We have 4 free ranging hens that are now 24 weeks. We also have 24 free ranging roosters that we are raising for meat, they are 13 weeks. They are ready to butcher at 15 to 18 weeks and we will be doing that in small batches. We do confine the birds at night because of foxes, the roosters separate from the hens. We got the hens in August and when we got the baby roosters the hens immediately let the chicks know who was in charge. Now some of the roosters are as big as the hens and starting to get their beautiful feathers. The roosters are 3 different and I think mixed breeds, the hens are barred Plymouth rocks. The hens are still in charge but a few of the roosters are starting to cockadoodledoo. The roosters were confined for the first few weeks because we lost a couple chicks to crows and hawks. They eventually starting fighting so we took are chances and started free ranging. My concern now after researching sexual maturity that with only 4 hens we may start to have some problems. We lost our whole last batch of meat birds to a fox and I don't want to wake up one morning to find that my roosters have killed each other. Also, we were thinking about keeping 3 of the prettiest strongest roosters and trying to fertilize some eggs. The hens haven't started laying yet but they have some different behavior lately and we're hoping it will be soon. We won't keep the roosters forever as I think because they're bred as meat birds they don't have a long lifespan, maybe I'm wrong about that???? Meyer Hatchery calls them fry pan bargains. Maybe just because they are mixed breeds they are sold as meat birds and they could live a long healthy life. Questions.... Will the hens even mate with these roosters that for now they dominate? Will the roosters all murder each other some night when confined together? If I keep my favorite roosters will they die young because they are bred as meat birds? If I get new baby layers will the roosters kill them?