Too many roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by fjwallace, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. fjwallace

    fjwallace In the Brooder

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    I have a rooster problem. I have 2 Brown Leghorn, 2 Golden Buff Orpington, and 3 Silver lace Wyandotte roos, plus a Black Sex-link. Currently I have my 7 hens cooped because they are overwhelmed by the roos. Let me say that I once had 30 hens, but the fall of 2018 our fenced in yard was invaded by the neighbors pit bulls and we lost over half the flock, including ducks, and bantams. My question is, if I coop the roosters and let the hens free range, how likely is it that the roosters will turn on each other and there will be a blood bath. I really would like to give the extra roos to someone, but no one wants them, but I also don't want them fighting like I'm afraid they will if they are all in one coop, and I don't have the facilities, yet, to separate them. Any comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    No one can give you guarantees on behaviors, it's possible for a flock of hens with no roosters can have fights to the death. Anything is possible. It sounds like you have cockerels, not roosters. Sometimes cockerels can be even worse.

    However a bachelor pad is a common way to keep a bunch of roosters with little or no fighting. It doesn't always work but it usually does. They need adequate space like a flock of hens would, overcrowding can cause problems.

    I sometimes put a bunch of cockerels in my grow-out coop/run if things get too rowdy in the main chicken area. Some years it is not a problem in the main area, some years it is. I keep the cockerels there until they reach butcher age, 5 to 6 months old. I hardly ever have any issues with serious fighting. There are surprisingly few skirmishes.

    With my set-up, the cockerels can see the rest of the flock. Often pullets will hang out in their area, just across the fence. This does not cause a problem. But some people that try this say they have to block vision from the females or they will have serious fighting. each flock has its own dynamics and we all have different set-ups. I certainly accept that different people have different results.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    The reality of roosters is tough pretty much all the way around. Thank goodness you recognize how hard that many roosters are on your hens. They can over-mate and bully your hens, they can become human aggressive, or they can fight each other until bloody or dead. Just an ugly situation.

    I would reduce the number of roosters. I think I count 8 roosters. You do not say how old they are, but regardless, I would dispatch all of them. If you can't eat them, bury them. It will be a tough day, but the next day you will be so happy you are back to a peaceful flock.

    Mrs K
     
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  4. fjwallace

    fjwallace In the Brooder

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    So, I guess I don't really know the difference between cockrells and roosters. Can you enlighten me?
     
  5. fjwallace

    fjwallace In the Brooder

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    So, I guess I do not know the difference between cockrels and roosters. All my males are 10 to 12 months old. So how do I tell?
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    The technical definition of a cockerel is that they are less than one year old. After a year they become a rooster. To me that's a lot like saying that all humans go from child to adult on a certain birthday, often 18 or 21. I've seen people in their 40's that were still immature.

    To me it is more of a matter of maturity, which is harder to define. At a certain point a cockerel should start acting like an adult. Instead of being driven by hormones he has self-control. He performs his duties as expected by chicken society and acts more responsibly. Instead of relying on brute force to get his way with the females, he charms them with his personality and magnificence. They want him to be the father of their children instead of seeing him as an obnoxious brat. I've seen a cockerel as young as 5 months act pretty mature, I've had some take as long as 11 months. Some people on this forum have some go longer than 12 months to finally grow up.

    The way I tell is that his behavior changes and the flock gets ore peaceful and settled.

    The above is sort of generic. I don't think it has a lot to do with your situation except that cockerels are more likely to fight than adults if they have been integrated and they have settled certain things.

    Your question was how likely are the males to fight if you coop them instead of letting them free range. My answer will be the same whether your males are 5 months old or 2 years old. As long as the pen is large enough, they often get along quite well. But sometime you have problems. There is only one way to find out. Try it.
     
  7. silkiekeeper

    silkiekeeper Songster

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    It's not impossible to keep a bunch of roosters in a pen together. The question is whether it is humane and fair to them. As long as they are given A LOT of space, it may work. I had at one time 6 roosters in one pen and my hens in the other pen. They got a long very well for the first year, until last spring when the hormones hit. If there are any hens in the vicinity, it may turn ugly. In my situation, I made the very difficult choice to give my roosters away because I knew it wasn't the right natural life for them (no hens, no space). I have kept 2 roosters, one for each pen. They each have their own hens and everyone is happy.
     

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