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Roosters? How many are too many?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FreeRunRevolution, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. FreeRunRevolution

    FreeRunRevolution Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2010
    I have 5 roosters and 15 hens. It was a bit of an accident as after my old rooster died I purchased 6 new hens and 3 new roosters (all young this summer hatches).
    It turned out that only 4 of 6 hens were actually hens and 2 were roosters! So I've got 5 roosters now:/.
    They seem to keep the peace between themselves so far, but I'm wondering if as they get older if they will fight. I'm hoping not.
    Do they get more agressive as they age? They are about 6-7 months right now. if they get along now will they keep the pecking order and learn to live together.
    I'm finding that now that they are all mature that some of my hens are getting humped raw. Loosing lots of feathers on their heads, necks and backs from the roosters being too agressive when mating. Is their a way I can stop this...I know "get rid of some roosters' is an obvious choice, but I hate to part with them as they are all unique breeds and I'm eagre for special chicks this spring.
    I separated 2 hens who were especially bare, from the rest, to grow some feathers back....when I re-introduce them will they get picked on?
    Any advice, ideas, appreciated.....I'm a newbie at roosters [​IMG]
     
  2. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    I have 3 roosters and 40 hens. One has 12 to himself and the other two split up the rest although one is the Alpha for sure. The favorites get defeathered easily so I bought them some saddles (AKA lingerie). I think one roo per 5 hens is a bit much but maybe it depends on the breeds. I had to send 4 extras to freezer camp this Fall because it was just too much for the girls...they never got a moments peace!
    Some people on BYC have bachelor pads for their roos. They keep the boys in their own pen and I think this is also helpful if you are wanting your breeding to be more selective.
     
  3. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    I have 4 roosters (and some 4month old cockerals for now).. I have had the 4 roos for about a year now and they still get along. It depends on the roo, but in my flock they do just fine. My roos were introduced when younger. My BR was almost a year old, my BLRW was about 6 months old and my Bantam Cochin and Phoenix mix were about 4 months old when they were all put together. You will need more hens, but with a good amount of space they could do fine. They just need room to get outta the way of the more dominant roo, seems like they establish the order and keep it that way.

    just my experience, but I know people must have multiple roos all the time.
     
  4. FreeRunRevolution

    FreeRunRevolution Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2010
    Wonderful! I'm so glad to hear that they can get along in the right environment. I sure dont mind getting more hens for them come spring...if thats what it takes to keep them all happy. Chicken Lingere!!! Bahaha! I'd love to see a pic:lol: How do you get it to stay on? Did you make it yourself?---I would of never thought!-- but what a neat idea [​IMG]
     
  5. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    When I found a couple of my hens looking a bit bare, my solution was to get more hens. It worked. But if you don't want to do that, a better solution than removing the bare hens would be removing the roosters. I think quite a few people keep their roos in a separate pen and only put them in with the hens when they're wanting to breed them. I think that sounds like a good way to sort things out.
     
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Hmm. I must go count my roosters, now.

    Depending on the dynamics of the flock, TWO could be too many, or there may be no top limit. Up until last weekend, none of mine fought. I have an up-and-coming cockerel who is as large as my dominant roo (up until now, there were only bantam cockerels for him to worry about, and he didn't) and has challenged him in a pretty impressive fight. No bloodshed. But an amazing spectacle.

    We shall see how things unfold. I have a SLEW of roosters in my chicken collection. They break up into two or three flock-like groups, though, as they range freely over one acre.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    These theads may help you. Some repetition but I think good information and different viewpoints.

    Breeders managing roosters
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=250327

    Number of roosters thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=219443

    Managing multiple roosters
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=229968

    Many people have multiple roosters and don't have big problems regardless of hen to rooster ratio, but some do. My normal advice is to keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. The more roosters you have, the more likely you are to have a problem.

    They are young and the hormones are raging in the roosters. The pullets are quite likely resisting too which can make the mating that much rougher. Some young roosters just won't take no for an answer. The problems with your hens may get better as they age, roosters and hens, but again they may not. That is discussed in the first link by people I trust.

    Will they fight more as they mature. Maybe. Hard to say. Some people have experienced that but others find that they stay fairly peaceful once all that is sorted out. I can't give you any guarantees, one way or the other. They are all individuals.

    Good luck!
     
  9. FreeRunRevolution

    FreeRunRevolution Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2010
    Great advice in the links! Thanks so much [​IMG]
    I am much more confident now that everything should be fine between them as we've never really had a major scuffle...being as they are all quite young still they should learn to live together in peace.
    As for the hen-lingerae! What an idea....and so Cute [​IMG] I got such a chuckle seeing them in their little getups! [​IMG] I speculate the neighbours will too seeing my hens all dressed up for some intimacy!
     

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