Rooster Troubles

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KaseyRose, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. KaseyRose

    KaseyRose Hatching

    Dec 5, 2018
    Hi everyone! I'm new to BYC but am looking for help. I have a very small flock of 5 Ameraucauna chickens, 3 hens and 2 roosters. They are approximately 9 months old and the hens just recently started laying. Out of the 2 roosters, we have one that is becoming much more dominant to the point that he is outcasting the other rooster from the flock. Last night, the friendly rooster actually started climbing our deck stairs because the dominant rooster wouldn't allow him in the coop.

    I've done some reading and saw that I could start a "bachelor pad" if I wanted to keep both but am wondering the following...

    If I choose to keep one, does it have to be the dominant rooster? The friendly rooster loves to be held, follows people around like a puppy, loves our dog, etc. etc. The dominant rooster is just your typical ornery rooster.

    Any advice would be helpful! And if you live in MA and are looking for a rooster to add to your flock for free and won't eat him, let me know!
    Shadrach and Ridgerunner like this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You can keep either one......or neither.
    If you don't need a male(to hatch more chicks) then you might get rid of them both.
    Expecting someone to take them without eating them is rather unreasonable,
    and will make them much harder to relocate.

    Behaviors may change when you remove either from the flock,
    you won't know until you do so.
    'Cuddly' males can become aggressive, tho doesn't mean they will.
    Am surprised you haven't had trouble way before 9 months.
    Telling us more about your coop and run(with pics!), and the potential options for having a separate set up for the boys, might help us help you with the decisions.

    FYI.....semantics, maybe, but can be important communication terms when discussing chicken behavior.
    Female chickens are called pullets until one year of age, then they are called hens.
    Male chickens are called cockerels until one year of age, then they are called cocks(or cockbirds or roosters).
    Age in weeks or months is always a good thing to note.

    Oh, and, Welcome to BYC!
    You can add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
    Rick M and centrarchid like this.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Bachelor groups ideally have several roosters rather than a small number. Consider penning one rooster by himself.
    sourland likes this.
  4. iLikeMineFried

    iLikeMineFried Chirping

    Jun 29, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    If you find a home for the dominant cockerel, the calm one will most likely step up and display similar behavior as the dominant one. You need to fix your ratio of Pullets/Cockerels. One Cockerel for 10 hens. Speaking from experience, I had a sweet boy, and I culled his competition and just kept him. In about a month, he got nippy with me and kept his distance, preferring the company of his ladies. He does a great job, but the days of cuddling him are long gone. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC. If you remove the dominant cockerel, the second rooster will reveal his true temperament. It may or may not be aggressive - only time will tell that tale.
    Rick M, chickens really and aart like this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    The 'rooster' to hen ratio of 1:10 that is often cited is primarily for fertility efficiency in commercial breeding facilities.
    It doesn't mean that if a cockbird has 10 hens that he won't abuse or over mate them.
    Many breeders keep pairs, trios, quads, etc.
    It all depends on the temperaments of the cock and hens and sometimes housing provided.
    Backyard flocks can achieve good fertility with a larger ratio.
    sourland likes this.
  7. The humorous Mark Twain once compared the sexual drive of men to either a Billy goat or a Galápagos Tortoise. This means that the sex drive is all over the place in men. Well roosters are like men in this respect. Depending on the breed or strain of rooster your rooster hen ratio can be any where from 2 or 3 hens per rooster up to 20 or more. Your mileage may vary. Meat birds normally require more male birds to ensure fertile eggs while most laying breeds generally need fewer roosters per hen. This is another reason that mixed flocks are a bad idea.
    Shadrach likes this.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Hi, welcome to the forum. Glad you joined. :frow

    What you are describing is pretty typical for a flock with lots of room, though not all flocks are that way. If room is tight they often act differently. A standard model is that the dominant rooster kicks out the adolescent cockerels when they start to challenge his authority. The cockerels often form a bachelor flock and when they mature enough the individuals stake out their own territory and try to attract mates.

    You can keep either male you wish. The dominant one may change his behavior as he further matures, and that change could go in any direction. Competition from the other male sometimes makes his behavior worse, sometimes he may get worse when the competition is gone. You don't get guarantees with animal behaviors. I don't know what you mean by "typical ornery rooster" but it is quite possible that is how a dominant rooster will typically act.

    The dominant rooster suppresses the roosterly behaviors of the submissive one. The dominant one has certain responsibilities and privileges the submissive one does not have. If the submissive one starts assuming those responsibilities or privileges he gets knocked back. The submissive one can change dramatically when the dominant one is removed. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. You can't tell which way he will go so there is some luck involved.
    Rick M likes this.
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    :goodpost:... :frow
  10. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    Hello KaseyRose.
    Welcome to BYC.
    It reads like you care about your roosters.
    You could remove one and as others have mentioned, take a chance on his mature behavior.
    There is another option. Get three more hens of the same breed and keep both roosters.
    There is usually a dominant rooster and the other will learn to keep out of his way. I have groups with more than one rooster and provided they are of the same breed, and better still, related, the junior rooster accepts the lead roosters authority. You may find with more hens that the junior will attract the newcomers and the senior will be content with two or three favorites.

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