Too many roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Darlene415, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Darlene415

    Darlene415 Chirping

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    Hi all....not sure I'm posting in the correct forum but here goes. We incubated a dozen eggs in September, 5 of which hatched, 4 of which so far are roosters. Everyone is telling my husband we must get rid of them or atleast 2 of them, now these people don't even have chickens number 1 so what the heck do they know. I know 4 roosters for 1 hen is too many so we are on our way as we speak to purchase atleast 10 - 4 mth old pullets to join our flock. I love my roosters, only one is snotty so far and has been since the day it was born, i do not eat my chickens so crock pot is out of the question for my roosters, i am attached to them already and do bot want to get rid of any of my roosters. Yes they all have names, they are for pets and eggs only. So what im thinking is keeping all my roosters and adding 10-15hens to the flock and if the roosters get too aggressive i will release them from the 10x30 pen and let them free range and just keep 1 in with my hens...does this sound logical or is it too far fetched...i need opinions as we are new chicken folks! Thanks!
     
  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    Do you plan to quarantine the new pullets? They should be kept separate from your current 5 for several weeks to ensure they are healthy before you start to slowly integrate them into your flock. You will want to be on the look out for coccidiosis outbreaks in both flocks.
    In the mean time, you will need to separate all but one of your cockerels from your current pullet.
    If you just try to boot these boys out of the pen, they will still see the pullet and will likely start fighting when the hormones start to kick into overdrive and that time is very soon.
    11 pullets for 4 cockerels is still likely going to be too many males to females. I tried just 2 cockerels to 10 pullets and my girls were getting overbred with gobs of feathers being ripped out of their heads and necks and generally being roughed up. I sent the nicest boy off to a new home.
    You may want to just keep one of your cockerels. The one that is showing the least signs of human/pullet aggression. However, once the rest of the boys have been removed, all bets are off on his continued good behavior.
    Long and short, I'm afraid you will need to rehome most of these young boys or your pullets will suffer the consequences. And sooner or later, those boys may really injure each other.
    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  3. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Addict

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    There are a number of us who setup a bachelor pad for our extra cockerels. Sometimes, it's a coop and run, others a separate fenced area and for me it's a chicken tractor. I choose the ones I want for breeding and they get to hang out with the girls. Then I'll setup my breed pens for spring hatching. This is an unfortunate reality when we hatch our own as there always seems to be too many cockerels.
     
    casportpony, N F C, alexa009 and 11 others like this.
  4. Keeperofmunchkins

    Keeperofmunchkins Songster

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    You could consider keeping just roosters and rehome the pullet. It is possible to have male only flocks if they don't fight, which is less likely when they were raised together and have no hens to fight over. They will make a lot of noise and of course won't give you eggs but they can be lovely to keep as pets if you are already attached to them.

    Otherwise I think you may still have trouble with four cockerels. But it all depends on their personalities and the temperaments of the pullets you get. I would recommend getting older girls who are already laying and are older than the boys so they will not be bossed around too much. Younger pullets can be very nervous and get bullied by the roos. Also you will need a LOT of space for that many chickens with four roos in the mix to help prevent them aggressively overmating.

    I once successfully kept three roosters together with only six hens for a several months (before I rehomed two) and there was zero problems. The two smaller ones were raised together by one of the oldest rooster's hens so were his sons. They did not fight and they established a hierarchy within the flock. The hens free range so are able to escape their advances and the boys by nature were just not that prone to excessive mating plus are very gentle Bantam breeds. So it is possible but it 100% depends on the individual birds' behaviour and their living arrangements (i.e having enough space to escape each other).
     
  5. SimplyLivinthatFarmLife

    SimplyLivinthatFarmLife Crowing

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    When I initially got chickens some years ago, I inherited an extra rooster. I had only planned to have my Lavender Orpington girls and one rooster. At any rate, the two got along fine when they were younger, but started to fight as they got older. I soon had to make the boys leave the pen and so they just wandered the yard. Unfortunately, a few months ago, something got my Copper Maran rooster and so I then integrated my Lavender Orpington rooster back with the girls. All is well. I have another pen with two roosters and there has been no fighting at this time. Of course, one is a Bielefelder, so he is much larger than the Cream Legbar rooster. So far, so good. They will be separated soon.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Sometimes rooster flocks in the absence of hens work. Multiple roosters in a free ranging flock with lots of territory sometimes works. Frequently in either of these situations something can trigger an all out rooster war. 4 roosters in a pen with any number of hens is most likely not going to work.
     
  7. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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    It sounds like a bit too much time, expense and work to keep a flock that large for keeping hatched cockerels

    Sell them or rehome them in a different way. Here we have rooster rescue places.

    Additionally, if you are going to continue incubating, come up with a plan for the cockerels.

    I have had hatches that were nearly all cockerels. If I wanted to keep a flock for each them, I could have hundreds of cockerels
     
  8. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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    Here rooster flocks are suspicious to authorities. It is a sign that the game of kings is being played and bet on.

    There are laws against keeping too many roosters. One person a county over had his heritage breeding flocks destroyed because of too many cock birds. Quite sad
     
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    And that is so absolutely unrealistic as anyone who has ever dealt with games knows that rooster flocks will absolutely not work with them. SMH at sheer stupidity.
     
  10. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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    The guy sued and won but of course had to start over fresh with his breeding program. It was very sad!
     

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