Aug 22, 2016
I presently have 13 hens (regular size) and 2 bantam roosters. The 2 roos get along as long as they stay apart. I have a big enough place that they can. They were chic mates but in the chicken/roo world that doesn't mean anything. Next weekend I will be adding 3 more hens, and then in 2.5 months I'll be adding 6 more chickens. Of the last 6, at least 1 is a roo. (I got them at 1-2 weeks old, and all were supposed to be pullets.). They are now 9-10 weeks. I've recently been hearing one of them trying to make rooster crowing noises - pitful sounds). I didn't want any more roos, but since I've been feeding them for 10 weeks now, I was wondering if I can keep this Lavender Orpington soon to be roo, along with my bantam roos. Roos, being roos, I'm worried the bigger one will kill my bantams. Should I just get rid of the lavender roo or would it be ok to keep him and they will work out their differences? Any advice would help. Thanks
The big one shouldn't kill the small ones. You'll have chest bumping for sure but it shouldn't get super violent. They'll work it out, somebody will get to be "big daddy" and the other two will be waiting for their chance at taking that title over.:)
No one can give you any guarantees as to what will happen with living animals and their behaviors. I can tell you what I think might happen but someone can come back and say that it did not happen that way for them. Sometimes I see exceptions to what I think might happen. That's just the way it is with living animals.

It is possible a bantam might kill the Orp. It's possible the Orp might kill one of both of the bantams. The bantams are probably a lot quicker than that big awkward Orp, that might give them the advantage. The Orps size might give him enough of an advantage once he matures. It is possible they will all three make an accommodation and get along eventually like your current two are, but it is practically certain they will know which one is boss.

As the Orp cockerel matures things will change. To start with the mature bantams will have an advantage in spirit, they should easily dominate the immature Orp cockerel. As that Orp matures he may dominate one of both of the bantams, he may not. There could be a fight to the death between any two of them, they may all three get along as well as your bantams do, especially since it sounds like you have a lot of space. Room makes a world of difference. Someone who keeps their chickens in smaller coops and runs has a lot of trouble appreciating just how much difference room makes.

You don't need to answer this to me but think to yourself. What are your goals toward the bantams and the Orp males? Why do want to keep them? The only reason you need a male is if you want fertile eggs. Anything else is personal preference. Personal preference is legitimate but I always suggest you keep as few males as you can and still meet your goals. That's not because you are guaranteed problems with more males but problems are more likely.

Another thing I suggest is to solve any problems for the benefit of the entire flock, not just one individual. Not that your flock is guaranteed issues with the Orp cockerel, but if you see issues you might want to bear that in mind.

I don't know how you are managing them or how you plan to integrate them. My preference would be to integrate them as young as you can before the Orp's hormones really come into their own. It's generally easier for cockerels to grow up with the flock with mature rosters instead of thrusting a new competitor into the mix.

Good luck however you decide.
Thank you chickassan and ridgerunner for your thoughts. Yes, there are no guarantees with animals no matter the situation. I have a story for that one. But anywhoo, I know there's lots of chicken owners out there and I could get many perspectives on this situation, which is what I wanted, and then I weigh all the facts. I keep the mature roos because they are very good at watching out for predators. Plus, as you can see in my profile pic, pretty, too. I don't want any problems and since the temperament of the Lavender Orp is unknown, I think I will forego the drama and return him to the lady I purchased him. Now, your comment about putting the new chicks with the older chicks as soon as possible, The Lavenders are 9 & 10 weeks old. Aren't they too young to be put with the older hens? I'm already hating the day I have to join them together. I'll take thoughts on that, too. lol
The Lavenders are 9 & 10 weeks old. Aren't they too young to be put with the older hens? I'm already hating the day I have to join them together. I'll take thoughts on that, too.
I have started integrating at 4 weeks, goes much smoother than waiting until they are older. Not sure about 9-10 weeks, maybe if they are still peeping they would be less of a 'threat' to the adults, might be worth a try....but you never know 'with living animals' how they all will react. A lot depends on your setup and whether you free range or not...Space is Key.

Some tips, that might help, on....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
very good info. I have a 1/4 acre - maybe more - fenced in that the chickens forge for most of the day. Inside that pen I have a 10X30 set up. 10X10 on one end houses the nesting boxes, roosting limbs and feeder, the other side 10X20 is more roosting limbs, 3 water sources, a feeder and the exit to the big pen. At 5 in the evening they are let out in the yard for more free range and that's when they get their daily treat. 15 chickens are in this - 13 hens, 2 roos. I will be adding 3 cream leg horns this weekend, but also adding another 10X10 pen to the 10X30. When that settles down, the lavenders will be added. I think I have plenty of space for them all. I'll be adding another feeder and water source to the new 10X10 addition.

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