Will putting the roosters out help?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GrowingonFaithFarm, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. GrowingonFaithFarm

    GrowingonFaithFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2009
    Prospect, TN
    I have been told that I have a bad rooster to hen ratio. 8 hens to 4 Roos . It may be causing the delay in my hens starting to lay so I am trying to fix the problem as quickly as possible without putting such beautiful Rare breed roosters under the ax!

    They are currently listed for sale on a local swap & shop board but in the meantime I am hoping my alternative measure may help. At 6AM I turn on the light in their coop and then kick the roosters out to free range while leaving the hens inside the coop to be fed. I then let the roosters in at about 6PM and then turn the light off at 8. I am hoping this will deter any harrassing going on but it may just stress the girls out even more since they are no longer getting out to range. Please tell me if I may be doing the wrong thing!
     
  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The plan sounds ok to me for the short term until you get rid of 3 of the roosters. The presence of roosters will not affect the hens ability to lay unless they are of maturity age (the roosters) and are constantly mating with the hens, which would be visible to you. The hens need to feel safe, and have privacy at the nest box in order to lay. If the roosters constantly chase them, they will not feel safe. What kind of behaviors are you witnessing? If the roosters are not mature yet, I don't think it matters at all.
    It's hard to rehome roosters -- I ended up having mine butchered. Once I got over the butchering aspect, it was nice to have chicken in the freezer to make yummy stews with. Just a thought.
     
  3. smith2

    smith2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Paris, TN
    Yes, you definitely have too many roos per hens. Three roos need to go somewhere, especially if they are "teen" roos. Teenage roosters can be aggressive, chase the hens constantly, and can just generally be half-wild. My teenage roos are awful. They eventually calm down and start acting with a little less hormone driven aggression. Your plan seems good for the short run. Maybe try to find another pen to keep the 3 roos in until you find another more permanent home for them. A large dog pen/crate might work well for separation purposes, if you could afford one and have a good place to put it. Just some ideas. [​IMG]
     
  4. GrowingonFaithFarm

    GrowingonFaithFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Prospect, TN
    Well, I tried just turning the light on early to fix the problem, however I noticed a lot of commotion going on when as I was walking away that I had never heard before in the coop. Turns out as soon as the chickens awaken for the day a lot of "action" starts! I was not aware of this since for the most part I have not been in the yard that early since the chilly mornings started. So evidently the girls have been getting harrassed a lot more than I had thought. I knew my Sussex rooster was a pretty "mature" bird but I was not aware the rest were as well. So, there in lies the reason for the ousting.

    As for the butchering, it is not unthinkable for us but the Roosters are (except the Sussex) pretty rare and they are truly beautiful examples of their breeds that I was hoping they would get to be breeders. We had A LOT of hens killed by a dog at 15 weeks or we would be doing that ourselves but right now we do not have the funds to start that over again. Hopefully someone will be of a like mind and take them off our hands soon. If not the ax will have to be a top priority on the ol' list.
     
  5. GrowingonFaithFarm

    GrowingonFaithFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2009
    Prospect, TN
    We do have a large dog crate we use to transport our goats (miniature goats so it is not THAT big) but I was worried that putting them in that would make them fight since it is such a small space. Do you think it would be OK since they would be away from the hens? One of the lowering ranking roos constantly seems to be getting his comb pecked by the other boys and I have been separating him early in the morning for a long time for that reason but so far I have not seen any fighting when they have all just been in the yard together with no hens around, but then he does have a lot more room to get away. Maybe I could just put the Alpha roo with the hens and put the other 3 in the crate. Never a dull moment around here!

    Anyway, thanks for the insight!
     
  6. smith2

    smith2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breeds are your roos?
     
  7. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Maybe you could put the "extras" in a crate and then let them out for a few hours in the morning and then put them back into a cage/crate -- and then let the hens and their one Roo out for some "free' time.

    So hard to make such difficult choices -- especially if you have some good looking Roos!!! [​IMG]

    You seem to have a good plan -- I hope that you can get back on track in 2009!!! [​IMG]

    Cindy
     
  8. GrowingonFaithFarm

    GrowingonFaithFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2009
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    In answer to the breed question. I have 2 Delaware, a Cuckoo Maran and a Speckled Sussex. It is especially hard to think of rehomeing the Maran since we had wanted Chocolate Eggs so badly and had planned to breed him to our Delaware hens to at least get some really dark brown layers. Too bad the straight runs all turned out to be roosters even if all but one got eaten by dogs! The Sussex was our favorite but all of a sudden he has turned mean and is pecking. He is now in a crate we have for the goats all alone. I have one Delaware Roo in cooped up with the hens and the othen two are running free in the yard. I will put the other two up with the Sussex tonight. That will make things a little easier since for the last few days I have been sorting roosters to get them out of the coop without letting out hens in the process.

    Thanks again for all the advice!
     

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