Too many roosters

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium member
10 Years
May 3, 2009
92,036
162,659
1,837
New Jersey
There was a poor soul in my sport who had his entire kennel seized. By the time he was able to gain access to them, they had all been spayed. Some of the best producing b*tches in the area. So hard to set a $ value on such a miscarriage of justice and seek retribution.
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
23,926
13,445
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
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!
I am doing close to what you contemplating. A group of size free-range roosters are centered on a pen in garden near house. A much larger set of three free-range flocks numbering a total of 48 hens and three roosters are centered on pens located in the barn. My groups are not quite far enough apart so birds are trying move between flocks. To compensate, barn birds are allowed out on even days and rooster flock on odd days. In reality, a single game hen, also free-range, is released on the same days the roosters are out. She hangs with them loosely, but does not allow them to mate with her.


 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
21,833
11,813
641
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
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.
I pretty much do the same thing. I hatch out 200/300 chicks yearly. I did have a place where I could sell my extra males but they closed last spring so now I take them to a couple of local swaps and sell them. Originally they are all in a brooder and after they have spent 2/3 weeks in the brooder, the chicks go out to the grow-out coops and pens. My situation is quite different than the backyard flocks. There are times of the year when I'll have 400/500 birds total. Different feed for the different age groups.
This is my brooder, one of the bachelor pens and a grow out coop video.
2015-05-24 10.52.57.jpg
2014-11-11 09.59.28.jpg

 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
21,833
11,813
641
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Everyone has given you great advice. You can have males together providing there are no females in the mix. Once in awhile the young males may pick on one of the males. I take the male out that's being picked on. There has been a couple of times a female somehow got into one of the bachelor pens. Both times the female was ok and the males weren't constantly trying to mate her, but they were young males and the females had been in the same grow-out coop . Good luck and have fun...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
72,729
76,879
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
they are for pets and eggs only.
Then sounds like you'll need to keep a 'bachelor coop'.

The only thing males are good for around here is 1 for fertilizing eggs to hatch more layers...and the rest go to the grill or soup pot.

If you're going to hatch, you need a plan for the ~50% males.
 
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Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,310
12,614
707
Southeast Louisiana
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!

You asked for opinions, you came to the right place. We all have opinions. My main run is 12' x 32' so I have a feel for how much room you have. I also have a large area in electric netting, maybe 45' x 65', available for them so it is a different set-up to yours and different to most of the posters above. For one rooster and 16 hens that 10 x 30 pen should be big enough. I think it will prove to be pretty small for 4 males and that many females but there is one way to find out. As others have mentioned different things work for different people.

You do not have 4 roosters and a hen, you have 4 cockerels and a pullet. Be prepared for their behaviors to change as they go through puberty. No one can guarantee what behaviors will occur with living animals, it just works that way. It is possible things will continue to be OK, it is possible things can go south at any time. Adding those pullets could trigger an all-out war or it may go smoothly.

Some people free range without issues, others are wiped out from predators on short notice. Again no one can give you guarantees either way. Turning those cockerels loose may be a death sentence or they may live a long life out there. The way you say you feel about them I suggest you have a plan B ready. That probably means a pen you can lock the survivors in if they start getting picked off by predators or maybe just put them in that bachelor pen to start with. A separate pen like that is often handy just in flock management. You can use it to house an injured chicken if you need to, maybe make it into a broody buster, or for integrating in the future.

Good luck!
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
3,492
17,870
762
British Columbia, Canada
How far away from the hens would someone need to keep a bachelor coop to avoid aggression issues amongst the males? I’m in a similar situation, but plan on sending some of my future Roo’s for processing, but I also want to keep some for breeding, right now I’ve got 6/6 13 week old (cockerels/pullets) in a 6x12 chicken tractor, and about to put 9/4 5week olds into a second (I got burned on a Sapphire layer purchase, I think they heard farm and thought a great place to rehome* (spelling edit) a bunch of boys!)

On the note of Male aggression, there was a farmer raising some rare heritage pigs in our general area, super mild climate, and a very hardy breed. They were seized by the SPCA because he “didn’t provide adequate shelters for them”, no barn essentially, just some covered shade areas. They put all his breeding boars together in nice little covered pens and guess what happened? All the animals that survived their rescue were destroyed
 
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Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,310
12,614
707
Southeast Louisiana
How far away from the hens would someone need to keep a bachelor coop to avoid aggression issues amongst the males?
Like practically everything else to do with chickens I doubt there is a magic distance that works no matter what or that fails no matter what. I've kept cockerels in my grow-out coop/run that shares a fence with the rest of the flock until they were six months old and ready for me to butcher without any problems. Usually that happens after I let the cockerels stay with the main flock until they become a problem. Most years I don't have to do that but some years I do. Some of the pullets they grew up with often hang out just on the other side of the fence and I don't have problems. I haven't seen any serious fights or any injuries. Occasionally (not that often) I see some pecking order type fights but they usually aren't that serious.

I have no doubt others have had serious problems when the boys could see the girls. I would also expect some have had serious fights wit no girls anywhere around, though I'd think that is rare unless they are crowded. Age might make a difference too, mine are still cockerels when I butcher.
 

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