Rooster situation...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicks Galore3, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    I'm not quite sure where to begin...but I'll give it a go.

    My flock of 60 currently has 3 roosters -
    An almost 3 year old Lavender Orpington, (Dumbledore) who is the best rooster I've ever had; gentle with the ladies, amiable toward humans, but still willing to fight down dogs for his flock. Currently alpha male.
    A 5 month old LO/BR cross (Cedric) who has just recently started to mature. He was an obvious rooster at 4 weeks, had an attitude at 6, and I was pretty sure he'd be soup before he was grown. But, he has really stepped up to the plate and is taking after his father.

    These two have coexsisted since Cedric was born (Broody raised in the flock). Like I said, Cedric is just starting to mature, and he's still young, so there hasn't been a whole lot of conflict. He crowed for the first time a couple days ago, tried (miserably) to mount a hen, and is starting to (attempt) to move up the pecking order. He has always been the lowest, but he was in a squabble with one of the hens last night and wouldn't back down. I think he ended up winning. After that, Dumbledore walked up to him and gave him a solid peck that made him run away squawking, so I think they are established.

    My third rooster is an approximately one year old Iowa Blue (Malfoy) who is the prettiest thing. Not the best with the hens. Respectful toward humans. He is not yet integrated with the rest of the flock, as I got him and six other Iowa blues from a friend. They are currently in a pen right next to the others, and have been for 4 weeks. Dumbldore and Malfoy got into a fight through the wire roughly 30 seconds after he arrived. However, I haven't seen them fight for a couple weeks. (Dumbledore expects the lower roosters to respect him but is definitely very merciful.)

    All that to say....how is the best way to put them together? I'm almost too hesitant to even try. Malfoy is just too excitable and high strung, in my opinion. He tries to get to the ladies through the wire, and constantly is making warning sounds against Dumbledore and Cedric. (It's been interesting, Cedric really started to blossom right when Malfoy came...I think Cedric really dislikes him and took him as a challenge to manhood.)

    I'm worried that Malfoy will try and attack Dumbledore and won't back down. Dumbledore is almost twice his size (body wise and spur wise) but is pretty clumsy. I'm not sure how Cedric will fit into it. Especially with being cooped up because of the cold and snow, everyone is grumpy. They have 400+ square feet of coop, with different "rooms" to get away from each other. (They don't use the run and refuse to go outside since it's winter.)

    I don't want to get rid of Malfoy just because he is a beautiful specimen and I'd love to breed some Iowa Blues. I'm throwing around the idea of a bachelor pad, but I don't see him being very happy with that.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    You are in the realm where more roosters would be better.

    If breeding to be done, then create separate housing for each flock. I can free-range separate flocks but it takes more space, separated roosting sites, and setup of spaced out cover patches and feeding stations. Several acres would be required for that and roosts ideally would be a couple hundred feet apart.

    You could rotate which flock free-ranges.
     
  3. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same situation!
    I had the dad rooster,(RJ) 2 sons (Iggy and Buckbeak), and a non related rooster. The dad and son picked on the non related rooster, so the non related rooster basically had his own congregation of a few hens. Every once in a while a squabble would arise, but would end in RJ splitting them up.
    I was given 2 appenzeller spitzhauben roosters, and who wouldn't turn down 2 rare roosters! I had them in a cage away with a rug over it for the first few days. The moment I took the rug off RJ and Buckbeak just walked towards it and stood there. The apps went crazy lunging at them and just trying to get to them. After a while they called down. I kept them in a cage for a few weeks and I let them outside. They immediately went after Buckbeak and Iggy, RJ ran over and literally grabbed one of the Apps and threw it to the ground and then chased the other one away.
    I kept trying but the apps kept charging at my other roosters eventually I did get rid of them. They were just to chaotic.

    What I would try with your roosters us just let them out, have a fishing net ready to catch one of the roosters without getting close. Just see how it goes. I have a cage that I used for the Apps before I got rid of them. When I get home I can take a picture and show you. It will still allow him to be outside and have grass, you would have to make a modification for night though
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  4. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seeing as they have been able to see eachother and spar through the wire, I'd say sit them in there. While one is facing off with the other, I'd defiantly hold one, you never want a two vs one situation, that could end drastically bad.

    This is what roosters do. Until one rooster has established who is boss,there will be fighting, no real way to get around but living the new guy in his pen for the rest of his life.

    Infact,I have only heard of a few cases of actually integrating two full grown roosters together, and on top of that, with a younger cockerel on side.

    Cedric is young. The new guy will probably use age to his advantage and before you know it,Cedric backs down.

    It's up to you to decide whether or not you can handle sitting them altogether,60 is a lot....
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Really I think I would keep them separated until mid summer. From here on out, the "sap is going to be rising" in the roosters. Spring and the hormones surge, and with them hormone behavior. Each roosters is going to want more hens. Most will be willing to fight for them. Even the father son relationship might go south, but nearly positive adding the third rooster and hens to the big flock will definitely cause some major disturbance. A huge amount of tension in the flock.

    Another point, if you want to raise Iowa Blues, then you will be separating them anyway, why risk it?

    I think I would rig up a sheet of cardboard, attached to the wire, if they are fighting through the fence.

    Mrs K
     
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  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Am I missing why you can't just keep the Blues as a separate flock, for the time being at least?
     
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