Two roosters in one flock
The theory behind our flock
merger was pretty
simple --- Harvey
Ussery wrote that
you can sometimes get multiple roosters to play nicely together in one
flock if a younger rooster is raised with an older rooster. The
youngster will grow up knowing he's the underdog and won't annoy the
head rooster unduly.
I figured we had a limited
time to give this hypothesis a try before our Light Sussex rooster was
full grown and ready to take on the world (and I also wanted to get the
Sussex out of the shade without putting in all of the effort of
building a third chicken coop.) So we moved our half-grown Light
Sussex (three pullets and a cockerel) into the main coop and shut the
pasture door so they wouldn't go running home.
At first, the experiment
seemed to be headed for failure. The Australorp rooster chased
the younger birds away from the food and the Sussex were too scared to
even go in the coop at night. But every day, the chickens
mellowed out a bit more. Saturday, I felt comfortable enough to
open the pasture door and let them all back out into the floodplain,
where the two flocks foraged separately but in the same vicinity.
Mark tells me the Sussex are even roosting up on the perches in the
coop now. Maybe a second week will see the chickens actually
hanging out together?
If you're thinking of merging
one or more underdogs into an established flock, be sure to set up two
separate chicken waterer stations. That way the
picked on birds will still have access to clean water.
to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the
RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.