Which Roosters to Cull?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by weeshanti, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. weeshanti

    weeshanti Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 12, 2013
    Central New Hampshire
    Hi! I am raising my first roostered flock, and have several roosters who will meet the freezer tomorrow morning. However, I'm having trouble deciding whether it's okay to keep more than one rooster, and if I don't, which is the best to keep.

    I have two flocks in one (plus guineas, but they're beside the point) - one foursome of bantams, and 11 "big birds" - barnyard mix full-size. In my bantams, I have two hens, one alpha rooster, and one little bitty roo who is so docile he lets my kids play with him and gets along well with his bantam alpha leader.

    In the big birds, I have five hens and six roos; five of the roos are definite freezer fodder, but one (a barred rock) is fairly docile and friendly, and doesn't seem to be beating up any other roos or, more importantly, my hens. I have had to separate my bantam hens because the big roosters have bloodied their heads, but this big guy seems not to notice them.

    At this point, I know that the two bantam roos and this big guy are the possible keepers, but is it dangerous to keep three roos in the same coop? They get along now, but is that because they're young (6 months) and the other roos are the alphas? The alpha bantam isn't bothered by the big roos, so will he continue to be agreeable with the rock? Will the big rock get aggressive once he's the only one left, or is rooster personality fairly set? I'm hoping to raise more chickens from eggs, so if I only keep one, which should I keep? Will they cross-breed?

    One other option, I suppose, is to get rid of the aggressive bantam and keep the two sweetie-pies, big and little. They ignore each other now; will that be likely to continue?

    I'm confused, and I fear emotion might be playing into this as well. I don't want to have to dispatch a single rooster later, so if they all have to go I'd rather they go at once; but if I keep all three am I playing with fire?

    Thanks for any insight. I have had laying hens before, but I am not so familiar with how roosters behave!
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Welcome to BYC.
    At six months they actually have some more personality development to do or not. If they grew up together they have a much better chance of getting along. The plan of keeping the two bantams and the barred rock sounds workable. But with five other large roosters the barred rock may have been suppressed and only showing you his submissive side. You can only go on what you have seen not on what may be.
  3. Fly Fisher

    Fly Fisher Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2011
    Upstate New York
    Your roosters are most likely going to have a personality change any time there is an addition or subtraction to the flock. It is also very likely that your BR Cockerel will have a somewhat different personality at one year of age. With that said if all of these roo's are currently living together the transition will most likely go smoothly.

    You might want to base your decision on your end game. Are you planning on breeding? Do you want the rooster to free range with the hens? If breeding is your goal I would pick for type and try for 2 rooster that will keep quality in your flock.

  4. weeshanti

    weeshanti Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 12, 2013
    Central New Hampshire
    I appreciate the replies! I think I will try to keep the three roosters and see how it goes. I would like to breed and increase my flock on my own, so having the BR is favorable, as is having a bantam for the little gals. Thanks for setting my concerns at rest a bit.


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