We have had chickens for 5 years now. We currently have 28 hens and 2.5 roosters (okay, three roosters but one looks like a rooster but doesn't act like one in any way at all so we often forget that we actually have three roosters.)
Our oldest rooster is three or four years old. Last year, we received 4 pullets from a local who wanted the experience of hatching eggs for her children but didn't want to keep hens. Problem was, one of the pullets turned out to be a rooster. Same breed as our oldest - barred rock. For the last year, our old roo - Dominick - was the one on top - he chased Baby Roo as we called the other one and kept him in his place. Baby Roo has always been somewhat hostile towards humans and we have to arm ourselves with something to protect ourselves from him whenever we are taking care of the hens. Dom would sometimes intervene and chase him away from us. Dom is a sweetheart - he's never ever been a problem. Takes great care of his girls and never challenges us.
This week, the tables have turned. Baby Roo is now top rooster and Dom is afraid of him. He cowers in a corner of the pen and goes out of his way to avoid getting Baby Roo's attention. He wouldn't even go into the coop tonight and when I (gently) chased him in, Baby Roo started to hop down off the roost so Dom turned around and left the coop again before Baby Roo hit the floor. I set up a cage outside the coop and coaxed him into it. He was not happy at all about this turn of events but I think Baby Roo would kill him if I forced him into the coop.
So, my main question is this: if we got rid of Baby Roo, will Dom regain his status in the flock? The third rooster won't do anything - he is a true chicken - afraid of everything. Has Dom been irreparably harmed by his experience with Baby Roo this week or will he recover his confidence in Baby Roo's absence?
How could this have happened so quickly - just a matter of days ago, Dom was chasing Baby Roo around but now he's acting terrified of him.