Testosterone poisoning

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 6chickens in St. Charles, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our babyroosters are almost 5 months old, and they occasionally spar but they break each other's fights up and the Big Daddy Roo breaks them up, too. At what age does this fighting become less frequent? We've only had an occasional tiny bit of blood.

    They are 5 babyroos and 4 babypullets living with the original 3 hens/ 1 roo for a total of 13 chickens. So far, everybody gets along well, sometimes the little babyhens squat for mating which the babyroos are happy to oblige. But , umm, they're siblings (should we stop that?) Here's some, they're all quite small and banty:
    [​IMG]

    So, at what age does this "Testosterone Poisoning" generally quiet down?
     
  2. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    With 6 males & 7 females all living together I expect the sparring will go on forever. It's normal dominance behavior. No "poisoning" involved.
     
  3. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    Quote:You may find that is to many roos.
     
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    You've got five too many cock birds.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The fighting and such is an individual thing. No two chickens will act exactly the same. Usually when roosters are raised together, they work out their differences without serious fighting, but not always. Sometimes they decide to kill each other. Purely individual. Something else you can look forward to. The older rooster is maintaining his dominance over the young ones by his maturity. At some point, one or more of the younger ones will mature enough to seriously challenge him. Often, they can work that out without serious injury, but your risk factor goes up.

    I raise roosters with the flock all the time, usually without any serious fighting. By the time they are as old as yours, I hardly ever see any fighting. They worked that out when around 12 to 15 weeks old. I suspect one major difference between us is that mine free range. They have all sorts of room for one to get away from the other. Since you live in the city, I suspect you do not have a lot of room. Lack of room can make it a lot worse. They don't have room to get away from each other if trouble starts. Also, if the more dominant rooster sees another rooster try to mate, he will likely interfere. Without extra space, they are in each others face so trouble is easy to start. So, when does the fighting become less frequent. With mine, 12 to 15 weeks. With yours, I have no idea, both from an individual personality perspective and a space perspective.

    I'll give you some links to threads on this forum where people talk about managing multiple roosters. You'll see that we all have different outcomes.

    Number of roosters thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=219443

    Managing multiple roosters
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=229968

    Breeders managing roosters
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=250327

    Another issue you will likely see is that your hens may be overmated. There is no guarantee of this, but there is a pretty good likelihood. There is no magic ratio to avoid this problem or to guarantee that it will happen. Some people have three roosters with two hens and don't have this problem. Some have one rooster and 18 hens and have this problem. Again, space and individual personality. But with your number of hens and rosoters, I suspect this is a highly likely outcome.

    I don't know what your goals are in keeping chickens. My normal advice is to keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. The fewer roosters you have, the less likely you are to have problems.

    As far as siblings mating. When you interbreed, you take the chance that certain traits will be strengthened when recessive genes pair up. Whether these are good or bad traits depends on what they are and what your goals are. There is also the question of genetic diversity. The different breeds were developed by interbreeding. Grand champion chickens at shows are normally developed by interbreeding. This is by people that hatch out a lot of chicks and very carefully select which ones will be allowed to breed. When you interbreed, whether father-daughter or brother-sister, you take a chance on good or bad genes pairing up. I don't see it being all that much different either way. I suh=ggest keeping the rooster you want to reproduce.
     
  6. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    very cute coop [​IMG]
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I'm 70 and still a victim to the poisoning.[​IMG] Too many roosters for too few hens. I would predict that as daylength increases so will the fighting.
     
  8. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    I have at this time 7 roos together some older some younger. There may be a bit of bickering but they don't bloody each other. 6 are Delawares and 1 is an Ameraucana. So far so good. I'm waiting for the butcher man to call. [​IMG] Since they're growing up together I expect they will bicker now and then.

    However if you separate them for any reason don't even think of putting them together again or there will be blood like you've never seen before. Nick and Eric got along fine. Nick had his girls and Eric had his. When I separated them to separate coops and then tried to pasture them near each other? Oh man that was that, no more out together, big time fight.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

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