Rooster with 4 pullets?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rockymountain, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. rockymountain

    rockymountain Out Of The Brooder

    76
    14
    31
    Jun 14, 2016
    I have five chickens. four pullets; leghorn, silkie, autrolorp (sp?), easter egger, and the fifth a rooster silkie. So far all is harmony, the oldest pullet is the alfa and does a great job with the chickens. They follow her out and in the coop. All seems great. The rooster, silkie, is still very young, and just very vocal recently trying to crow. Recently when I gave treats, the rooster chased a treat close to two of the pullets and brushed by them and they immediately laid down. I was surprised to see this. They should be laying soon [​IMG] I am concern, do too having such a small group of gals, will this bring problems when the rooster hormones kick in. I love how well my head pullet (being the oldest) takes such great care of the flock. My issue is should I relocate the Rooster, so the flock is not stressed in the future? also I have another silkie (pullet), which they currently pile up on each other at night. Will she be okay if I remove the male silkie? Winter is coming and need to make a decision to relocate before people don't want to have a male silkie. Does anybody have had good experience with a silkie rooster, or am I in for some troubled chickens. I'm not sure what to do? Wait it out for the winter and see, which scares me as I had earlier this summer a very mean rooster I replaced. Help with advise.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,629
    4,284
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Silkies can be more mild than other breeds. I would wait and see how it works out. I've had some nice silkie roosters in the past that took good care of their hens. He won't fully mature until next year anyways and you should know more about how he's going to behave.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  3. tinakevin

    tinakevin Chillin' With My Peeps

    390
    102
    106
    Nov 1, 2015
    New hampahire
    I have a 5month old Silkie rooster and he is very good with my pullets. I have him in with my other 5 month old pullets of various breeds. I do plan on putting him and the big girls in a separate coop from my silky pullets because 1 he will have mor hens as I also have 6 older hens and 2 I don't want my Silkie pullets to be bullied by the bigger girls because I have just witnessed this bullying tonight. Give your rooster a chance they r so cute and friendly
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,117
    3,322
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’ll start with two of my standards responses.

    1. You are dealing with living animals, no one can guarantee you of any behavior. It might work out great, it night not.

    2. I always recommend you keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. That’s not because you are guaranteed problems with more roosters, just that problems are more likely. I don’t know your goals but I’m pretty sure the right number for you is either zero or one. You are the one that has to decide that.

    Your concern is adolescence, which is the right concern. Plenty of people have flocks of adult roosters and hens with ratios less than your 4 to 1 and it works out great. But you don’t have roosters and hens, you have a cockerel and some pullets. It doesn’t matter if you have a 4 to 1 ratio or a 15 to 1 ratio, adolescence can possibly be rough. It can also go quite smoothly. No one can predict with any certainty how adolescence will go with yours. I don’t have Silkies but I’ve read enough posts on here to know that you can have problems with any breed and you can have no problems with any breed. I fully agree with OHLD, the only way for you to find out is to try it.

    Sometimes the problem is not with the flock itself but some people see certain behavior and just can’t stand to watch. While some of us consider that behavior normal chicken interaction some just have to put a stop to it. I don’t know what your expectations are or how you might react if it does get rough. I think it is always a good idea to have a plan B ready. With chickens it is always possible you will need to isolate an individual on pretty short notice, it doesn’t have to be the rooster. You may need a broody buster or may need to isolate an injured hen. Some separate predator proof enclosure is a good idea. A metal dog cage can work really well, but other things can work also. Even if you don’t have any males, have an idea in the back of your head what you might do in an emergency.

    In some ways Silkies are special needs chickens because they can’t fly. They need to be able to get into the nest to lay. Roosting can be problematic. Ramps or maybe ladders can come in quite handy in providing access. Some Silkies never roost, even when they have access to some type of roost, some do roost. I don’t know how old yours are or how they spend the night. It sounds like the Silkies spend the night on the floor of the coop while the others are roosting, but I don’t know that for sure.

    If you remove that cockerel there will be some changes to pecking order and flock dynamics. Since he has not exerted his dominance yet it probably won’t be a big change. When they are immature and before they start to roost chickens often like to huddle together. It has nothing to do with them being cold, they just like the comfort of another chicken close by. From your screen name I assume you can have pretty cold winters. As long as you have a coop with good ventilation and breeze protection that should not be a problem with your chickens. They can keep themselves warm without huddling together for warmth. If you remove that cockerel the Silkie pullet will have to adjust. Chickens don’t like change but they are pretty adaptable. Any social disruption should be over within a day or two. Your Silkie pullet will manage quite well without him, any stress should be very short-lived. Don’t let that short term influence your long term situation. If you are going to remove him, just do it. Things will quickly sort themselves out. The chickens will not suffer long term stress over this.

