Rooster question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Peter.J, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Peter.J

    Peter.J Chirping

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    Hi, not my first post here, but i couldn’t find my old login info so i had to make a new account... Just getting back into chickens after a few years without;
    I have 1 Bielefelder cockerel and 15 pullets. I want to add 1 more cockerel so that they have enough protection when freeranging and for fertilization but the guy i bought the cockerel from says to never put 2 roosters in the same coop/run.
    My run is 256sq ft, and with 15 hens i would think this is enough space for 2 roosters; what do you all think?
    They will probably free range (1 acre) 4 days a week and be cooped up in the run/coop 3 days a week...
     
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  2. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Cluck cluck. Premium Member

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  3. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Chickens, chickens everywhere! Premium Member

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    I have two roosters, with 40 hens but I keep them in a 6,000 sq/ft paddock with electric fencing (300' of premier 1 electric poultry netting) and there are two different mobile coops. One sleeps in one, and one sleeps in another. I used to have 3 roosters but one wasn't nice to the girls, so he became dinner. Two of them would sleep in one coop and one in another. I currently have a bachelor pad with 6 roosters in it. They tussle a bit, but I got rid of the meanies and they don't bother each other too much. I wouldn't worry too much about competition between the roosters on the three days they are cooped up. Just keep an eye out for it.
     
  4. Peter.J

    Peter.J Chirping

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    Yeah, i would imagine personality has a lot to do with it; the bielefelders are supposed to have great temperaments. I’m thinking i may just try it and keep and eye on things, i just worry about if we’re gone all day and thats the day they decide to fight to the death...
     
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  5. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing

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    I've never had Bielefelders, but based on my experience with cockerels/roosters of a few other breeds, I would agree that this is a risky plan. Multiple roosters need lots of room and visual buffers so the lower-ranked ones can give the higher-ranked roosters large buffers to reduce incidents of fighting.

    Also, I've noticed that cockerels are very poor flock protectors, so the addition of a cockerel may not achieve additional flock protection. It may do the opposite, as they will be focused on mating and chasing one another. Once they mature, they seem to become much better flock protectors.

    As to fertility, one rooster should have no problems covering 15 hens. I'd expect very high fertility from that ratio.

    As to adding another male to the flock, I'd recommend using your current rooster and hens to produce a batch of chicks. Raise the chicks up within the flock and pick the best male if you'd like another male in the flock. There should be less drama with this approach, as the new male will grow up in the presence of - and learn to defer to - the current rooster, and probably be accepted by him.
     
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  6. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Chickens, chickens everywhere! Premium Member

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    Since the current rooster "rules the roost" all by himself you may have problems. I had a leghorn mix that tried to kill any other roosters because he had the girls all to himself for MONTHS. When I tried introducing more roosters, it did not go well. I had to send him to freezer camp. He was great with the girls, didn't bother people, but I didn't want him as a breeder and he was mean to other roosters.
     
  7. Chickassan

    Chickassan Free Ranging

    Personally i think one roo is plenty enough to keep your flock fertile and adding another won't automatically guarantee more protection because they may or may not assist each other. The only way I'd introduce another cockrel is when you're about to retire your present fella and you need your new guy to learn. Usually though more roos equals more chicken drama. :)
     

  8. Zero need for an extra Rooster...One good Rooster can keep track of 20 Hens and keep them fertilized ..I would not ever create Rooster Drama for myself...
     
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  9. Peter.J

    Peter.J Chirping

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    I think the consensus is fertility is a non issue and it may not be worth the risk. Song of Joy i like your idea of waiting for chics and picking the favorite cockerel to finish out with the flock....
    Which brings up another question; i realized after building my nest boxes that the setup may not work for chic rearing. I built them all up high with the lowest ones at 4’ high. Do you all think if I get a broody hen with a clutch of eggs in one of the boxes that I could just make one ground level box and pick her and the eggs up and move them? Or would she reject the eggs/new box?
     

  10. Chickassan

    Chickassan Free Ranging

    You can move a broody with eggs, just be sure where you put her is absolutely secure because a good broody won't leave unless necessary that means to eat and poop a predator would basically have a plated dinner. But as far as her being upset by the move, as long as she's got her eggs she's a happy hen.
     
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