A Tale of Two Roosters

If you’ve been following my stories about Broody Abby and Pip, you know that our flock now has two roosters.


Double Dots, often mostly called Dots.  He will turning 1 year old in a couple of weeks and has been the king of the flock and sole protector since September.

He’s my “Gentleman Rooster” who woos the ladies with all the smooth moves, waits patiently for them to eat treats and scratch before he does and stands guard when they dirt bathe.


And Pip, aka Little Pipsqueak, because that’s what he was when Abby hatched him.  A tiny yellow pipsqueak who kept the whole coop up at night with a non-stop commentary of “cheep-chee-cheep.”

He’s turning 18 weeks tomorrow and is starting to wonder why none of the ladies like him.

He stands guard, too, mostly from the roosts or the window of the coop, and he tries to point out good things for the hens to eat, imitating what he’s seen his papa do.

They ignore him in favor of Dots.

Dots has him regulated to the window and rafters.

They have never really fought.  Pip has a healthy respect for papa and all Dots has to do is buck-buck, ruffle feathers and run at him in the right tone of voice and Pip returns to his designated areas.

Chastised and sulky, but without injury.

Dad thinks we need to get rid of one of them.

But… We have twelve hens in the coop and eighteen chicks in the brooder who are almost ready to leave it.

At least six of those are girls who might find Pip attractive as a mate/protector someday.

And Pip is ours.  Our home-grown baby boy who didn’t come from a store or hatchery.  He came from our farm, our stock.

I don’t want to get rid of him.  I feel that the flock is big enough to sustain two, maybe three, roosters.  So long as they get along well.

Pip, being raised in the coop all winter with Momma, Papa and his “aunties” does seem to have a healthy respect for Papa’s rules.  There have been no challenges and all the pecking has been the hens pecking to warn him off.

Very little chaos.
For those of you reading this…. how many roosters do you have?  Do they get along in the same space?  Can Pip and Dots possibly cohabitate and learn to work as a team? Or am I just deluding myself?  Will I someday have to choose between Little Dude’s favorite rooster (Dots) and the baby chick  (Pip) we raised this year?

 

(In case anyone is wondering, any of the new brooder bunch chicks who are boys, I intend to rehome or send to freezer camp, so as of right now, none of them are in contention to be keepers.)

 

8 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Roosters

  1. I think, since there haven’t been any real fights, you should wait it out until your chicks are adults – if he has some more hens to woo he may end up with his own little harem later, and Dots will have his own. I currently have three roosters, with 15 hens. These roos all grew up together last summer. They do sometimes fight a bit, but only occasionally. I’ve noticed throughout the winter that they are developing their own little harems of hens. I’m hatching a bunch of chicks this year, and will only be keeping hens (unless I end up with a really awesome rooster, but mostly the new roos will end up as dinner) so I’ll have more hens for my three to keep them busy and away from each other – with your chickens, I like that Dots is nice to his hens, and woos them, and that Pip is seeming to learn some tricks from him – that sounds good 🙂 I think you should wait it out. If things start getting a little crazy, you could try separating him for a bit, but that may not be needed – I think the hens will just put him in his place. You may have some squabbles for a bit as he matures, but with the newer hens growing up he’ll end up with some of his own. You may have some issues if you have baby roosters though, as they mature. But Pip is older so he’ll be more enticing to those hens when they mature, most likely. Then you’ll have to figure out what to do with the younger roosters. One other thought (sorry for the long reply) – you may have to watch pip as your baby hens mature – he may try to mount them when you first integrate everyone, and he may be too large for them at first. Just something to think about – I don’t know when you’ll integrate them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be sorry for the long reply!!! I love hearing how other people are doing this and how it works out. 🙂

      I think what makes me hopeful is the fact that Piphas grown up *with* Dots. He’s not a new-comer and he’s had all winter to observe and understand how things work. We had that two-flock integration last year where we had ALL THOSE ROOSTERS at once and it was hell. 29 roosters and we kept Dots. I wanted to keep another one, our of the RiRs but none of them were nice. Like, at all. I had some who actually followed me around hissing at me and that was a disaster. We sent them all to freezer camp.

      While Pip isn’t ‘cuddly’ the way Dots is (Dots likes to be picked up and loved), Pip is respectful and definitely not mean. And he has learned a lot Dots’ mannerisms and protective nature. Because he spends so much time in the coop, he watches it and stays alert when people enter. I always announce myself and talk to him. He’s just young.

      The way our coop is set up, we have a place where DH can put up a door (screened in chicken wire) and split the coop in two. We’ll be moving the babies fromthe brooder in about 2 weeks. Unless they hit a growth spurt and need to go sooner. It’s still comfy for them, so I’m going with 2 weeks. They’ll be old enough to NOT need a heat lamp.

      DH is also going to split the enclosed run, so that the little ones can go outside once the weather gets warmer and the big ones can have access as well.

      The two groups will be able to see each other, but not touch, for a while. When the babies are bigger, maybe closer to the end of June or first part of July (they will be hitting the 20-week mark mid-July) I can think about integrating. By then, I will have figured out what to do with any ‘brooder bunch boys.’ Like I said, as soon as I know how many boys there are, I’m going to try and rehome. I may hit up Craig’s List or a local ‘yard sale’ site to advertise them.

      But that’s how I’ll do it, slow integration by getting them used to the idea of seeing each other through the chicken wire, and then I’ll do what I did last year… start by opening the door during the day, but keeping them separate at night… do that for a little while… and then remove the door so everyone can have access.

      We did that last year with the sexlinks and the RiRs and no one killed each other. It was just a long process while I waited for the RiRs to catch up to the sexlinks in size.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. This is what I was wondering as well. I know some people keep separate flocks in different coops/runs/areas and they aren’t ever together. I want to be able to look out and see a happy flock of birds all in one place.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. I prefer a flock that’s all together too. I also take out any roosters that are aggressive – our three are all pretty calm around us – well, one isn’t, but he runs away; he’s a scaredy-cat. But nobody is aggressive to us so they all get to stay.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t get rid of him!! I’ve noticed that roosters often get along when they grow up together. I have a flock of about 20 hens and 7 roosters. It sounds out like too many, but they live in perfect harmony. There are squabbles sometimes as they test their limits, but mostly, everyone knows their place. They each have their own hens. Sounds like yours are perfectly ok together! Wait and see what happens! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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