Should I separate my hens from my roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Salo0009, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Salo0009

    Salo0009 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Mar 30, 2012
    Newbie here! I have a mixed flock of 7 month old hens and roosters. I wish I had more hens but I lost several to predators and a couple of my hens turned out to be roosters. I'm planning to get more hens in the spring to balance things out. In the meantime my free range chickens have been in there 15x10 coop (with attached outdoor run) since Thanksgiving when it turned cold and snowy here in Minnesota. In the last two weeks I've noticed how rough most of my hens look. The roosters are constantly bothering them, and I'm feeling sorry them. I'm thinking about separating the hens and roosters, but I would rather leave them together since they have been together since birth. I have a four season porch where I brooded the chicks where I could move the hens until spring and give them a break from the roosters. Is this a good idea? Would the roosters be ok in a bachelor pad? They get along fine now. Would I be able to integrate the hens and roosters in the spring or would it be all out war? I'm planning to get more hens in the spring so my ratio is better. I could leave the hens in there and get saddles for the ones who look the most bedraggled. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
     
  2. 5SweetChicks

    5SweetChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    6
    81
    Oct 28, 2012
    Michigan
    I would seperate them. Roosters can get very upset when the hens lay eggs. Sometimes they will smush the eggs and break them and attack the hens if they are paying attention to the rooster. Also the rooster will probably start to fight over hens and they could kill each other over it.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    29,286
    3,327
    491
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I know what you are going through--I had to get rid of 9 extra roos from spring recently. I would definitely separate the boys from the girls, but leave the best rooster in with the girls if you have enough girls. One only needs a rooster to about 12 hens, and you have to be willing to give away or eat the extras if you are going to raise chickens.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Cockerels raised together usually do just fine in a bachelor pad. We do this all the time. Oh, sure, there is the occasional testing of each other, but surprisingly little.

    But frankly, at 7 months, it is decision time on all of the cockerels. Pick your breeder and the rest? Time for freezer meat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,531
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You don't say how many hens and how many roos, but if the hens are rough looking it's time to manage the flock differently. Pull the hens out and, as Fred said, make a decision on those roosters. How many roosters are you appropriately going to manage? Cull some out.

    And just cause it's cold and snowy doesn't mean your birds can't still free range. The might like to just move around a little, even if the pickings are slim for forage.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by