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Rooster order question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by silkiechick1, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. silkiechick1

    silkiechick1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 16 hens and 3 roosters, this post is going to focus on two of the roosters. Rooster 1 is obviously in charge and he does not like rooster 2. He does let rooster 2 stay close to the flock but he chases him away over and over again all day. We have gotten rid of 6 roosters already and are down to the three we want to keep (even though the hen to rooster ratio is not even). Is there any way I can get rooster 1 to stop chasing rooster 2 around?? Any tips, ideas and advice would be very appreciated!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  2. BoomChickaPop

    BoomChickaPop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have this problem all the time with my roosters. If roo#1 keeps chasing roo#2 they will end up fighting one day. Always happens it will be a blood fight between them both. I have 20 roos and the more dominant ones always chase the weaker ones. I would move roo#1 or roo#2 whichever roo you want with your hens. And move one of them to his own pen with his own hens. Or sell him.
    Sometimes when they fight the weaker roo will win and become dominant. Or he will kill the weaker roo, and when they start fighting they won't want to stop.
    Hope this helps
    BCP
     
  3. silkiechick1

    silkiechick1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much that helps. If I were to split them into their own pens with their own hens, when I let them out during the day to roam around would I put them back together as one whole group or would they range seperately in two groups?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Could range them on alternate days.
    Are you keeping multiple cocks for specific breeding purposes?

    What about the 3rd cock?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Part of it could be age. There is a lot of difference in behaviors of cockerels and roosters, pullets and hens. It sounds like you may have cockerels.

    Another huge factor is how much room they have. Sometimes roosters will fight to the death but what normally happens when they mature is that they work out an accommodation and work together to protect the flock. Each chicken is an individual and each flock has its own dynamics, but a real common result is that each rooster has his own harem and his own territory. As long as those territories are out of line of sight of each other you usually have no problems. Sometimes they can be OK even if they are kind of crowded but the more room you can give them the better your chances of success.

    Don’t get too concerned about a hen to rooster ratio. Many breeders keep one rooster with one or two hens throughout the breeding season and don’t have problems. Some people have one rooster with over 20 hens and still have barebacked hens and other problems. Maturity is a big factor in this too. The more mature your hens and roosters the less of a problem this normally is.

    If you could explain your goals a bit and why you want three roosters and tell us a bit about your facilities we might be able to offer more specific suggestions. Telling us the age of your chickens could help too.
     
  6. silkiechick1

    silkiechick1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2016
    Thank you again to all of you who replied. My whole flock is almost 8 months old. They have 1 1/2 acres they can roam on safely. I have a mix of Orpington's, Bantams, blue bells, and silkie hens. Rooster 1 is an Isa Brown and Rooster 2 is a black copper, Rooster 3 is a silkie and I want to keep him because of the three silkie hens, he is pretty small though so that is why I want 2 bigger roosters to protect my flock. We really like rooster 2 and we do not want to get rid of him, but rooster 1 does not like him at all so I know we might have to.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    From the behaviors you've described, I would just let things be and see how they go. The Alpha chasing the Beta away is totally normal behavior. It sounds like that is your main concern, but it's what any dominant male would do in that situation. Watch any of the nature shows and the beta males spend their days on the outskirts of the group of females, waiting for the Alpha to be distracted so they can stealth mate a female. It's pretty much how they spend their time. The beta doesn't spend all day mopping and whining about how he has no friends and the other male is mean to him and he just wants to hang out....he spends his day thinking "how can I get past him to nail that pretty little pullet and not get my butt kicked too hard?" It bothers you way more than it bothers him, I guarantee it.

    That said, there may come a day when the beta decides he's man enough to take on the Alpha, and there will be a fight. How much of a fight is impossible to predict. I've had coups that were completely bloodless, I hardly knew the older rooster had been de-throned until I saw he wan't mating the hens. Since you have lots of space, the chance of one rooster killing another is pretty small, since the loser has lots of room to run away from the winner. You may run into a pretty beat up rooster one day, at that point you'll have to make a decision about how to manage your population.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. silkiechick1

    silkiechick1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Today was the day rooster 2 had enough. They fought each other for an hour. When it started getting darker we separated them and put one in the run and the other on the outside and they were still fighting through the fence. It's a bloody mess!!! So glad rooster 2 was finally able to stand up for himself but sad one of them has to go now before they kill each other :(
     

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