Rooster Overload (but I love them!)

wilsonloria

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 30, 2014
47
3
41
Tomball, Texas
I've always loved chickens and last spring find myself with a full blown case of "chicken fever". I have 2-1/2 acres and horses, so chicken keeping was not a big step. I researched and picked the breed that best fit what I was looking for. I wanted sweet chickens that could be around my grandchildren (5 years old and 1 year old) and would produce eggs. I chose Silkie Bantams and purchased 14 from my feed store. 10 white, 2 buff and 2 black that were 1 day old when I purchased them on April 30, 2014.

As sweet and wonderful as they are (and they are!!!), they are difficult to sex. A fourth rooster has emerged with abysmal attempts at crowing. I suspect one to two more, unfortunately. This is a lot of testosterone. So far Elvis, Elton, Bernie and Spring are co-existing. I am currently greatly expanding their living areas and they are allowed to free range when I am home in the evenings and weekends.

My question is, what can I expect as they age? Will they become less tolerant of each other? All roosters allow me to hold them and pet them, even Elvis the clear head of the flock, although he is not as snuggly as the others. Is there a chance they can all co-exist even if one or two more emerge?

Thanks so much for your help! Lori
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
660
336
Central Oregon
Okay, so you say you have 14 birds, at least 4 of which are roos? Yikes! Way too many roos! You only need one roo for every 10 birds, any more than that you will experience, as they mature, wicked fights and over-mating of your lovely hens.

Time for freezer-camp!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,684
4,926
586
Ohio
If you plan on running them all as one flock, X2 that is too many roosters for the number of hens you will have. You could separate the flock and make a bachelor pen keeping the roos together, usually (non-game) roosters that are raised together will get along pretty well, especially if they don't have hens to fight over. Silkies usually aren't that bad as roosters go and do seem to co-exist pretty well ime.
 

wilsonloria

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 30, 2014
47
3
41
Tomball, Texas
Thank you so much for your replies. That is what I thought. :-( I am very attached to them and don't know how to go about doing this. I will be able to have a "bachelor pad" in about a month. This is distressing to me. Lori
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
660
336
Central Oregon
Thank you so much for your replies. That is what I thought. :-( I am very attached to them and don't know how to go about doing this. I will be able to have a "bachelor pad" in about a month. This is distressing to me. Lori
You may very well not be that "attached" to them after you have to break up a viscious fight when they're older....JMHO
 

jtn42248

Crowing
7 Years
I've always loved chickens and last spring find myself with a full blown case of "chicken fever". I have 2-1/2 acres and horses, so chicken keeping was not a big step. I researched and picked the breed that best fit what I was looking for. I wanted sweet chickens that could be around my grandchildren (5 years old and 1 year old) and would produce eggs. I chose Silkie Bantams and purchased 14 from my feed store. 10 white, 2 buff and 2 black that were 1 day old when I purchased them on April 30, 2014.

As sweet and wonderful as they are (and they are!!!), they are difficult to sex. A fourth rooster has emerged with abysmal attempts at crowing. I suspect one to two more, unfortunately. This is a lot of testosterone. So far Elvis, Elton, Bernie and Spring are co-existing. I am currently greatly expanding their living areas and they are allowed to free range when I am home in the evenings and weekends.

My question is, what can I expect as they age? Will they become less tolerant of each other? All roosters allow me to hold them and pet them, even Elvis the clear head of the flock, although he is not as snuggly as the others. Is there a chance they can all co-exist even if one or two more emerge?

Thanks so much for your help! Lori
I just got my first batch of Bantams (Sebrights) and before I ordered them I did a lot of reading and research. It will, as I understand it, boil down to the breed (your Silkies are reputed to be more friendly and calm) and the space you have to accommodate them. There are, I am sure, many schools of thought on this but most of what I read says never more than one male in each flock with females. The bachelor pad might be a good idea and well worth the try. I don't know the gender of mine yet but I am planning on separate "coops" for each male and their females. Because Sebrights are know to be flighty they will only have access to a very large run that is covered and that has a Mimosa and a Peach tree in it.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,663
32,142
1,092
On the MN prairie.
You may very well not be that "attached" to them after you have to break up a viscious fight when they're older....JMHO
Or when their hormones kick in and they are constantly harassing your hens to the point where they can't eat or drink during the day because one or more roosters will be trying to mate them. Too many roosters can be very stressful for your hens.
 

jtn42248

Crowing
7 Years
Or when their hormones kick in and they are constantly harassing your hens to the point where they can't eat or drink during the day because one or more roosters will be trying to mate them. Too many roosters can be very stressful for your hens.
A step further...too many roosters can end up seriously injuring or killing your hen.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,851
11,006
636
western South Dakota
Wishful thinking, however, enjoy them now. When they start to be the problem, solve it then.......

However, this is a problem you will have to deal with eventually. Silkies are notorious for going broody, who can resist putting a few eggs under one? And 50% of those eggs will be roosters.

Chickens are not generally speaking real long lived. If you enjoy the flock, new birds must come into the flock, and old birds, or sick birds or too many roosters must go out. This is a fact of life that one must face in chicken raising.

Give your birds a good life, often times, too many roosters is giving your flock a rotten life.

Mrs K
 

nayeli

Songster
6 Years
Jan 18, 2014
1,988
108
196
I've always loved chickens and last spring find myself with a full blown case of "chicken fever". I have 2-1/2 acres and horses, so chicken keeping was not a big step. I researched and picked the breed that best fit what I was looking for. I wanted sweet chickens that could be around my grandchildren (5 years old and 1 year old) and would produce eggs. I chose Silkie Bantams and purchased 14 from my feed store. 10 white, 2 buff and 2 black that were 1 day old when I purchased them on April 30, 2014.

As sweet and wonderful as they are (and they are!!!), they are difficult to sex. A fourth rooster has emerged with abysmal attempts at crowing. I suspect one to two more, unfortunately. This is a lot of testosterone. So far Elvis, Elton, Bernie and Spring are co-existing. I am currently greatly expanding their living areas and they are allowed to free range when I am home in the evenings and weekends.

My question is, what can I expect as they age? Will they become less tolerant of each other? All roosters allow me to hold them and pet them, even Elvis the clear head of the flock, although he is not as snuggly as the others. Is there a chance they can all co-exist even if one or two more emerge?

Thanks so much for your help! Lori
Silkies are among some of the most docile chickens... I wonder if the people saying its going to be a horrible problem and talking about fighting have ever had silkies.

4/14 means each roo only has 2.5 girls though so I'd at least consider getting rid of one. Honestly I wouldn't worry about problems if there are none! I had 3 males and 2 females and my males didn't fight (although I got rid of them soon after they began to crow). I know other people with more than one silkie and they don't have issues either!
 

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