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Rooster is coming to me sideways, but cuddling

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We have a 5.5 month old rooster. He just recently started crowing and mounting some ladies. He and one of our girls live in one coop, the ither 4 hens and a rooster live in abother coop, they share a whole yard. No fighting occurs, but we will be culling one so the girls dont get overmated.

Anyway, this new rooster, i protected them and i have always made sure they got their own little area of food while the pecking order was reseting itself, and he is sort of my friend. He has always let me pick him up and always comes to me to say hi. He pecked me once, when i had dirt on my hand that he pecked off. Lately he has been coming at me sideways. His wing doesn't appear to be dipped at all, and he comes to me sideways and stays right by me, and i've been scooping him up and petting him and he settles right in. I put him down, he comes back. I read that this sideways thing is a show of dominance, but he doesn't seem to be trying to dominate me..... would he let me pick him up and pet him, and keep coming back, if he was trying to dominate me? It matters, because if he believes he can out-roo both me and the other rooster who is twice his size and a year older, it might change my culling deciions.
post #2 of 9

At that age personally, i would not interact with a roo unless totally necessary. It does sound like it could be the beginning of something a little more sinister. I have used a plant sprayer or water pistol to ensure that my roos did not come near me. After a couple of squirts, just having the sprayer in my hand would have him running for the hills.  A healthy respect for you is necessary to ensure that he remains crock-pot free. 

 

This is just what i do - if you search "roo aggression" or something like that you will find other methods and opinions on how to deal with things. Whatever you decide, its better to be proactive rather than leaving things until they become more serious.

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
We got a video of it today so i could see it from the other side and he is definitely lowering the wing facing away from me and dancing his little legs. I had no idea he was a rooster until about 5 days ago-hes frizzled and the only reason i caught on was that i saw him mount the hen and today i finally saw him crow. Our other rooster appears to be getting more and more jealous and possessive, and as of yesterday and today he is now intentionally hurting another hen that has been interacting with the second "flock" a lot. So that pretty much makes my choice for me. I have a rooster who is definitely aggressive, and a rooster who could still easily be molded. We also appear to have a hen who decided to remove herself from this nonsense by going broody! We will probably say goodbye to the big roo tomorrow and i will have to start adjusting my behavior with the rooster as everyone reestablishes the pecking order, and possibly the flocks. Going to be an interesting month or two!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the insight. I think carrying a spray bottle around is probably a very good idea over the next few months!!!
post #5 of 9

I'd be concerned about the behavior developing in the younger bird.  Human aggression is a definite cause to cull, IMO, and the dancing at you is a big hint that it's starting.  As above, I don't handle or cuddle or pet my cockrels, and expect respectful avoidance at all times.  Hold of culling your older bird until you are sure that 'junior' isn't going to be a jerk, unless you plan to eliminate both boys and look for someone new.  Mary

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, we are in a bit of a pickle! I've now seen the older rooster chase down 2 of our hens, and when they hit submissive squat, he didnt even mount, he just ripped their head feathers out. One of them is in hiding. The broody hen was off the eggs this morning; im not sure for how long, and i'm sure she knows what she's doing. If she actually hatches eggs, then both roosters can be dinner for all i care, but we've got 3 weeks to go! Part of me wants to take care of old roo this evening, but aside from what he's doing now, he's generally calm and relatively quiet.

I'm thinking about separating the older rooster from everyone. The younger rooster is terrified of the older hens. I'm wondering if separating the older roo will give him a chance to chill out, give the girls some time to heal, and give me a chance to see how young roo interacts with them and with me after the changes to the group.

If i knew for sure that the broody hen was going to do her job, i'd take the older roo out tonight, but we want a matured rooster in the flock and i dont want to risk ending up with no rooster if young roo is aggressive!
Edited by thebulg - 4/12/16 at 5:33am
post #7 of 9

Take one, or both, of the males out asap.

Chances are you've set up a competitive situation......and if one male is removed, preferably out of sight, the other may calm down.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #8 of 9

No rooster is better than having the wrong rooster!  Mary

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
They have entered a crowing competition and i know we have a problem now. At this point i do think the idea that no rooster is better than the wrong rooster is probably correct and we should incubate a few eggs to be absolutely sure that we get another set of birds and we can start over and i can treat any new roosters properly. I have one concern: the young roo lives alone in a coop with an ameraucana. We have the 4 hens and old roo in another coop. If i kill the older roo first, and the young one doesn't calm down, will the ameraucana be alright by herself? With another flock around and sharing the whole half acre? There has never been a fight between her and any other chickens, but i worry about herbeing lonely and being vulnerable.

On that note, i wonder if i could set up an incubator, kill old roo, and see if i can rearrange the young roo's manners in the 3 weeks it takes to get a hatch, and try to get the ameraucana to live with the chicks.

I've made a mess.
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