Starting in September I noted that his crest has been being pecked, I have done Blue-Kote, temporary night time separation, etc., but the issue seems to have intermittently continued to the point that even if there is no obvious evidence of pecking, his feathers on his crown are not growing back. I have drug my feet on this issue because I kept hoping that his 'hormones' would kick in and he would get his girls in line and the problem would resolve itself.
Two days ago while letting everybody out of their run for the day he charged me, some thing he has acted like he was 'about' to do in the past couple weeks, which led to my stalking him deliberately about the yard for a few days until I no longer noted the 'posturing.' This day I was wearing flip flops versus my Muck boots and was distracted, thus I ended up with a bloody foot before he got a glancing blow from said foot against his body which allowed me enough time to get turned around and assert my dominamce, to which he immediately backed down and skulked off. Yesterday I went out to the run with Muck boots in place and ready; had no issues after a mutual 'up and down' appraising look. Today was back to normal, No aggression or 'appraising' noted. I did note the past couple days, he is mating with some of the hens, at least three that I've seen.
So, all in all, I'm aware he's coming into his hormones, which is normal. My angst is I have a 3.5 year old with impulse control issues and a not quite two year old. They are never out unsupervised, but the chickens are free range during the day. I don't want to cull my cockerel, but if that's what needs to be done, I will. I just hate to send him to freezer camp if he's just going through normal adolescent behavior and just needs some time to mature before he settles into a routine of confident 'man of the yard.' My husband an I have talked and feel confident we can control the setting over winter to ensure that the children are not around him, period. Come spring and summer, however, that will not really work and if his behavior has not calmed down, he will have to go one way or another. I guess my question is: Is it reasonable to expect that he will calm down, or is the fact he's already drawn blood, aggressively confronting an adult too much of a chance to take with two littles? I don't want to prematurely pass judgement against him if this is simply adolescent hormones. These are my first chickens and my first roo, so my knowledge base in very limited!