Rotating in and out of cock flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Trish1974, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

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    For those of you that keep your breeding males in a cock flock, do you have to do a reintroduction (the look but don't touch method) when you put them back in the flock if they've been out for roughly a month?
     
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  2. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    :pop I'm going to need to know this too. I think I have 3 little cockerels to contend with in a few months. I'll be setting up a bachelor pad out of side of the hens and pullets, and giving them conjugal visits.
     
  3. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

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    @EggSighted4Life I'm thinking you keep your breeders in this manner? Any advice? My apologies if I'm wrong.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Yes, I do keep my stags in this manner.

    I don't keep my boys separate long enough to need reintroduction or to really upset the pecking order as I feel it's already challenging enough.

    So basically I take the boy I want before dawn or after roost and and him into my lady coop. After roost the same day I return him to the stag pen so everybody wakes up with their normal routine. If I'm hatching I will do this every other day or every few days as needed. I haven't experienced too much issues using this method so far.

    I do NOT keep my stag pen out of sight of the ladies as I like the boys to have practice treat calling and sweet talking them as they mature. But also they gals can kinda be familiar. Otherwise the hens aren't really to fond of strangers and not as likely to gravitate to him as rapidly. So brand new introduction usually requires a few weeks before I can get high fertility rates.

    If any boys had been out a whole month... he will face havoc upon return and I would definitely use look but don't touch for a period of time. I only leave boys separate that long if they aren't returning to the stag pen in the future. Either they stay with the hens, go to a new home, or freezer camp.

    Also, when removed for only a day the pecking order in the stag pen stays fairly calm. Much longer and they rowdy up and create a new hierarchy.

    Also after the don't touch has expired, make sure there are lots of visual barriers.

    Good luck on your fantastic adventure! :wee
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Curious how the ladies respond to waking up with a male in residence?
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    They are never super happy.. But there often isn't a ton of activity before I let them out. Which is often when the boys will start their sweet talking and shuffling. It's funny how some boys are total magnets and will have the harem adoring them quickly. While others have ladies avoid them. It does play into who stays for the longest terms and might even get a full time spot with hens. Of course, the cock, if he's smart... works the top hen first. If they haven't yet gained their manners they go after the more docile hens first.

    The boys are super proud... and kinda shocked at how they suddenly won the lottery, lol! :love

    Since I just have a wire wall/fence between the two coops/runs.. if the lottery winner spends any time trying to fence fight instead of escorting the ladies where they wanna go.. he will lose his privileges for that day. :smack :tongue

    I will note that if I don't like the behavior.. he returns immediately to the stag pen. The main reason I choose before and after roost for swapping is that is the least amount of drama (effort) on my part with no chasing and such. :cool:
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Let them out into a run...or do you free range breeding groups on alternate days?
     
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  8. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    This is such helpful information! I thought if I put the cockerels in an adjacent run together they would fight. Not so?
     
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hens and roosters both free range in their own pasture daily.

    A well placed E wire helped tons to keep boys on their own side of the 4 foot fence... with exception to when being chased by another stag and with intent to get away they accidentally find themselves in the adjacent paddock (essentially). Which might have a breeding group in it. If I catch it right away then no worries and hatch as usual. If I find it later, I KNOW any hatching will have possible genetic contamination.

    My breeding program and interest seems to change a lot and so using T post with wire fencing makes for easy moving and adjusting of fences as the flock changes.

    I do also have smaller coops with enclosed runs that stay available for rearing chicks, breeding, or time outs, and even broody breaking.

    Yes, that would be a probability and not exactly what I meant. They will fence fight and it can get bloody. They can get injured and the worse part is no one wins. :hmm In that case, visual barrier makes ALL the difference.

    My adjacent runs are male and female... only one male gets added to the hens... If he chooses to fence fight instead of escorting ladies he loses his privileges and goes back into the stag pen IMMEDIATELY, where he can finish his antics and I will choose another cock next time. Most are more interested in the ladies

    Also by keeping ALL my stags separate from the ladies I can (and do) keep several breeds but still hatch all purebred... by only collecting the color eggs to hatch from the breed who's stag I was most recently using... which also means I can keep fewer hens of each breed and still have plenty of hens to not be over bred... which really doesn't happen anyways with my every other day or once a week visits.

    I guess... I'm a little bit of a control freak! :oops: I do spend tons of time figuring out what works for me and my birds. I realize some folks don't have the luxury of watching to see what antics unfold. And your mileage will most certainly be a bit different than my own. Noting that I do not keep hatchery birds and all of mine have been heavily selected for demeanor and will continue to be. :)
     
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  10. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    Thanks. I really want to understand this because I have 3 7 week old cockerels and I want to keep them all if I can. Are you saying I can give them a bachelor pad in sight of the hens and pullets, and they wont fight with each other in their pen? I like the idea of allowing one of them conjugal visits, and trying to learn all I can about how that works best.
     
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