Separating a breeding pair or trio? How long can they live together?


Mar 14, 2015
Southeast PA
My Coop
My Coop

I'm not a serious breeder, inexperienced in pair, trio breeding etc.

Looking for some input on feasability...

I have 2 roos that I want to keep for breeding (just hobby). Standard Size.

My flock is free range, and the roosters get along, but I'm short hens for another month or so, girls are getting pressured but the 2nd roo is the one I want to use for breeding anyway so he will need to be separated at some point.

I want to take the "son" out of the mix and give him a hen or two. For example in their own 10x10 pen and coop.

I can guess it depends on how much he breeds the hens? But could this arrangement work indefinitely?

You're right. It is entirely dependant on the boy. If the hens start to look rough or stressed out by constant rooster attentions, then it would be time to remove him. Another option is to have a 'bachelor' coop/run for the boys to live in full time. When you are ready for hatching, add the rooster of your choice to the flock of hens.
You could have both roosters in a separate pen until either you have many more hens, or separate into two flocks. It might be a problem to have the boys separated from each other for any reason, and then try to have them get along together again. Mary
Thanks for the ideas and input!

I have one roo in a separate pen now, he is not happy, paces constantly. (He won't be staying).

But I thought if he had a hen, and maybe fabric up so he can't see the others it might help also.
It's a try it and see how it goes kind of thing.

I had a rooster and two hens in a smallish breeding pen when space was tight, I think the pen is 10x4. No coop, just the pen. Now, this was a mature rooster and hens, not young birds. Mating was a routine thing, no drama. The hen's feathers were still beautiful and smooth after a few months.

My other breeding pens are 10 x 6, I think. Right now I'm housing a rooster and 4 hens (one is broody, though, so not taking up much space
) and they're doing fine. I've only had that pen set up a month or so, and the birds (except the broody) are all younger. There's a touch more drama, but the hens all look good and there's no big screaming or resistance to mating.

Mostly, what you need to do is keep an eye on the hens. Behavior, are they stressed, nervous, not coming down from the roost? How's egg production? Physically, how is feather quality? Some hens have more brittle feathers and don't tolerate closer attention from a rooster without looking poorly. An increase in parasites (internal or external) would tell you you need to change something.

If everyone looks healthy, is productive and relatively calm, you should be able to run a trio or quad in a 10 x `10 pen indefinitely.

Here's a link to my pens so you can see what I'm dealing with....
Nice looking boys! I love rooster pictures....I'd love to have a yard full some day. They're just so pretty.

The pens have worked pretty well for us. The middle one, while I liked that we utilized that space, is a bit tight when I'm trying to clean with a pitchfork. It's too narrow to turn around
. But, it works great as a grow-out pen, and the smaller size means it's easier to catch the little buggers when I need to!

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