separation of hens and roosters within the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by eodtek32, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. eodtek32

    eodtek32 New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Dec 25, 2011
    Howdy all,

    We have been blessed with at least two Buff Orpington hens that have reared their first clutches of eggs. Our primary purpose for the flock is eggs and meat.

    Now that we have nearly doubled the size of our flock I am seeking advise regarding the requirements on separating the newly hatched roosters from the remainder of the flock as well as any other issues like in-fighting, limiting numbers per run, etc.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,453
    7,667
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I would suggest having a separate enclosure ready for when the cockerels become mature and start competing.
    They'll be fine all together until the testosterone starts flowing, then things can get ugly fast.

    You could probably leave the cockerels all together, best to be out of sight of the pullets/hens, until large enough to harvest.

    Multiple enclosures, how many depends on your goals, resources and management techniques.

    Integration can be another issue.....are the broodies raising their chicks within the flock or separately?
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    [​IMG]

    I keep a grow-out pen for my cockerels. How big depends on how many you're housing. My I pull them any time from 2-4 months, depending on how hormonal they are and how many I'm running in there. I have very limited sparring amongst them. They do share a fence with a breeding pen, but the rooster there doesn't allow any shennanigans along the fence, they steer well clear of him.

    One nice thing about raising birds for meat is, if any specific bird is just too big a butt-head, go ahead and butcher him [​IMG]. Even if he's a touch young, getting rid of him can restore peace in the pen.
     
  4. eodtek32

    eodtek32 New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Dec 25, 2011
    Thanks for the advise thus far.

    The chicks are currently being raised separate from the rest of the flock; just with their mothering hens.

    I am going to have to work up a separate coop for the new males.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Depending on the time of year you hatch, and how long the cockerels are going to be in the pen, you don't necessarily need a full blown coop and run. My grow-out pen has a two sided shelter that started life as a goat shelter, and is enclosed with wire horse panels topped with chicken wire (to prevent chicks from going out the larger holes in the panels). I put bird netting over the top to keep the birds in, thankfully I have good predator deterrants so don't have to worry about that. This pen was easy to put up, and would be easy to take down or re-configure as my needs change. Just throwing out there a grow-out pen can be a temporary affair.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,741
    1,382
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    As another idea, if you in the future leave your broody hen with the flock, the hormones will be enough to make her top hen, at least my BO's have always been so, even the rooster is leery.

    What I am finding, is that chicks raised with a broody hen in the flock, have different social dynamics than chicks raised separately. If you have an established Adult rooster, you can often keep your juvenile roosters in the flock for considerably longer........ and as stated above, butcher if a problem starts to occur.

    One of the points that you made, that can often be forgotten in chicken math, is what you stated. "We have doubled our flock" While chicks, it is not such a big deal, but each day the chicks get bigger, the space becomes more critical. I cheat in the summer, as I free range most of the day almost every day....... but come winter, they are confined to the coup due to the short days...... then you need to be down in numbers.

    Mrs K
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by