Two Backyard Roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jraev, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. jraev

    jraev Hatching

    Dec 13, 2014
    About four months ago, my family and I purchased six chickens from a local feed store. Over the past few weeks we have come to learn that two are roosters. We had not been informed that if we purchased pullets there was a chance that we would receive roosters. Our coop is not very large, and we have already witnessed the tension between the two roosters. Another problem that we have heard of is that most backyard chicken flocks contain 8-12 hens per rooster. We only have four. My question is how we manage this. We do not cherish getting rid of either rooster, but we do not want rooster injuries or over-bred hens. I would like to know how to keep the peace between the two roosters and to prevent the over-breeding of our ladies.

    Any answers you have are helpful.

  2. Monguire

    Monguire Songster

    May 18, 2014
    Manassas, VA
    It will largely depend on the temperaments of your boys. The 10+:1 ratios are not hard and fast rules. They are guidelines that folks with heaps more experience than us toss out to keep us nooblets from getting into too much trouble until such time as we have enough experience under our belts to know how flexible the guidelines are.

    That said, it seems like the easiest manner to address would be to give them more space. You allude to possibly not having enough with a "not very large" coop. Guideline is 4SqFt minimum per bird of useable coop space and 10SqFt minimum per bird of run space. In my original coop, the alpha cockerel would get crabby every evening at sundown and go after any chook that got close to him on the roosts. After moving my six (4 pullets, 2 oopsies just like your situation) to larger coop ALL behavior issues disappeared.

    So far, my two boys have gotten along well together. They have been together since day one. The alpha doesn't let the other cockerel mate much. The alpha has his favs though...usually the ones who put up the least fuss (his woo-fu is still weak and the girls pretty much ignore him) are his goto-girls but he does spread the love around if not evenly. It is something you will have to keep an eye on and address as appropriate (i.e., get saddles for the favorites, get more ladies, get the hatchet, etc).
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I would get rid of one, or both (if your goal is not raising more chicks), cockerel(s) asap.
    I assume that the 'roosters' in questions are about 4 months old and just starting to show their hormones?

    I used the partition area in my coop and/or large wire dog crates to segregate problem males, the effect of removing them from the flock population is an almost instantaneous relief to everyone.

    Harsh reality of keeping chickens, you have to deal with 'extra' or 'mean' cockerels/roosters.
    I harvest mine, they are delicious...hard to do but beneficial in many ways, not the least being peace in the egg house.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'm with aart, look into getting rid of them. With a small flock like this, and you didn't want roosters in the first place, sell or give them away. Get two more hens in the spring and you'll not only have more eggs, you'll have a more peaceful flock.

    If you're seriously determined to keep the roosters and feed nonproducing animals, build them a bachelor pad separate from the hens and house them completely apart. This works for a lot of folks.

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