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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:23 am 
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Gallant Game
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Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:39 pm
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Location: Port Pirie SA
I am lucky to live on 150 acres and when I let out one cage I leave the other for half an hour and then let it out. The pens tend to head in opposite directions to forage (luckily) but care is needed when they come back to roost. They get frisky in the evening lol! My pekin rooster will take on anything and anyone. My sussex roo, the cat and always my kids. I cannot stress enough to keep your roos away from your kids, even the pekins. I have had to destroy Pekin roos for this reason. Roosters can be relentles, if you don't have the space rehome one.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:29 am 
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Gallant Game
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Location: Port Pirie SA
On the child/rooster thing a friend worked on a station up north and the managers toddler escaped and visited the chook pen unsupervised as they can often do (quick little buggers). I imagine the pen was a distance from the house. The rooster attacked the child and the child died. Roosters shouldn't be underestimated.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:52 am 
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Golden Magpie
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i am not saying i am perfect and i am not saying it is impossible to keep roosters together. i run quite a few roosters in the same yard but never are they locked in together. at the moment on approx one acrea i have a marans, 2indian bantams, 2 large indians, 1 australian game large, 5 pekins. they all have their own pens. my biggest worry is the ausie game which for such a large rooster flies over his fence. he has put all the pekins in their place with only a couple of drops of blood. the pekin roosters heard their wives away from them. i am constantly watching. most of the pekins and indians are locked up in their own pens at night as the aussie is the wild card. at the moment i am wandering how much i want him as i do not feel like adding a meter to the height of his pen and really the reason he gets out is to be with is laying hens who get out.

it is all a complicated time consuming way of keeping birds.

i wold never lock 2 roosters in the same pen. i have 2 large indian roosters together but then the pen is the larger than the average suburban backyard and one dominates the other and they can stay out of sight to each other. the most important time for me to check on these birds is during the hottest part of the day as a slight squabble will result in one being rolled on his back and dieing in the hot sun. a pekin rooster could do just as much damage to one of these fellows.

putting your spare roosters in a large training type pen within the main pen is all you need. you can rotate roosters or keep the one rooster confined in case you need him. eventually he will settle. it is better to lock up the bird atthe bottom of the peck order as the one at the top has ownership ofthe hens and will stress more and take longer to settle. or on the other hand have separate pens where roosters can have their own hens . the limitations are only as limited as your imagination.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:20 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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OK now I was under the impression you could but I will take the warning given.

I now have a question. I have roosters that I do not want to keep and are mixed breeds so no good for show, I was planing on keeping them in 1 pen (no hens) until they are ready to eat. They are all within 1 week of each others age. Can I do this or do I need to pen them separated. I do understand that I would need to keep an eye on them but I do not want them to suffer before their end.

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Last edited by rum pig on Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:51 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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As long as they've been brought up together, are NEVER separated from the group - even for a few hours - and have reasonable space then yes, you can house them together temporarily without guaranteed death.

This depends on breed and parenting, however.

At one stage I had 20 Australorp cockerels housed in a decent-sized - but not enormous - pen. They were all pushing 10 months old and had been housed together continuously all their lives. There was scrapping but no major injuries (I know this because most of them are now sitting in our freezer :) ). However, one boy escaped early on and got himself into another of my pens, where I already had two roosters - we found him and thought he'd escaped recently and threw him back in.

2mins later, I rescued him from the thumping-to-the-certain-death he was getting. He'd been out of the pen almost a full week, and the others were NOT having it ...

