Separate Males?

Aunt Angus

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5 Years
Jul 16, 2018
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Nevada County, CA
Howdy. I have 2 males in my flock of 20. One is my 3 yo Sebright. The other is a 4 mo Leghorn. So far, they have had a few scuffles, but nothing serious at all. The Leghorn mostly avoids the Sebright, which is good.

The Leghorn has shown ZERO aggression towards humans, but he is a bit rough with my hens. I know he's young and needs to refine his technique. I put him in jail tonight because he was chasing my Orpington all over the place. My hens are trying to teach him manners, but he's slow on the uptake. Jail is a crate in the coop.

How can I separate him until he's settled down a bit? I've not had 2 males before. Forgive my stupidity.

I can put him in the grow out pen in the run, no problem. Will that create integration problems later, or will he be close enough that he'd still be considered part of the flock?

I can also make a bachelor pad - maybe. How far from the hens would they need to be?

TIA!
 
This isn't as big a problem as it seems. One rooster and a cockerel coming into his hormones is actually a pretty good match. The older rooster will naturally be dominant, and the cockerel will naturally be agreeable to play second fiddle to the older guy.

This is how it's worked out in my flock. Around six years ago, I got a Cream Legbar chick that was supposed to be a pullet. When it turned out to be a cockerel, I was fine with it because the flock was currently without a roo. Later, he fertilized eggs that a broody hatched, and one of those was the second roo.

The Cream Legbar named Strawberry took over the training and discipline of his son Tootsie Pop. Even though Tootsie was full of the devil and very energetic, Strawberry consistently monitored his every action, and he made it very clear when Toots was misbehaving that this wasn't going to be tolerated. Tootsie's punishment for mistreating a hen was to be chased around the yard. During Tootsie's year or two as a "rookie roo", he was chased around the yard by Strawberry on a nearly daily basis, Toots screeching like a little girl.

Yes, they did fight. But the fights were only for Toots to learn he is and will be second roo and that Strawberry's first roo. Now these two are both mature and extremely well mannered. They are also best friends, happily spending time close together when they aren't with the hens.

It can happen that the younger roo will challenge the older one. If the older one is meek in temperament or on the sick side, the younger one could win top slot. It's also possible that two roos will be hopelessly combative, and the only solution is to remove one from the equation.

Yes, it's a good idea to have a bachelor pad for your two roosters. It will make flock management so much easier if the boys have their own spaces. Some days, the roosters free range alone while the hens remain in their run. Other days, I will let a few of the younger hens out to free range with the two boys. Or some days, all the hens get to free range while the roos remain in their run.

My runs are in full view of both roosters and all the hens so they all have plenty of opportunity to communicate with one another, which they happily do. It makes for a very peaceful and contented flock.
 
This isn't as big a problem as it seems. One rooster and a cockerel coming into his hormones is actually a pretty good match. The older rooster will naturally be dominant, and the cockerel will naturally be agreeable to play second fiddle to the older guy.

This is how it's worked out in my flock. Around six years ago, I got a Cream Legbar chick that was supposed to be a pullet. When it turned out to be a cockerel, I was fine with it because the flock was currently without a roo. Later, he fertilized eggs that a broody hatched, and one of those was the second roo.

The Cream Legbar named Strawberry took over the training and discipline of his son Tootsie Pop. Even though Tootsie was full of the devil and very energetic, Strawberry consistently monitored his every action, and he made it very clear when Toots was misbehaving that this wasn't going to be tolerated. Tootsie's punishment for mistreating a hen was to be chased around the yard. During Tootsie's year or two as a "rookie roo", he was chased around the yard by Strawberry on a nearly daily basis, Toots screeching like a little girl.

Yes, they did fight. But the fights were only for Toots to learn he is and will be second roo and that Strawberry's first roo. Now these two are both mature and extremely well mannered. They are also best friends, happily spending time close together when they aren't with the hens.

Yes, it's a good idea to have a bachelor pad for your two roosters. It will make flock management so much easier if the boys have their own spaces. Some days, the roosters free range alone while the hens remain in their run. Other days, I will let a few of the younger hens out to free range with the two boys. Or some days, all the hens get to free range while the roos remain in their run.

