Which cockerel should I keep?

robyn8

Songster
Mar 21, 2016
348
46
121
Dexter, Michigan
We have 3 hens and 5 pullets aged 7 weeks and 9 weeks (some purchased, some hatched at home). We also have 2 cockerels 9 weeks old that our hen hatched. Assuming they do not get along and we can only keep one, which should we keep? will it be obvious which one is the better rooster? I don't care about looks, they are mixes anyways, and just want one nice to the ladies and us. Is the beta typically more gentle or does that not matter at all?

And also, if he breeds with his sister or mother, will we have issues with the chicks? I'd like to use my own eggs for broody hens just to have less hassle, but will we have a lot of birth defects due to inbreeding? or does that not start till a few more generations?

Thanks!
 

Peeps61

Songster
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
1,369
974
236
NW Florida
We have 3 hens and 5 pullets aged 7 weeks and 9 weeks (some purchased, some hatched at home). We also have 2 cockerels 9 weeks old that our hen hatched. Assuming they do not get along and we can only keep one, which should we keep? will it be obvious which one is the better rooster? I don't care about looks, they are mixes anyways, and just want one nice to the ladies and us. Is the beta typically more gentle or does that not matter at all?

And also, if he breeds with his sister or mother, will we have issues with the chicks? I'd like to use my own eggs for broody hens just to have less hassle, but will we have a lot of birth defects due to inbreeding? or does that not start till a few more generations?

Thanks!
I had the same situation with my hatched chicks. We had two roosters who were almost identical. The only way I could tell them apart was that one had the cushion comb from his father and the other had a straight comb from his mother. These guys got along fairly well, unless I confined them separately overnight. Then, they'd fight for a bit until the less dominant one ran away. After that, it was peaceful.
I don't think you'll have inbreeding issues with a first generation. I'm more concerned with the number of hens to roosters ratio. You have enough hens for one rooster - two will over-mate and stress them out. You really will just have to observe the two roosters and see which one seems to be doing the best job and is not human aggressive. They are typically around 9 or 10 months before they start to act like they have any sense, after the flood of teenage rooster hormones. I kept both of mine, but I had 27 hens, so no problem with having enough ladies for both.
Good luck choosing!
 

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