Rooster-Hen Ratio...and merging young with old

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Newfoundland Chick, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Newfoundland Chick

    Newfoundland Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2008
    In April, myself and 2 others ordered a specialty breed package of 25 chicks from Rochester Hatchery in Alberta. Out of the 25, I took 8. At first I thought I had 3 roosters...and found them a home. And then I discovered another rooster...and found "her" a home. Now, out of the 8 chickens, I have 2 Dark Brahma cockerels, 1 Australorp pullet, and 1 Americaunus pullet. These 4 are 18 weeks old. Locally, I purchased 2 pullets...and they are now 11 weeks old.

    I will never order from a hatchery that does not sex its chickens again....the other 2 people also ended up with more roosters than hens - personally, I think the hatchery found a way of getting rid of their roosters while making a profit. Since I raised all of these birds as pets, they are incredibly tame...and this whole experience has broken my heart. Giving them away was horrible...and finding no-kill coops was hard!

    Now...I don't know what to do. It's almost time to merge the two 11 week old pullets with the rest of the flock. The two Dark Brahma cockerels are huge compared to the two pullets of the same age - & the two 11-week old chicks. Can I realistically have 2 roosters with only 4 hens...? Will the hens be tortured? Will the roosters be miserable? Will it cause them to act out more aggressively than normal? They were raised with the 2 pullets of their age...so, they've each claimed one pullet each. Will the two young pullets be excessively picked on...?? Should I attempt to merge the birds?

    I'm new at all of this! Can you tell?

    I love these birds...all 6 of them...but am I being crazy to think that 2 roosters and 4 hens in one coop will work?

    Any advice would be appreciated...

    Thank you!
     
  2. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    you only need 1 roo to 4 hens.you need to cull 1 of your roos.
     
  3. purplepoen

    purplepoen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 12, 2008
    Michigan
    Absolutely it could work. You will just need to watch them very closly. I have 3 Roo's with my 9 hens and no one is miserable or tortured. I all depends on the personality of your cockrels. My roo's are very polite to the hens and never hurt them. But if you get aggressive roo's you may end up needing to cull both of them. I know how sad it is, but it's worth it for the health and happiness of your girls.
     
  4. chickenbike

    chickenbike Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm curious about the rooster-hen ratio as well.

    Of my 4 Patridge Chanteclers, it seems I've ended up with 2 roosters. One began crowing 2 weeks ago (they're 14.5 weeks old now), but so far, no crowing from the other. I hatched all 4 and they have been well-handled and raised all together. They still sleep in a "dog pile" frequently.

    purplepoen mentions having 3 roos to 9 hens. Should I expect my 2 roos to eventually not get along? There has been no fighting whatsoever amongst the 2 roosters. Neither have the roosters been aggressive towards the hens thus far.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  5. Newfoundland Chick

    Newfoundland Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2008
    I so appreciate this feedback! I don't know anyone else who keeps chickens as pets...wish there was a book on chicken behavior! One of the roos is the dominant roo....I watched them work this out through some pretty interesting posturing. He seems to be more polite to the 2 hens than the other roo. This subordinate roo will spontaneously grab the hens on the back of the necks, pulling their feathers...they protest loudly. The dominant roo watched him do this yesterday morning & promptly put him in his place. It's funny - because I thought the subordinate was female (last to crow), his name is Sadie...I still have a hard time accepting the fact that he's a she.
     

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