Too Many Roosters

NCGirl

Veteran Member
So we originally ordered 8 hens. One turned out to be a rooster. They are now 2.5 years old.

Last spring, bought 6 red chicks. 1 turned out to be a rooster. These guys fly! Several of these have flown the 5' fence and one of my GSD chases them back in. Sometimes he catches one.. we have lost 3 of these red hens so far.

One of our original hens raised up 3 babies this spring also. 1 was a rooster.

So we have:

1 rooster
7 hens

1 red rooster
His 2 hens
6 months old

1 baby rooster
His 2 hens
5 months old

Also have 3 buff geese in the yard.

At night they have a fully enclosed 50'x50' night yard and 10x12' chicken house.

Daytime they have about half acre to scratch around in. So far each group keeps somewhat to themselves but also mingle peacefully. When I throw down some scratch or treats the original rooster might chase off red rooster but nothing major.

Do I need to get rid of one of the roosters or will they be ok?
 

Digger

Senior Member
The oldest rooster will not produce as many fertile eggs as he did in his youth. I get rid of my roosters after 2 years. I usually keep 2 roosters in case something happens to one. But one rooster for every 12 hens or so is a good number. 3 is going to be too many for 11 hens. If they are in seperate pens with their respective girls, you are ok though. Having the room to run will help a lot too.
 

West

Senior nut
If you quarter up the roos you don't want, stick them in the fridge and vary lightly fry just the skin to a light brown with spices for a minute or two so the bones are still cold. And give to dogs every other day or so.

Dogs love it. We've been giving our guard dogs a quarter of a chicken at least every week. Walmart has some on sale sometimes for .79 cents or less a pound.
 

TxGal

Day by day
If your roos don't become a problem with attacking either your hens or people, you are/will be very, very fortunate! I'd perhaps considering rotating your roos amongst the hens for diversity in offspring. I'm certainly no expert and others will weigh in with far more experience that I have!

All and I mean all of our roos ultimately ended up in the freezer due to their attacking family members or the hens. All of our neighbors also have had the same problem...no idea why, this was across varieties and a wide range of purchase locations. Just unlucky, I guess. Unless we go into a major depression/societal upheaval, we don't plan on having any more roos.
 

NCGirl

Veteran Member
I had the meanest rooster awhile back and had to dispatch him. I decided no more mean roosters. This oldest rooster has never been a problem at all no matter who comes in the pen, yet he watches out for hawks and warns everyone. He's a nice roo. I hate to get rid of him due to that. The other two are also no problem but they are young yet, they could turn mean. If I have to get rid of one of them, I guess it makes most sense to get rid of his son.
 

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
They might get along this winter, but in the spring, will probably start to fight. Won't hurt to wait and see. I've been known to keep an extra rooster over the winter, because ya never know but you could lose one. Roosters seem to take the brunt of any predator attack.
 

Walrus

Veteran Member
It's because they come to the defense of the girls when there's a threat, so they tend to be the first victims - especially of something like a bobcat or eagle. We had a great Australorp that was lost this way; I couldn't figure out how he'd gotten the wounds on his chest until I realized they were probably talon marks.

They're just doing their jobs so they tend to be the first to go, but they died being good roosters.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Whether or not the roosters will get along just depends on the roosters. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. I have several right now, and they seem to get along fine, but they roam several acres, so they can keep some space around themselves.

Sounds like you need to make your fence a little higher, to keep the hens in. If some are getting out, they may show the others how to get out, and your laying hens are kind of expensive dog food.

If I had your flock, I would probably make a separate pen for one of the roosters, possibly two pens in case of need (extra pens always come in handy for something, like separating hens that are getting picked on, or broody hens setting on eggs). I would not get rid of any of the roosters at this point, because the way things are going, who knows if you'll be able to get new stock next year. Rotating breeding stock will help prevent inbreeding.

Kathleen
 

Displaced hillbilly

Veteran Member
We just gave our huge barred rock rooster to someone who has a bigger flock than us and totally free range. He was so big he was hurting some of my smaller girls. As in ripping their neck skin off. Otherwise he was a good guy. Guess he’s loving life now with so many ladies. We did hatch a roo this year. He looks like he will be much smaller than his dad. His mom is a small Easter egger. Hopefully he turns out to be a nice guy.
 

Digger

Senior Member
You can cut the feathers on one wing of the chickens getting over the fence. Only cut one wing. They can’t get lift with uneven wings.
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
I keep 2 roos with 16 hens. I usually go a couple years and switch them out. All the extras and older hens get souped. They free range so get tough fairly quickly.
 

Firebird

Veteran Member
We have never had more than 2 Roos (20 acres), and they usually paired off with their favorite hens. However, in a yard that small, I would just keep 1.
 

ShadowMan

Crusty ol' Codger
I remember my uncle turning one mean arse rooster inside out with a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun at point blank range after it attacked me and my little brother and spurred my uncle as he was rescuing us. Black feathers EVERYWHERE and no rooster in sight.
 
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