    I cannot give any strong recommendations one way or the other. I don’t know your goals, set-up, or situation. I think your odds of success are pretty good either way but of course I can’t give you any guarantees.

    Good luck!
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    The general ratio of Hens to Rooster is 10 to 1...Roosters breed lots during the day and can over breed hens...I would sell him, but I am not you...He may become aggressive towards you? That is not fun at all....
     
  6. rockymountain

    rockymountain Out Of The Brooder

    76
    14
    31
    Jun 14, 2016
    ridgerunner, thank you for all your information, much appreciated. When I decided to get back into having chickens I was focused on hens only. I had lost a few of my babies early on and a local farmer delivered me two different types of chickens and one of them ended up being a rooster. Was extremely aggressive and caused extremely stress with my other chickens. Only had it a week and it was not fun. My daughter picked up two silkies from another farm and now one of them is a rooster, still very young compared to the other pullets, at least a month behind them. I do have a secondary emergency dog cage, that I used for awhile with the silkies, untill old enought to join the older pullets. The oldest pullet is and seems in control of the group, but the cock does seem to do his own thing now. Does not bother anyone yet but still very young. My coop is very large, which use to be a open storage area, with roof and exterior frame. I converted into a coop. The ground level is gravel and sand, which I cover with straw. There is a second level which I cover with wood chips and there is a ramp the silkies use, this is where they sleep at night on top of each other close in a corner by where the other pullets roost that is over the lower level where poop lands.. The laying boxes are even higher than the second level and probley over kill in size. The silkies are not able to get to them tho. So planned on creating boxes at a lower level for the silkie or possilbe another latter for the higher one. I have read where people recommend 1 rooster to 10 ratio. So I am just trying figure what to do. So far everyone is getting along but you are right my goals originally was to have all hens.After having a bad experience with a rooster, I just hate to see the girls get stressed this winter. On the other hand if things remained as is which I am concern about as never had a rooster before. Will the rooster be going after the girls during the winter or is this just a spring thing once he mutures? I again feel maybe I will try to relocate the silkie and try to accomodate the other silkie as best as I can.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,117
    3,322
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A rooster will mate with the hens all year around, not just in the spring. It’s what roosters do. Just because they mate doesn’t mean it’s stressful to the hens. It’s part of flock dynamics. It actually plays a part in keeping the flock peaceful.

    That 1 to 10 ratio is so prevalent on here, I really don’t understand why. In a certain commercial situation, hatcheries using the pen breeding method, many have found that a roughly 1 to 10 ratio keeps the hens fertile. Sometimes a smaller ratio works sometimes a larger. They monitor the fertility of the eggs and adjust the ratio as required for fertility. Hatcheries are all about fertile eggs. Somehow that ratio has caught on this forum as a magic ratio that stops roosters from fighting, keeps hens from being overbred, stops barebacked hens, and solves all problems, real or imaginary, to do with roosters and hens. You can have exactly the same problems with one rooster and 24 hens that you can have with one rooster and four hens. It depends a lot more on their personality than raw numbers.

    Another huge factor is that almost everyone that complains about these problems are not talking about mature hens and roosters. They are talking about immature pullets and cockerels. With immature pullets and cockerels it can get really rough. Some chickens are just brutes and never mature so you can have problems with roosters and hens, but most mature into responsible adults and form a peaceful flock.

    I get a strong feeling that you are just not ready to have a rooster. It just might be best if you get rid of him now. Chickens should not be stressful and I get a feeling that you are stressing about him. Your goals don’t include a rooster, you don’t need one. Get rid of him before that adolescence hits.
     
  8. rockymountain

    rockymountain Out Of The Brooder

    76
    14
    31
    Jun 14, 2016
    Like I said I am not familiar with having a rooster. I am histate due to this. I always like a challenge but not sure at this point. Like I mentioned I did have a bad experience. This silkie is very mellow so far and everyone is calm so far, no upset. I am thinking of trying it out, but am nervous as I have witnessed a bad situation. Just learning. I am in the process of winterizing my coop and thought about adding additional space for isolation if needed. I have three more large spaces I could close off, just by adding walls. I really like the little guy but this is totally new to me. Thanks for being so truthfull about the ratio, that was really scaring me having only 4 pullets. I just wonder of other people with this situation and it worked out great for them. I also not experienced with silkies, he is very small right now, can't see him mounting yet. Two of my chicks that are very large now but did lay down for him. He just ignored them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by