when to separate the boys and the girls


11 Years
Jan 12, 2009
i have 26 buff orpington chicks, all 10 weeks old. 13 males, 13 females. we're keeping all the females and a roo or two for our laying flock; the rest of the boys go in the freezer by august.

how long can i keep housing them together? we just moved all 26 into their new, larger hoop house/chicken tractor today. they are loving it. but i keep noticing how much trouble those boys are; they rough house, pick on each other and the girls, jump on each other, etc.

can i just keep them all together until the boys go to freezer camp, or will the boys keep harassing the girls like crazy? i want the girls and whatever lucky roo i choose to have time to develop their own flock identity/pecking order, too. i just don't want to move the boys unless i have to, because the other, smaller chicken tractor requires someone to refill the feed and water twice a day (due to size).
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The Orpington Roo's are mean and nasty they will try to obtain a pecking order as to who will get the girls it is horrible and it sounds bad. The biggest roo will show who is boss and the next one on down. The smallest and weakest get torrmented which makes me not want to go near them. Do as im doing put them on death row now. Or you will be sad. Mine are 16 weeks and I dont like any of the roo's. I've been bitten way to many times by them and some of them I think are CRAZY. We are in the process or culling them now. A couple a day. The craziest ones have been sentenced to death row. (with all good accomidations- food shelter water straw) The hens are sweet as can be caught up in all the roo drama. Good Luck
well, that sounds about like where we're headed, although they're not that bad yet.

i wonder if i can hold off until 16 weeks, just so they get big enough for a good meal? i don't know how much they weigh now, at 10 weeks, but they don't look big enough yet.
I kept my roosters with the hens until they were 15/16 weeks old, then I had to separate them. The hens weren't interested in the boys yet and couldn't get any peace.

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