My runs are in full view of both roosters and all the hens so they all have plenty of opportunity to communicate with one another, which they happily do. It makes for a very peaceful and contented flock.
Oh, this might work! Whew! I really like the Leghorn so far. He's curious and observant. Just really, really "eager."

So I could put the boys in the yard next to the hens? They'd be able to see the hens. And would I be able to free range all of them together at any point during the separation period? Or does separation need to remain complete until big ol' Cayenne is a little more mature?
 
You may put the two with the hens any time you wish. Just be aware that having access to the hens puts extreme pressure on both roos, and there will be more conflict. Even now in their advancing ages, my two boys almost always have a gratuitous fight whenever I let the hens out with them.

You might wish to let the two boys work through their relationship for a few months before you put any hens into the mix.
 
You may put the two with the hens any time you wish. Just be aware that having access to the hens puts extreme pressure on both roos, and there will be more conflict. Even now in their advancing ages, my two boys almost always have a gratuitous fight whenever I let the hens out with them.

You might wish to let the two boys work through their relationship for a few months before you put any hens into the mix.
I'm going to start this today. We'll see what happens.

I like the *idea* of having roosters, but it's a lil stressful at times.
😂
 
Once you know how your roosters will behave under most circumstances, around strangers, with each other, around the hens, one on one with you, roosters can be very enjoyable and entertaining.

The only thing you may face that you would need to address is the young one's attitude toward you. Be alert for any aggression toward you and be ready to correct him by restraining him until he responds by relaxing. That will mean he's acceding to your wishes. The months between four and eleven can be confrontational with some cockerels, depending on their temperament.
 
Yep, @azygous said about what I was going to say but personally I only ever jail my juvenile and never the senior rooster.
It sounds mean but he's in full view of everyone he just can't hassle the hens or write checks his butt can't cash with the senior.
Plus it gives him a bird's eye view of how things are supposed to be done.
Senior rooster seems to enjoy his captive audience quite a bit too, no fighting through the fence or anything but a lot of smack talk and wing shuffling for darn sure.
I don't do this all day, only early morning until about noon just long enough to let those morning hormones settle down so a little more thought goes towards being a chicken instead of a fanny missle.:)
 
My youngest roo is currently in an adjacent pen due his "over-eager-ness". The other, older & dominant roo would only police the situation when it happened in front of him. The younger roo was consistently lagging back and targetting the laggard hens, away from the dominant roo. I had hoped the situation would correct itself but a couple of hens were looking a bit ragged. Also this heat is a consideration as not even the chickens need to be running around and stressing in it. If I find someone roo-hunting, I'll probably move the younger one on.
 
My youngest roo is currently in an adjacent pen due his "over-eager-ness". The other, older & dominant roo would only police the situation when it happened in front of him. The younger roo was consistently lagging back and targetting the laggard hens, away from the dominant roo. I had hoped the situation would correct itself but a couple of hens were looking a bit ragged. Also this heat is a consideration as not even the chickens need to be running around and stressing in it. If I find someone roo-hunting, I'll probably move the younger one on.
I find he's worse in the evenings, right before bedtime. If today's little experiment isn't great, I may try jailing him just in the evenings.

He sure is attached to the other Leghorn (a pullet). I kinda feel bad for separating him from her, but such as life...
 
Morning and afternoon are peak hormonal times for males.
Take a look at the feet and legs at those times, you should see a reddish tint.
When they're wearing their red socks they're definitely not wearing a matching thinking cap.
Ever heard the old saying "sexier than socks on a rooster"?
He'll be fine though, watching them pine for their hatch mates does pull at your heart I can't deny that one bit.
Got to remember though he's mostly pineing with his pants right now.
I've been there nearly shed a tear or two and in the same breath threatened to put pants on him because he grabbed a neck through the wire.
As you said, such is life.:)
I find he's worse in the evenings, right before bedtime. If today's little experiment isn't great, I may try jailing him just in the evenings.

He sure is attached to the other Leghorn (a pullet). I kinda feel bad for separating him from her, but such as life...
 

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