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I think I have made a big mistake!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ok so I have 8 hens and ended up with 3 roosters. One did not develop much, he has an impacted crop that will not go away so we are keeping him comfortable. The other two grew big and it was obvious one was the guy in charge. He kept the other one at bay and we all kinda felt sorry for the underdog. Everything else in the coop was great though. All happy hens. We planned on getting rid of the big two but decided to sell the one in charge first. It took weeks but I found a buyer. He was a big pretty blue Ameraucana and the other one is a black with shiny teal feathers. Now that the blue is gone the black one has become a tyrant. He was always docile before. Now he will run right up to me like he is not scared. I worry he will become aggressive. He is MEAN to the hens. It is like chicken rape 24/7 out there. I am sure the blue was not a "gentle" lover lol but he did not constantly mate with them like this one does. He chases them nonstop and pulls a ton of feathers. They are all stressed because of this and the hens are picking at each other now too. I watch them pluck feathers from each others chests. They are all beat up looking from patchy feathers on their backs, heads, and chests. I have watched him pull on their combs while on top of them so they all have bloody spots on their combs. 


I wish I had tried to sell the black rooster first! Hopefully I can rehome him faster than the first. I do not want to give him away for free, I dont want anyone eating him. :( I just hope I can find another buyer before my hens start dying!

post #2 of 13

Unfortunately you've only got a few options..a- let it continue (which I'm sure you don't want) b- separate him from the rest c- give him away to whoever will take him off your hands or d- eat him (doesn't seem like that is an option for you). Regardless of what you do find a cage, dog crate, something to put him in to let your poor hens have a rest.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am not sure what to do at this point. I cannot catch him :( My girls have bald heads and bleeding combs. They look terrible! They are all scared to come out of the coop in the mornings. He will run out first thing then after a few minutes of them not coming out he goes back in and chases them out. The smaller girls fly up and perch on a high point. He is awful. I am very close to getting the rifle out and taking him out that way. I have a smaller cage I can put him in, but I cannot catch him. I feel awful for my girls!

post #4 of 13
Wait till they all up for the night he be lethargic and easier to handle.
post #5 of 13
Either catch him after dark when he is roosted or get the rifle out and put him in the soup pot.
post #6 of 13

Yes, any chicken can be handled after dark after they have roosted. Just grab the black demon while he roosts, or if you don't wish to handle him, slip a pillow case over him. Then empty the pillow case into a crate you have handy.

post #7 of 13

I suspect that what's happened is that as long as the other rooster was keeping the flock well controlled, he was subservient.  But when that rooster was gone, he seized on the opportunity to be the dominant rooster and he's become excessively aggressive toward you and the other birds in the flock.  Unless you are willing to go some drastic training, I'm afraid that's going to be his demeanor.  And even if you could finally train him to be trusted with you, how about with the neighbor, a child, the UPS man, not to mention the girls?


Put on some heavy gloves and a long sleeved shirt.  Once the birds have been roosted for some time, go out with a flashlight and pluck him right off that roost.  He may protest some, but not as violently as he would during the daylight.  Then you can isolate him from the others in a cage or something while you decide what to do with him.  Hint:  I've found that rubber banding a dark colored washcloth over the lens of the flashlight gives me enough light to see what I'm doing but not enough to create a major disturbance in the coop.


If he were mine he'd be given a one-way ticket to freezer camp.  I simply cannot have any chicken out there I can't trust 100%, especially since my young grandkids take care of the chickens when we're out of town.  Back in June I had to make the tough call to cull the rooster of lifetime because he attacked my hand.  It could have been a fluke - something that would have never happened again.  But with a 4 year old in a wheelchair, a 9 and a 10 year old coming over all the time, I was not willing to take that risk.  June 4th in the morning he attacked me.  June 4th in the afternoon he was in the refrigerator resting before freezing.  Hardest call I ever had to make since my first chickens arrived.  (if you click on the link below to Scout's adventure with frostbite, you'll understand better what a tough thing this was to do)  Of course, it's all your decision, and I can't presume to make it for you.  But if he's keeping you from enjoying what you're doing, and if the girls who should be able to count on him for protection are actually suffering, it may be time to look for another roo to take his place.  Gentle ones are out there - folks who have a rooster who is calm and good tempered but can't be kept because of housing regulations, too many roos, etc - and they deserve a good home.  But I implore you, don't try to rehome him without making sure that the new owners know from the get-go that he has a tendency to be, um, nasty so they don't have to find that out the hard way.

Good luck! Keep us posted!


@azygous  I really need to check when that little box indicating "unread posts" pops up!  :he 

Edited by Blooie - 9/29/15 at 7:18pm
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Grabbing him at night will be difficult. We did not design our coop very well, we did not know what we were doing. It is 4x8 and the little chicken door opens into the run. On the opposite side there is a lid for the nesting boxes. Then on the 4 ft sides one end is against our barn and the other opens fully (not into the run). Basically the whole end is hinged and opens and lifts from the bottom to the top. Does that make sense? So to open the coop we risk someone hopping out or causing a panic. The perches are high so one of us would have to climb into the coop to get him. I am afraid the girls will freak out and get out. 



I borrowed a new today. I am going to try and catch him when my husband gets home. He has never attacked us, but he will stand his ground and only run if we stomp at him. The other rooster would run when we walked his way. We do not go into the run with them every day so I am not really worried he would attack us, but my hens cannot take much more. They are looking so bad. :( 

post #9 of 13

If getting in the coop is a problem get a fishing net with a long handle and scoop him up at night when he is roosting. Not hard to do. But get that guy away from your hens! 

post #10 of 13
Any update @WhenInRhome? If it's late enough and dark enough my girls have always been almost catatonic.
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