remainder of a flock that I lost over the summer. I added 4 blue babies over the summer and lost all but one. The existing cochin roo was/is fine with the blue boy...assuming because he came in as a baby. I know the recommended numbers for roos to hens but these girls are in good shape with regard to feathers and condition. I think the boys really are not after them much- I rarely see either one mounting. I have a confined flock as well and last year a cochin cross there went broody. I let her hatch and the only survivor turned out to be a roo-of course. He had stayed with them and he and his father were fine together since last year. However, at thanksgiving a momma in the coop hatched out babies again. I felt this might be too much for both roos so I moved him into a run with an elderly somewhat disabled hen I had brought home from a local shelter. She passed a couple weeks ago and now he is alone. I wondered about trying to integrate him with the free rangers. They visit daily- he is in a dog kennel close to where the free rangers coop is and often times they are "talking" to him politely when I leave for work in the am. They do not fence fight at all. I would like to try to allow the mutt EE to be free range with the cochin and the blue EE but don't know if those two boys will accept him. How serious do rooster wars get with regard to establishing pecking order? Do I need to worry that they will kill him? The established guys are a cochin and a blue easter egger and I want to add in the muttish EE. the cochin is 2+ years, the blue guy will be a year this summer and the EE mutt is a little over a year I think. Do the ages even matter or is it all just who likes who?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    You are forcing a mix that will likely have more conflicts between roosters than typical. High mortality rates you relate indicate you are a little short on resources. Current lack of strife will change as photoperiod increases. Currently I have a free-range group that demographically more rooster than hen (4 adult roosters: 3 hens at least two years old). As spring conditions are being realized the dominant rooster is pushing the lower rank roosters away. At some point one or more of the subordinates will push back hard. I will have to do some penning and culling soon or make so hens more equitably distributed over the several acres available for free-range.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I keep multiple roosters, both bantam and standard size. Mine are always free range. There has been some fights over the years, all just my bantams. My large breed roosters never fight, the dominant one chase the submissive ones away, and when an older rooster gets overthrown it's not apparent except for him backing off more, and during the warmer months each rooster seems to cover a territory and the hens that go in their particular area. A few always follow the flock while out ranging.

    I've never had roosters kill each each other or even come close, the bantams occasionally beat each other up pretty bad but all heal up. Under confinement I believe aggression is worse. Mine can always get away from each other.

    I would try releasing the rooster to see how it goes. There may be some fighting, there may not. Usually dominance can be worked out through a fence with posturing. If fights do break out I will keep my eye on them and let them finish it. If you are uncomfortable with them fighting or it seems excessive than you can separate them and try again in a few days again.

    This past winter it took about 15 times of letting my two bantam cochin roosters out than repenning them because one wanted to fight with the barred rock rooster. Now they tolerate each other and share the hens. Over on the other side of my shed is 4 more standard roosters and 2 bantams who have all the other hens. So I have 9 roosters with no real fighting, just posturing.

    I would try letting your rooster and see how it goes. If it doesn't work the first time I would keep trying, eventually they should accept his presence.
  4. sueandthe6

    sueandthe6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2014
    southeast Pa
    thank you so much for your reply. I got sidetracked with a new part time job but am going to give it a go.

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