I have 13 hens 3-6 yr old hens, 1 Polish 3 yr old rooster, and his (2) one year old sons. Up until yesterday they happily co-existed, with the sons knowing their place was low.
Well I guess yesterday one son had had enough and did some small fight matches with his father, and evidently dad lost. He is actually physically out of the chicken pen... flew the coop quite literally. :(
I have never seen such a dejected animal. He is truly and actually slinking along the ground as he slowly walks. he is trying to befriend the barn cats, who have also peacefully lived with the chickens. I didn't realize he didn't even go in the coop last night.
Sorry I am rambling a bit, and I know it is mother nature, but I am finding this to be quite sad for him (and for me obviously!)
If I get rid of his sons, since I have discovered I obviously have an affinity more for him, will the hens take him back? Or will they beat him up?
Our intent had always been to keep only one rooster, ideally butchering dad and a son, so we can breed the Polish out for better egg laying (they were all gimme-birds, so I didn't choose breeds), well life got busy and they never fought, so it was a moot issue. And I have no discovered I prefer dad. lol
They do have plenty of space in the run- its 60ft x 40fx or so, plus they have my 40x40 garden right now too. The coop is smaller, but they spend most of the time out, and that hadn't been an issue in the past. Though with our cruddy winter weather right now, I am sure it doesn't help.
Currently I chased him into the garden where he is hiding between half barrels of strawberries. He is by himself. I plan to catch him in a crate at roost tonight and take him to my mom's hens for a few days until I can sort out if they are okay with a rooster noise-wise, or do I need to cull the sons and have back my dad rooster, if you guys all think the hens would accept him back.
Thanks for the help.