I had one flock which successfully permanently ran two roosters, and I'm trying to do it again but with less success. Requirements:

* LARGE pen. Mine's a minimum of 100m round, which is at least 650 square metres. Huge coop at night. Both roosters slept in the coop but on different roosts.
* Shrubbery/undergrowth/hiding places. The trick is "out of sight, out of mind". If the dominant rooster can't see the less-dominant, he won't try to kill it. If the less-dominant can run and hide, he's not going to get the tar beaten out of him.
* Enough hens to roosters. My flock was about 30 hens, two roosters. Some chooks preferred one, some the other. Joseph (less dominant) could play with girls up one corner, completely hidden from view and sight from Dale, 30 metres away.
* Calm breeds. Joseph was Barnie/Araucana, of a line of calm, placid roosters who don't find young cockerels a threat. Joseph was Wyandotte x, without a vicious bone in his body.
* Grow up together. That is, either the same or similar hatch age and introduced when still peeping chicks, or one introduced to the pen as a peeping chick, which your average rooster will ignore or even be paternal toward. The Barnie/Aras are particularly paternal, and the tolerance seems to last their entire lives - as long as there's no separation.
* Never separate them for longer than about 24 hours. I got away with separating Dale for about three days, when he was almost killed by a tapeworm, because he was dominant and Joseph was barely crowing. They did challenge when Dale went back in the pen, and we did intervene to be sure. We got away with it, I think, because Dale was dominant. I'm not so sure Dale would have tolerated Joseph going out and coming back in again.

I've got three boys in a tractor awaiting the freezer; they've been there about three weeks and that's about their limit. They're starting to scrap. They'll be processed this weekend.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:51 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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So 12 and 11 week old would be to old to join two groups together.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:47 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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As long as they're not crowing, and you've got space so they can all run and hide while they integrate, they're still chicks at that age so I see no reason why it can't work. I've integrated known boys of that age into an existing flock in my "grow-out" pen, which is basically where I chuck everyone I'm sure sure about.

16 weeks or older would be more difficult - only because of the crowing and testosterone.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Only one is crowing so hopefully they will be OK if not I can remove any that cause trouble.
it should be large enough I may just add a few more spots to hide.
:thanks:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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ruff wrote:
....it makes me angry where people want to keep roosters together, no matter what the breed. you are not the first one who has attempted it and most likely not the last. there are some here who i tell them not to do it but they go ahead anyhow.


I realise Ruff that you are talking about introducing a grown rooster in with another rooster's home...
because i am pretty sure it's widely accepted that if you bring up a chick/cockerel under a dominant rooster (as we have) then you dont really have any issues (as we haven't) until the cockerel starts to jump on the roo's girls, and then its time to move him to another pen with his own girls. As mentioned previously, our roosters sleep side by side. But the young fella is now discovering his hormones, so i have almost finished a new pen for him and his girls.
I think far removed from this post where blood it being drawn from continual attacks. This i believe is irresponsible and quite cruel.
So i i don't agree with your blanket statement, as there is a difference between a cockerel coming up under a rooster compared to introducing a rooster. Both will be roosters living in the same pen, just with different results.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Thought I'd add my 2c

I have 3 Roosters in the one pen, not an overly large pen about 6mx15m with a smaller pen about 6x6m they can also go in.

2 Roosters have been living together since I got them when they were young (thought they were pullets but thats another story) and they occasionally have an argument but it's usual just a peck on the head and is alot less violent than some of the fights the hens get into.

A few weeks ago I got another roo and threw him in (he did have 4 girls with him aswell) and the older fellas gave him a bit of a peck and that was it (though he did cop it from and cranky hen)

Though they dont perch next to each other they do allow each other to mount chickens near them as long as it's not their favourite hen.

I have also gotten away with seperating them for a few days and putting them back no problems at all and none have ever drew blood.

