“A chicken yard is not a chicken yard without a rooster”, but what if you have two roosters living together? It’s possible, but only if you have a good understanding of their personalities and know certain management rules. I will explain to you all the guidelines which, I think, are necessary for you to have multiple roosters.
Generally, two roosters can easily live together if there is no competition for resources like coop space, feed, and water. If hens are also present with them, then keeping the right hens to rooster ratio is also important for their well-being.
Keep reading further to know more about, how to manage more than one rooster in a flock. So, your flock can flourish.
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As a whole, two roosters will have nothing to do with each other, if they are provided with plenty of space for running and foraging (on average they need 3 square feet of the coop area and 10 square feet of open area).
The more area the better as roosters are very territorial. Some places have laws for keeping multiple roosters, for example In California, you can have up to 25 roosters on any property.
The feed should be available in abundance to both roosters, the estimated daily feed for two roosters is about 230 grams or 0.5 pounds along with an adequate amount of water. If you live in a warm place, I will also suggest you add multiple shades, so the two roosters can comfort themselves separately from the sun and don’t have to compete for shade.
The presence of hens is also important to point when you have two roosters living together, which I have explained below.
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Roosters are extremely protective of their hens, and will never allow other roosters to mount their hens. If two roosters are kept in a flock with hens, then you should know the exact hens to the rooster ratio, as they can be very aggressive.
Roosters often get into fights over hens and can injure one another badly.
Ratios can differ depending upon the breeds, but as a general rule, 1 rooster is enough for 10 hens. According to this ratio, 20 hens will be required for 2 roosters.
If you have less than 20 hens and have 2 roosters, either try to keep them separate by adding a fence between their area or add a few more hens to even the ratio.
Roosters of breeds like Leghorns, Fayoumis, Svart Hona, etc prefer a higher female to male ratio (10-12: 1) whereas roosters from other breeds like Silkies, Buff Orpington prefer a lower female to male ratio (5-8:1).
There is a common myth that roosters have aggressive behavior towards one another, so they can’t be kept together, but this thought arises in most people’s minds from the ugly reality of cockfighting where cruel conditions are imposed on roosters forcing them to fight often till death.
But under normal circumstances, roosters will not fight. Normally, two roosters will only engage in a fight when there is fierce competition for resources, females, territory. The sudden addition of a new rooster will also lead to fights because this will disturb the pecking order among previously existing roosters.
Roosters that are raised together will resist fighting even if slight competition arises between them.
I will explain some tips and proper ways of introducing a new rooster to the flock so keep reading.
It’s a rare outcome, but it can happen. If the number of hens is less and more roosters are around, serious fights can happen, often ending till death.
Hens lead to high testosterone levels that force roosters to fight till the end. Roosters have sharp beaks and pointed spurs on their shanks that can deliver fatal injuries during a fight. Raising of hackle feathers (feathers on the neck region) is an indication that the rooster is up for a fight.
A rooster who is at the top of the pecking order will fight with any rooster who tries to mate with his hens and these fights only end when the invader submits to defeat or gets killed.
Each rooster has a different personality, if a docile rooster comes up in a fight against an aggressive one it will probably get killed. Sometimes aggressive roosters are separated by fences, if any one of them accidentally crosses over the fence they can kill each other if the owner is not nearby to separate them.
How Do You Keep Two Roosters From Fighting?
I have explained below some effective ways to keep your roosters from fighting.
- Bringing Them Up Together: As soon as the eggs hatch, separate male chicks and raise them in the same brooder. They will establish a hierarchy system also known as a pecking order of their own and will adapt accordingly. Where one dominant rooster will be the leader and others will have their ranks in the pecking order. Raising multiple roosters together brings stability and consistency in the pecking order, so they will rarely get into fights.
- Larger Range: Having a large territory to look after is as important as having plenty of hens around for a rooster. If you have multiple roosters that are not raised together, free-ranging is a good way to manage them, as each rooster will establish its domain and there will be fewer possibilities of fighting between them.
- Multiple Coops: Having separate coops can be very helpful when managing multiple roosters, although you will require additional feeders and drinkers. Each rooster will occupy a coop and have its separate little area. They even bring their hens along with them. In this way, roosters will occasionally face each other, and fights are reduced.
- Separation: If you have multiple roosters that are extremely aggressive to one another, there is always an option of separation. Separate roosters that are often leading to fights and put them in cages or fenced areas, where they only have excess of feed and water. Keep docile males in the flock to reduce chances of fights.
- The Gradual Introduction Of A New Rooster: Whenever you are going to introduce a new rooster to your existing flock of multiple roosters it should be a gradual process, it takes patience and time, often weeks to months to add a new rooster along with existing roosters. If you suddenly add a new rooster, severe fighting can happen between roosters, as this will disturb the existing hierarchy among them.
How to Introduce A New Rooster Among Multiple Roosters
Initially, the new rooster should be placed with other roosters separated by a fence, this will allow him to get an understanding of the existing pecking order and will help him to know his spot in the flock. After a few days, place the new rooster with other roosters for a limited time and observe their behavior towards him.
Gradually start increasing the time and when you feel comfortable, permanently place the new rooster along with others. It all depends upon the personality of the new rooster that how quickly can it adapt, the sooner, the better.
Age is an important aspect to keep in mind for two or more roosters living together. Cockerels are young roosters that are not sexually mature mostly below the age of 4 months although variation can occur between different breeds. It’s quite easy to keep young roosters together rather than adult ones as they are not under the influence of hormones and have docile behavior.
They have little interest in females, and territory. All they care about is feeding, so I will suggest you provide the desired amount of feed at the proper time to them. Hopefully, you will not face any problems as long as your management especially feeding management is good.
- Two roosters can absolutely live together.
- Two roosters will not normally fight with each other.
- The average hens to rooster ratio is (10:1).
- Multiple cockerels are easy to keep together than adult roosters.
- The pecking order has a great influence on roosters.
- A new rooster should be introduced gradually over time with other roosters in a flock.
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