Young Cockrels Fighting

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Grover, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Grover

    Grover New Member

    My chickens are just a barnyard mix and were hatched August first. I have 15 and can't tell by looking at them what gender they are. Last night two puffed up their necks and fought each other for about five minutes! What should I do? Cull and kill right away? I want to keep one nice rooster. Now that they're all calm I can't tell who it was that was fighting last night. They're still pretty small to eat. I'm trying to build a self-sustaining dual purpose flock.
    Thank you for any input and help you have for me :)
    Grover (newbie to being a chicken farmer but loving it immensely)
  2. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

    Without seeing pics to help you determine gender, I would assume that you have two cockerels (roosters) battling for the alpha position. Let's assume you just have the two roos, leaving you with 13 hens. A ratio of 2 roos to 13 hens is a little high; the general rule of thumb is one rooster for every 8 to 10 hens. I wouldn't rush to cull just yet however, for a couple of reasons.

    The pecking order has to happen. It's their society and everyone, even the lowliest hen, has to find their place in that society. I currently have two 7 month old pullets (young hens) battling for position and they put my two roos to shame with their fights. Still, my motto has always been...if no one is getting bloodied, let them sort it out.

    Secondly, with the ultimate goal being to pick the best rooster for your flock you need more time to watch them grow and see which roo stands out as the better one. A rooster plays three roles in a flock - provider, protector and procreation. At three months old your young boys haven't matured enough to show which of those traits they excel at. Waiting longer to cull, if you should decide to do so, gives the other bird time to grow to into a decent sized meal.

    In the meantime, I would just enjoy my birds and watch them. If it turns into a bloodbath every day, then by all means get rid of the worst offender. Otherwise, let them sort it out. It truly is interesting to watch them grow and develop as a family unit. Good luck to you in your chickenkeeping adventure.

  3. piglett

    piglett Senior Member

    the thing that comes to mind 1st is many breeds of chickens will never go broody so you will never have chicks unless you want to buy a bator & hatch them out yourself.
    we wanted dual purpose birds too so we went with buff orpingtons
    the hens came from 2 different people & the roo was free on craigslist
    we also have 8 new silkie chicks camping out in the woodshed under 2 heatlamps till they grow a bit bigger.
    silkies love to sit on eggs , any eggs
    so when they start going broody come spring i'll put the eggs that o want hatched under them. if the power goes out rite in the middle of a hatch chickens don't care & they will just keep on sitting.
    the same can't be said about a store bought incubator.

    good luck & please post us some pictures of your flock