Hey all! First, since this is my initial post, let me tell you a bit about us. We live in Austin, TX and got 6 2 day old chicks in October. It's now almost April and we are still just getting 2-3 eggs per day. Oh, we got 2 each of 3 breeds: 2 Plymouth bar rocks, 2 Astroloropes, and 2 Easter eggers.
OK, first problem is with one of the Astrolorpe "hens" that is now a HUGE, very loud and vocal rooster: Festus. He's always been fairly friendly and easy to deal with, even after we discovered he was not a hen but in fact a rooster.
I've been trying to do occasional pest checks on the hens, without much problem, except that no one involved likes it! About 3 weeks ago, I was in the run and sat on the stoop, attempting to check the female Astrolorpe. Suddenly, the rooster came at me, talons first with a wing spread out at least 3 feet. He caught me off guard, but I managed to shove him back with my right arm while I held the female in my left. She was calm, but he came back 2 more times. I quickly rapped up my inspection, let her go and began to 'chase' Festus around the run. He ran, of course, he's a chicken, and I had no more problems until today. We've had drizzly type rain for the past 2 days. I normally go out there daily at leasts 2 times, spending time with them, either in the run or sitting outside of it, talking with them.
Today, after giving them some broccoli stems, I was throwing some scratch around when Festus, who was following me, pecked me on the back on my leg. Again, surprised, I just threw the small amount of remaining scratch at him, yelling.
Is this going to be an on-going issue in which I need to cull him, or can we somehow work together? He regularly threatens my husband, but he doesn't spend much time with the chickens.
I would like to keep Festus--he is beautiful, regal!-- but do not want to feel afraid every time I go into the run. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!