What should I do to keep two roosters and hens happy?

Salty Cookie

In the Brooder
Apr 10, 2020
24
17
26
Hi, I have 9 19-week old chickens. Two of them are roosters. One of the roosters (his name is Daisy since we thought he was she first...) who is No.2 is not popular among girls. They spend most of the day in a large fenced yard, and then I take them back to their coop/run in the evening about 7pm and they go to bed at 9:30ish. They do kind of fine in the yard but when they are in the run, some of the girls stay on top of anything they can to stay higher to escape from Daisy not to mount on them. I am raising 5 4 week-old-female chicks to make the family bigger to keep a healthy balance for the two roosters, but at the moment, the little ones cannot join the flock and this Daisy boy is making girls stressed out. I don't really want to cull him since he is cute in a way and he is Ixworth. Is there any way I can keep him and the girls happy?
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
6 Years
Apr 6, 2014
14,341
43,901
1,187
Melrose Park Illinois
Only suggestion that come to mind, without seeing your complete setup is;; keep Daisy out of run/coop area, until you are ready to lock up chickens in dark coop for the night. This way he will not try his tricks. Young roosters,, (he is still a cockerel until year old) go thru/experience unusual hormone levels that do make them act like unruly teenage children. :gig When they fully mature, they mellow out usually.
You need to carefully integrate your young pullets into your flock. They face danger from your older hens just as much.
Without seeing your coop setup, am wondering if you have adequate roosting setup inside coop. You should have different levels especially since you will be adding newcomers, (4 week old pullets)
Some of your older hens can turn quite dominant, and attempt unfriendly pecking order action, that can injure the young pullets.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and:welcome
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
84,311
97,725
1,677
SW Michigan
My Coop
Is there any way I can keep him and the girls happy?
Get rid of one of the males.
More females is not a 'cure'.

The 'rooster' to hen ratio of 1:10 that is often cited is primarily for fertility efficiency in commercial breeding facilities.

It doesn't mean that if a cockbird has 10 hens that he won't abuse or over mate them.

Many breeders keep pairs, trios, quads, etc ....short term and/or long term.

It all depends on the temperaments of the cocks and hens and sometimes housing provided.

Backyard flocks can achieve good fertility with a larger ratio.
 

Salty Cookie

In the Brooder
Apr 10, 2020
24
17
26
Only suggestion that come to mind, without seeing your complete setup is;; keep Daisy out of run/coop area, until you are ready to lock up chickens in dark coop for the night. This way he will not try his tricks. Young roosters,, (he is still a cockerel until year old) go thru/experience unusual hormone levels that do make them act like unruly teenage children. :gig When they fully mature, they mellow out usually.
You need to carefully integrate your young pullets into your flock. They face danger from your older hens just as much.
Without seeing your coop setup, am wondering if you have adequate roosting setup inside coop. You should have different levels especially since you will be adding newcomers, (4 week old pullets)
Some of your older hens can turn quite dominant, and attempt unfriendly pecking order action, that can injure the young pullets.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and:welcome
Thanks!!!! I will try to keep Daisy out of run as much as possible. They hang out in the yard which is a bit of walk from the run/ coop at the moment, so I walk them back to the run before it gets dark, but my husband is making a fenced garden around the run/coop so when it is done, controlling them would become much easier. I will just keep them out in the yard longer for the time being! And yes, I am just gathering materials to make a ladder-ish roosting bars for them and the young pullets since there is just a long bar inside now.
 

Salty Cookie

In the Brooder
Apr 10, 2020
24
17
26
Get rid of one of the males.
More females is not a 'cure'.

The 'rooster' to hen ratio of 1:10 that is often cited is primarily for fertility efficiency in commercial breeding facilities.

It doesn't mean that if a cockbird has 10 hens that he won't abuse or over mate them.

Many breeders keep pairs, trios, quads, etc ....short term and/or long term.

It all depends on the temperaments of the cocks and hens and sometimes housing provided.

Backyard flocks can achieve good fertility with a larger ratio.
My daughter takes care of them and she doesn't want to cull or even rehome Daisy. I don't want to hurt her and also thought it is a good teaching for us to just try without giving up...kind of thing, so I am trying to do what I can do to keep the chickens and my daughter happy. I told her I will try but if Daisy becomes a serious problem, she would need to agree with saying good-bye to Daisy... Thanks!!!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,297
9,374
596
western South Dakota
Adding more hens will not help. Roosters do not understand the notion of sharing hens, or these hens are your and these hens are mine. 12 hens will easily be covered by one rooster.

You do not really mention the other rooster. Is he not breeding the hens, or do they just prefer him, hang with him? Do the two roosters fight?

Locking them in later will probably help in the short term. However, this might not go well in the future.

mrs K
 

Salty Cookie

In the Brooder
Apr 10, 2020
24
17
26
Adding more hens will not help. Roosters do not understand the notion of sharing hens, or these hens are your and these hens are mine. 12 hens will easily be covered by one rooster.