Though just to point out these are just my chooks and I'm most likely just lucky to get away with it.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Location: Landsdale, WA
I currently have 9 roosters with 8 hens in a pen of 13mX10m. They get along fine. So far no blood loss. Of the 9 roosters, 2 came into the pen together while the rest were added over time. There are 2 dominant roosters who crow the most and get to mount the girls. The others tend to crow sparingly or not at all and do not have any mounting privileges. The 9 roosters are mostly cross breeds with one pure orpington, one pure barnevelder, one pure RIR and one pure silky. May be I've got breeds that are less aggressive, so no fights so far. I hope they never end up fighting.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Golden Magpie
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imagine yourself as the older male bird having to defend the hens and having a young ckl on the side trying to rape every hen he can grab from any angle he can find. not only is it stressful for the hens but stressful to the dominant rooster. then again that lower down ckl has to find a roost at night etc etc. for every extra rooster in the pen the stress increases. i remove my ckl as soon as they start harassing hens. they are at their worst in the late evening and in the morning when birds are coming off perches.

if i do not have enough pens to put these birds in then i have to kill one. as i remove a ckl then another takes his place in having his hormones come into action and again the cycle is repeated.

pekins you do not grow out to eat. other breeds you do. pekins it is easy to make multiple single rooster pens. here you have the delimer, lock it up and grow it out or kill it early and dispose of the body. no mater how good they are going to grow out as an eater i still cannot sell them and will not give them away. i do have a few banks of training pens to put growers. i do not have pen for mass grower ckls. anyhow i do not like seeing ckls rape each other as i feel that this is stressful and unnatural....not unlike a prison for humans.

it is said where these ckls cannot see a female they are better behaved, i do not know from my own testing. indian game can be killed early before hormones kick in. i have seen in these all rooster pens one ckl that takes the flack of all the frustrations of the others. it grows poorly and is raped repeatedly and is a sacrificial bird for the the others.

ultimatly it is what you will tolerate in your flock.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:05 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
ruff wrote:
it is said where these ckls cannot see a female they are better behaved, i do not know from my own testing.


From my experiences this is true, from watching the eventual bachelor flock (as I gradually removed the definite pullets) get older. They could see girls, I admit, but could not get close, and I never saw them mount eachother instead. (I did watch them quite closely and quite a lot). I've learnt to move the boy-only groups well out of sight of girls, which definitely keeps them calmer and less frustrated.

The moment one actually mounts a hen, however, that's it. It changes the whole dynamic and the cockerel himself, and causes problems.

I wouldn't do this long-term, though. The bachelor flocks are all culls waiting to be made into dinner, and I try not to have the situation going for more than a couple of months.

I'm comfortable running two roosters permanently in a large flock, under the circumstances I have. The space is more than large enough that it actually ends up as 2-3 separate flocks, with each rooster having his own flock and territory. It wouldn't work with aggressive breeds or individuals.

I wouldn't be comfortable having roosters and hens on a 1:1 ratio because I worry about the strain on the hens. 1 rooster to 3 hens as a minimum, up to 20 at most.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:08 pm 
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Showy Hen
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I so agree with you Ruff ultimately it is what you will tolerate and the sort of conditions you will live with. Just the thought of that kind of trouble, to me it is best prevented. I love a sense of harmony and I believe that that is what animal husbandry is about. Taking chances is just not good enough.

And roosters being roosters, aggression can happen at any time, you may not be there, just a little surge of hormones and the smell of blood.

Even my young cockerels once away from mum are seperate until such time as they are either killed or sold. It is upsetting for the girls too all this testosterone.

Nice and easy is what I like and prevention is better than cure.

Mina

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:30 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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I accidentally ended up with two roosters in my flock: I had an existing rooster who was hatched from one of my hens so is quite tame (but I certainly don't test that and would never completely trust him). I took two "hens" from a neighbour who had too many hatch at the one time. Well, one of the "hens" turned out to be a rooster. The original rooster is the dominant boy and is certainly in charge. He sometimes chases the second rooster away from his favourite two girls but has never tried to fight him. I think the fact that the second rooster 'grew up' in the flock has helped with this.

Having said all of that I don't think the second rooster is seen as much of a threat for the original - he hasn't quite mastered the art of mating! He approaches a girl, does a strange looking scuffle next to her and she runs away :rofl:

Of course if they ever do begin to fight I will not hesitate to adopt the second rooster out as I could not stand to see one get hurt.


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