Rooster Flock?

ChunkyBirb

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Mar 26, 2020
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I want to start getting into breeding. I plan on having a flock of 6 buff and 6 lavender orpingtons. I want to keep 4 roosters, 2 buffs and 2 lavenders. I’ll only use one breed of roo at a time because that insures I’ll have at least 6 pure breed chicks. I will switch them out between clutches. Can I keep the roosters in a small flock together or in pairs? I’ve had roosters get along but I’ve only done it in a flock with hens. Would the roos fight too much if I kept them in a run together with no hens? If not what kind of set up could I use to keep my unused roos?
 

Mrs. K

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The problem I see with this, is when you pull a rooster, and then put him back. A lot of commotion and fighting for all of them. Some rooster do live together peacefully, but a lot do not. It is one of those deals, it might work, but there is a very good chance that it won't work.

And all of your roosters would be old at the same time. Often times, as a rooster gets older, he covers less hens, or even if he covers them, they may not be fertilized.

Maybe I am missing the why you want 4 roosters? Most chickens are not that long lived, and you are going to be feeding 3 roosters all of that time for really no reason? And the older roosters get, the less viable they breed. In your situation, all of your roosters would be old all at the same time.

I think a better strategy would be to pick either the Buff or Lavender rooster- breed and raise chicks, and two years later, raise up underneath your flock a replacement of the other breed. You could either get some straight run chicks of the other breed, or some hatching eggs, bound to be a rooster in there. Raise him up in your flock, and then remove the old boy. You get young vigor, you tend to get a much nicer rooster when raised in a multi-generational flock and you don't have the mess of trying to keep a bunch of roosters, with crowing contests, aggression, extra coop and a feed bill.

No real need for 4 roosters to cover 12 hens. And you can have way more than 6 pure bred chicks. You could just breed a single hen, collect her eggs for several days, until you get as many as you want, and then hatch that clutch. That is what professional breeders do, they pick their BEST hen, and BEST rooster, and then only hatch those eggs. Not every hen's eggs in the flock are hatched, most are not.

Mrs K
 
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ChickenCanoe

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Mrs. K makes good points.
Roosters, especially if they grew up together, will get along better if there are no females around to compete for. Bachelor pads are normally calmer than mixed flocks.
My question is, since you want to raise buffs and lavenders, why not separate the varieties rather than have a handful of buffs, a handful of lavenders and a bunch of varietal mutts?
 

ChunkyBirb

Songster
Mar 26, 2020
118
133
126
The problem I see with this, is when you pull a rooster, and then put him back. A lot of commotion and fighting for all of them. Some rooster do live together peacefully, but a lot do not. It is one of those deals, it might work, but there is a very good chance that it won't work.

And all of your roosters would be old at the same time. Often times, as a rooster gets older, he covers less hens, or even if he covers them, they may not be fertilized.

Maybe I am missing the why you want 4 roosters? Most chickens are not that long lived, and you are going to be feeding 3 roosters all of that time for really no reason? And the older roosters get, the less viable they breed. In your situation, all of your roosters would be old all at the same time.

I think a better strategy would be to pick either the Buff or Lavender rooster- breed and raise chicks, and two years later, raise up underneath your flock a replacement of the other breed. You could either get some straight run chicks of the other breed, or some hatching eggs, bound to be a rooster in there. Raise him up in your flock, and then remove the old boy. You get young vigor, you tend to get a much nicer rooster when raised in a multi-generational flock and you don't have the mess of trying to keep a bunch of roosters, with crowing contests, aggression, extra coop and a feed bill.

No real need for 4 roosters to cover 12 hens. And you can have way more than 6 pure bred chicks. You could just breed a single hen, collect her eggs for several days, until you get as many as you want, and then hatch that clutch. That is what professional breeders do, they pick their BEST hen, and BEST rooster, and then only hatch those eggs. Not every hen's eggs in the flock are hatched, most are not.

Mrs K
Thanks Mrs K. I was looking into 4 because I want to be able to breed the babies. And I would have 1 roo for every 6 hens. I want to breed lavenders for one month and buffs for another, so I would switch them up. I would do them as separate flocks, but I only have one coop and don’t have space for another :/ I guess I could do one breed for a couple years and one breed the next couple. You’re right, I don’t want to feed extra roos. I think I’ll stick with your idea.
 

ChunkyBirb

Songster
Mar 26, 2020
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Mrs. K makes good points.
Roosters, especially if they grew up together, will get along better if there are no females around to compete for. Bachelor pads are normally calmer than mixed flocks.
My question is, since you want to raise buffs and lavenders, why not separate the varieties rather than have a handful of buffs, a handful of lavenders and a bunch of varietal mutts?
Mrs K does make really good points. I don’t really have space for another coop and I really want buffs. I could just eat the mutt chickens 🤷‍♀️ I already have 6 lavender hens. I guess I could breed those until they stop producing and switch to buffs. I plan on taking it one step at a time for right now. I’m just trying to get some opinions.
 

ChickenCanoe

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So how are you going to identify which eggs of each variety were bred by that variety's rooster? Do you have a way to determine which variety hen laid which egg? Their eggs should look nearly identical.
It will take about 3 weeks after mating to clear the previous rooster's semen from the storage ducts to make way for the other variety rooster's semen.
 

21hens-incharge

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Mrs K does make really good points. I don’t really have space for another coop and I really want buffs. I could just eat the mutt chickens 🤷‍♀️ I already have 6 lavender hens. I guess I could breed those until they stop producing and switch to buffs. I plan on taking it one step at a time for right now. I’m just trying to get some opinions.

If you don't have room for another coop where will the roosters live that are not busy with the hens?
 
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ChunkyBirb

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Mar 26, 2020
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I’m saying that I don’t have room for a large coop to hold 7 other birds. I’m just going to go with Mrs. K’s idea and have a flock of lavenders and 1 lavender roo. Thanks for everyone’s take on my original idea.
 

21hens-incharge

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I’m saying that I don’t have room for a large coop to hold 7 other birds. I’m just going to go with Mrs. K’s idea and have a flock of lavenders and 1 lavender roo. Thanks for everyone’s take on my original idea.

Sounds like a good idea.

Just for future potential changes/planning a rooster flock coop and pen needs to be larger than the recommended minimums of 4sq foot in the coop and 10 square foot in the run. They require a lot more space so they can get away from each other than hens need.
 

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