You do not really mention the other rooster. Is he not breeding the hens, or do they just prefer him, hang with him? Do the two roosters fight?

Locking them in later will probably help in the short term. However, this might not go well in the future.

mrs K
The other rooster is the top of the pecking order. He is breeding the hens (he has two favorite girls) but the hens seem to be OK with him. The two roosters do fine, they don't fight. Only when Daisy mounts on hens and the hens scream, then Pine pecks Daisy but Daisy never fights back, just runs away.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,714
15,754
777
Southeast Louisiana
My general rule with integration and pullets and cockerels going through puberty on the way to maturity is that no one gets injured. As long as no one gets hurt in this temporary situation life is good.

19 weeks is an awkward age. The pullets might or might not be laying. When they start laying is when mine go from acting like immature pullets to starting to act like mature hens. When do cockerels pass from acting like adolescent brats and start acting like a mature rooster? No telling. I had one do that at 5 months, another took 11 months. Most manage somewhere around 7 months but most sure does not mean all.

I agree that adding more girls will not solve the problems with the boys. You have them and you can integrate them. To me that kind of complicates your situation as you integrate them but that's water under the bridge.

The way I read this, they do fine when they are out ranging. You obviously have enough room that the girls can manage. It's when they are in the smaller run that they can't run away so they avoid him by perching. Instead of using horizontal space when ranging to avoid him they take advantage of vertical space to avoid him. I've seen that several times. It's a temporary situation until the pullets and cockerels mature. Don't be surprised to see that when you integrate those four young ones. It's real common when I'm integrating juveniles to find them on the roosts when I go down to open the pop door in the morning. They are avoiding the adults on the coop floor.

I don't know what is going on with the two cockerels, how they interact with each other. Don't be surprised to see their behaviors toward each other change as they mature. They may eventually reach an accommodation on how to work together to take care of the flock or they may fight to the death. You just don't now. From what you describe it sounds like one is much more mature than the other for now.

I don't know what is going on between your other cockerel and the pullets. As they mature don't be surprised to see some changes there too. Typically if they can get through puberty into adulthood things mellow out. Usually but not always.

Pullets and cockerels going through puberty can get really wild. It sounds like yours is going pretty peacefully so far. Hope that continues. It's quite possible you are more stressed out about this than those pullets are. As long as no one gets hurt I let them work it out.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,297
9,374
596
western South Dakota
I agree with ^^Ridgerunner. They are working it out. As long as the pullets can get away, then that is working.

But this could get much worse. Two roosters are tricky, and much more tricky in smaller set ups. Personally, I would not add two roosters for a flock of less than 20. Even then, I would be hesitant to add birds raised as brothers.

But sometimes it works out, so far it has for you... but have a plan B set up, a way to separate them if needed.

Mrs K
 

Salty Cookie

In the Brooder
Apr 10, 2020
24
17
26
My general rule with integration and pullets and cockerels going through puberty on the way to maturity is that no one gets injured. As long as no one gets hurt in this temporary situation life is good.

19 weeks is an awkward age. The pullets might or might not be laying. When they start laying is when mine go from acting like immature pullets to starting to act like mature hens. When do cockerels pass from acting like adolescent brats and start acting like a mature rooster? No telling. I had one do that at 5 months, another took 11 months. Most manage somewhere around 7 months but most sure does not mean all.

I agree that adding more girls will not solve the problems with the boys. You have them and you can integrate them. To me that kind of complicates your situation as you integrate them but that's water under the bridge.

The way I read this, they do fine when they are out ranging. You obviously have enough room that the girls can manage. It's when they are in the smaller run that they can't run away so they avoid him by perching. Instead of using horizontal space when ranging to avoid him they take advantage of vertical space to avoid him. I've seen that several times. It's a temporary situation until the pullets and cockerels mature. Don't be surprised to see that when you integrate those four young ones. It's real common when I'm integrating juveniles to find them on the roosts when I go down to open the pop door in the morning. They are avoiding the adults on the coop floor.

I don't know what is going on with the two cockerels, how they interact with each other. Don't be surprised to see their behaviors toward each other change as they mature. They may eventually reach an accommodation on how to work together to take care of the flock or they may fight to the death. You just don't now. From what you describe it sounds like one is much more mature than the other for now.

I don't know what is going on between your other cockerel and the pullets. As they mature don't be surprised to see some changes there too. Typically if they can get through puberty into adulthood things mellow out. Usually but not always.

Pullets and cockerels going through puberty can get really wild. It sounds like yours is going pretty peacefully so far. Hope that continues. It's quite possible you are more stressed out about this than those pullets are. As long as no one gets hurt I let them work it out.
Thank you for an encouraging comment. Yeah, vertical space is important I have realized! The two cockerels have been doing OK so far. They perch next to each other when they go to sleep. But I guess it will change. 😅
 

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