So what happens to all the roosters in the wild?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chocobo, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Chocobo

    Chocobo Chirping

    May 27, 2011
    From everything I have read flocks do better when there are only a few roosters to many hens but half of all chickens that hatch are male.
    In captivity people tend to eat the surplus roos but what about feral/wild chickens and Red Fowl?
    Are wild flocks composed of half males? Do the roosters who can't climb the ranks roo go off on their own?
    I'm sure some roos would attack and kill each other but if there was 1 roo for every 10 hens like in captivity that would mean a 90% male mortality rate which seems far too high to me.
  2. ronniewayne

    ronniewayne Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    i dont know what happens to them but i have thought of this and i do think that is the reason they are the watchers and protectors of the flock...they are willing to die for the safety of the in the wild they would then need a ready replacement...and in the wild the flock would be smaller i would think ...just a guess but maybe 3 to 6 hens and 2 or 3 a lower part of the food chain survival past 2 yrs would seem improbable...just my thoughts nothing sientific here ...but we have had game free range chickens with no supplemental feed and they live a bit like wild ..roosting in the trees and nesting in tall grass on the fencerow and such..that seems to be the way they live..usually about twice as many as the flock # raised each yr for replacements..and about 1/2 of those actually make it through the 1st winter and the cycle begins again..if you ever get to observe any living like this you will see they do not come to you but get away from you fast usually...
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I agree with ronniewayne. I think the extra roost live on the outskirts of the flock waiting for their opportunity to take a dominant role.
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
    Feral chickens have more room to sort out flock dynamics. You will see submissive roosters living among the hens but they mind the dominant rooster. You'll see these roosters finding food and offering it to hens, they do alot of clucking and less crowing. If they do mate or crow they make sure the dominant rooster is far away.

    On the other hand, Roosters with strong drive to mate will fight to the end to be number one, and the loser is left behind to recover or die.

    Sometimes a large flock will break up into several smaller flocks and you will see roosters herding his harem always careful not to cross that invisible boundary. Occasionally, you'll see minor disputes over hens or territory but all in all this type of flock is rather successful. Feral chickens spend more time in trees, and I've seen lookout roosters perched in strategic locations to warn the flock of danger.

    Remember, a true feral chicken has come from generations of wild stock and are nothing like their domesticated kin. They can fly, run, and adapt very quickly to new situations.
  5. akbanry

    akbanry In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2013
    Oregon City, OR
    I know this is extremely old but just in case you're still interested: I sell chicks and always offer to take unwanted roosters back. I end up loving so many of them that I keep them if they are able to sort things out. I have a main roo who is the boss. He allows other Roos as long as they submit to him. If two Roos lower in rank than him start to fight each other, he runs over and stops it, being the hardest on whichever roo is the newest. The other Roos run to the opposite end of the yard when they want to crow and don't do that very often. Some never crow, always pretending they are "just one of the hens". Then there are some roo's who have fought badly when introduced to each other with out my main Rooster there to stop them. These were both Roos who were older and used to having their own flock, and were not willing to submit. When that happens I have to cull.
    Thorn Fulford and keepmumsane like this.

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