Roosters and Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Solsalia, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Solsalia

    Solsalia Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2013
    Good Ol Rocky Mountains!
    Being new chicken raisers we are a bit shocked and ... well chicken culture shocked to how roosters are with hens. LOL, wow!

    Here is our dilemma. Out of our baby chicks we had 2 roosters. That makes a total of 8 hens and 2 roosters. The older hens are about 2 year old and the new ones are 5 months old and starting to lay. One of the Roosters is very aggressive and has bloodied some of the hens combs. The other Rooster is not as aggressive and some of the hens can still push him around. I know we need to get rid of one, is it young rooster behavior? Will the aggressive one be better as he seems to come running when the hens cackle about something while the other one seems not too. I noticed they seem to have groups. Some hens run around with the other Rooster and vice versa or it might be our main rooster has his favorites and just follows them.

    Thanks for all your input. We are thinking of getting 4 more chicks this year by either having some of the eggs hatched out or just getting some from someone.
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    There are a lot of different opinions about this. I will just say that we have eight roosters. And around 40 hens. All are of different age groups. Science says that each rooster should have12 hens, but that's not going to happen. Each rooster though has his own hens. Some have one hen, some have ten, some have none, or they just grab the ones that don't seem too dedicated. This is not the ideal scenario, but it seems to work out ok. and yes the younger roos will be more aggressive. I will also say tho that we have never had a rooster bloody a hen, at all. Some don't like certain hens, but they are not that aggressive to them. And some hens don't like certain roos, either, and will chase them, especially the cockerels. I should also mention that our flock free ranges and they have a LOT of room to spread out, and that does help. If they are in a coop, two roosters are probably one too many. But it's really your call, every situation is different. I would just say see how it works out and make a judgement call, but like I said, I'm sure others will have various opinions about that. We have been re-homing any new ones we get lately, and the old ones do get used to each other as they age and calm down.
     
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  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I wouldn't personally keep a cockerel who is bloodying the combs of the hens. However, do read on as I tend to have lots of cockerels to choose from when I have chicks....

    If you want to give him a chance, you can get him out of there (make a bachelor pen) and put the other cockerel in there too so he won't be lonely. I think it is always a good idea to have a backup rooster. He may grow out of his roughness as he matures. Sometimes the adolescent cockerels are just too full of hormones and will mellow a bit.

    Aggression towards humans is something not to be tolerated in my opinion though- so if he starts that up I'd get rid of him.

    It sounds like he may be accidentally bloodying the combs of the hens while mating. If he is actually being mean to them he shouldn't be used for breeding.

    Also- you will have a MUCH more peaceful flock if you let them hatch out babies rather than integrate new hens. There will be less fighting amongst the hens that way, as the broody hen will defend the chicks if she is a good mama and by the time the chicks are old enough to be "weaned" from mama's circle of protection, they should be accepted as part of the flock. That is how I have seen it happen here, anyway.

    Of course some broody hens aren't very protective in which case the chicks could be harmed. I like to separate my broody hens and her new chicks for about a week or so...it is good to have a little coop and run off to the side for these things...you could kick out your two roosters into the hen pen at that time. That is what I would do.

    So that is how I would manage your flock if it were me...just my opinion and what works for one person won't work for another. It can become very very tiring dealing with several coops instead of one. So do consider the extra time involved when you make your decision. If you get an auto coop door opener for both coops that will make life so much easier if that is in the budget.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. Solsalia

    Solsalia Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2013
    Good Ol Rocky Mountains!
    Thank you for your answers.

    I appreciate the experience and knowledge. None of our hens have been broody, they lay and leave. How do you get them to hatch their own eggs? They just have to be broody or do you keep them locked in the coop?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    You can teach an aggressive rooster to leave people alone. If you grab him, handle him, carry him around, pet him, every time he attacks someone, they will stop that. At least that's been our experience though we've only had two that were aggressive towards people. One was killed by a skunk, one we still have, and he's the tamest roo in the bunch now.

    As far as broodies, yuu can't really make them. Some breeds tend to be more broody than others. If you want broodies, you can look at the breed characteristics...the hatcheries will list which ones are broody and which aren't, on their websites, and figure it out that way. Silkies and Wyandottes tend to be broody and good mothers. Sex links (Red Stars, Black Stars, Golden Comets, etc) rarely go broody, although they can.

    Hope you are having fun with yours, and welcome to BYC. [​IMG] Regardless of what kind you have, you will love them, I'm sure.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Signs of broodiness are: setting on nest all day and night (you can remove them once a day or so so they will go eat and relieve themselves), growling at you when you come near the nest box, walking about fluffed up like a turkey after you take them off the nest to eat and bock bocking at the same time, and just a general trancelike stare...a very determined look in their eyes that they are going to set there until the eggs hatch.

    So they decide when they want to have babies and then you can either buy hatching eggs or hatch out some of your own fertile eggs.
     
    1 person likes this.

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