Two roosters,should I keep them both???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lisa W, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Lisa W

    Lisa W Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 31, 2013
    I have 4 hens and 2 roosters. Got the 2 boys when they were young and thought one was a hen. They are both full size now. They have been managing to get along pretty well so far. The one dominant rooster has aligned himself with 3 hens, 4th hen keeps to herself, and the other rooster is kinda a outsider. I have not witnessed any battles. Thinking ahead and expecting to have problems with 2 roosters I have been looking for a good home for one of them. I have a local lady willing to take one. Here is my predicament. The lady who is willing to adopt one says she has a flock of 13 hens and I'm pretty sure she already has a couple of roosters. She indicated she lets them free range during the day and needed more roosters to protect the girls. One chicken friend thinks I'm setting up my boy for a serious battle in this new situation, so I am debating on keeping him. To add to my dilemma I'm getting 3 more hens tomorrow. I would truly love if everybody could get along and I could keep both roosters. I only have one pen and a large protected "exercise" area for them right now. It would be some work but not impossible to petition into 2 areas. That way I could separate the 2 roosters giving each their flock. I would love any advice or opinions on this especially your thoughts on taking the one rooster to the new home. Thank you
  2. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2014
    My advice for you is to wait it out. The roosters have not fought yet and they have grown up together. Therefore, wait to see if they fight. If they do then consider rehoming him. Roosters will develop a group of hens that are there favorites. When you add the three new hens the other rooster most likely will not be interested because he already has a group of close hens. The rooster with no group will notice the new hens and take the opportunity. Having two roosters with that amount of hens might be a good thing. Although there is always the chance that things won't go smoothly. If they don't then figure out where he should live.
    1 person likes this.
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    If your hens are not feeling harassed by having 2 roosters, then they may all be okay together. Roosters raised together in particular can coexist but it can be hard to predict if and when anything may upset the social order and a fight could break out, so it might be hard to say how they will respond to the new hens. I think it could be worth a try to keep the submissive rooster. He would not be going to a better situation if he is rehomed in a flock that already has roosters. If you decided to partition the living areas you would need to be both the coop and the outside pen.

    I had extra roosters who lived out their lives in a bachelor coop with only occasional sparring and they never hurt each other. On the other hand, I had a flock with multiple roosters where the older alpha maintained the peace for over a year, and there then was a major rebellion that resulted in injuries and moving the roosters.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Two roosters for 7 hens is generally one too many. They could just all get along, but it's very likely that your hens will be overbred and stressed. If you could separate the two roosters and let your second one hang out with the new hens, that would be great. I believe you would be setting your rooster up for some major fighting if you were to give him to the person you mentioned. If she has two already, they have established their pecking order. Add yours and they will fight with him. The same would happen if you added a third to your flock. The current ones would view him as a threat and fight him.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    How old are the birds in question? If they're juvenile, without the hormones flowing full force yet, things may change a lot in the next few months. You may also change your feelings toward them when you see them gang up on one of your hens. I think even with adding the new hens, you should cut down to one rooster. Chicken mating is unsettling enough with one rooster.
  6. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Tending to my chickens
    One rooster can typically handle about 5-15 hens. However, if the two roosters get along great and the hens aren't tired of mating and they don't mate them constantly, then I see no reason why he should go. I always think that if it's not broken, you don't have to fix it.[​IMG]
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Very true.
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    X 2. I would just keep an eye on things and see how it goes once the new girls have arrived and have had plenty of time to settle in. I also agree that the situation with the lady who will take your extra roo does not sound like a good one, especially if it matters to you how things end up for him. Some people don't care where their extra roo's go, some do. Aside from pecking order issues with her established roo's, if she is using roo's to protect a free ranging flock then he's going to be dinner at some point.

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