rooster questions


11 Years
Oct 25, 2008
Collinsville, CT
I have a cochin roo and a silkie roo, 3 cochin hens, several assorted hens and two standard size roosters. the two banty roosters were my first ones and Sidney, the silkie is really the alpha rooster. Spencer the cochin roo is blind in one eye and can't really see too good out of the other. Sidney looks after Spencer and his three girls. If the RIR or EE hens get too close, he pecks them on the butt
and they run away squawking. Here is my question: the two big roosters are about five months old and the two banty roosters are over two years old. So far it's been fine and no roosters fighting. Does anyone think that eventually when the two EE roosters get a little older they will try to kill my two banty roosters? Or do you think that because the banties were there first, the EE's will acquiesce to Sidney the alpha roo? The hen to rooster ratio is 21 hens to 4 roosters. Should I set aside a separate place in the coop for the banties? I've already started to build them their own pen on the other side of the coop.
First, here are a couple of links that discuss multiple roosters. I think they will help prepare you for what might happen.

Number of roosters thread

Managing multiple roosters

You will see a lot of comments on barebacked hens due to the number or roosters. This thread gives you some honest experience from people that know what they are talking about.

Breeders managing roosters

I do not have bantams, so I don't have experience with them. What I suspect is going on right now is that your bantams are mature and the other two are not, so the bantams are still dominant. When the younger ones become more mature, they will likely challenge for flock dominance. It could get very vicious, but since they were raised with the flock, there is a pretty good chance they will be able to work it out without bloodshed. No guarantees, but it can happen. And don't count on your bantam giving up its dominant position, even if the others get much bigger. Dominance is more about the spirit of the rooster, not the size.

A separate pen can always come in handy, whether you need it for the bantams or for some other reason. And you might need it. No one can say for certain.
Sometimes change in poultry politics is done less violently than others. Over time I've noticed some formerly dominent roos losing status but never saw evidence of a fight that led to bloodshed. Other times I'll find a roo that's had the giblets beaten out of him. The more space & hens they have available, the less likely they'll fight.
We keep a mix of bantams and heavies in our large free run pen. There are three mature bantam roos and five mature heavy roos out together. There is an alpha heavy roo and an alpha bantam roo and then between the two of them the bantam roo is the overall alpha. Out with these eight mature roos is a mix of about 35 hens, pullets and cockerals that range in age from eight weeks to a year and a half in age. The only trouble we have had is a bit of sparing but never any drastic fights. And if the boys do get to sparing too roughly, we have two alpha hens that run in and break them up.
And if the boys do get to sparing too roughly, we have two alpha hens that run in and break them up.

thank you all. my little banty silkie, Sidney, is one tough chookie and I don't think he would relinquish dominance without a good fight. I will keep an eye on the situation, keep building my spare pen and hope for the best!

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