6 mo cockerel rejected by hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SueT, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    Carl is a 6 mo bantam cochin cockerel, and yesterday was his first introduction to the 8 girls. They are 2 hens, a BR and an SS (1 1/2 yrs) , and 6 pullets,( 7 mo, ) four of the pullets are leghorns, one a Sebright, and one a D'Uccle. All but the D'Uccle have started laying, but the Sebright went broody, and since coming out of that a month ago, hasn't yet resumed laying.
    I put him in a small cage in the run and they all seemed curious and interested, even friendly. After a couple hours, I decided to let him out, as many threads and postings have suggested that hens may accept a rooster right away. It seemed to go fairly well. The leghorns were fascinated, and followed him around, the BR, top hen, ignored him after a brief inspection, the SS chased him some but it wasn't enough to stop him from eating, drinking, crowing. He has a nice musical crow.
    But the Sebright, who hadn't noticed he was out at first, was another story. She saw him and became an absolute witch! She flew at him over and over, claws out, pecking, chasing relentlessly. I was thinking her small size would limit her influence, but he spent the rest of the day trying to hide from her in the coop. The coop has 2 doors, so he could get away, but she wouldn't let up. The others seemed taken aback by the whole thing, tho one of the leghorns at times joined in on the harassment. I locked him in protective custody for the night, and this morning, it was the same story. The Sebright wasn't having him anywhere near. He couldn't eat or drink, and didn't crow. I partioned part of the run so he has his own area, about 48 sq. ft. Maybe I could eventually let him out and put the Sebright in if she won't behave.
    Or I was thinking of putting the D'Uccle in with him, she's a shy little sweetheart and I was thinking maybe they'd hit it off, both being reticent breeds....
    If you have any advice or experiences to share, I'd appreciate it! Thanks!
    Sue
    intro (3 of 1).jpg
     
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  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

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    My suggestion would be lock up the aggressive Seabright and any cohorts she has and let the young cockerel mingle with the friendly ladies. Aside from that, I would say a couple hours of look but don't touch might not be enough. Sometimes it's a couple of weeks. All depends on flock dynamics. NONE of my bantams seem to know they aren't pit bulls!

    Pretty birds. :love
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    pull the sea bright, put her in the cage, let the rest work it out.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    X2 to both!
     
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  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    eggsighted for life and I were typing at the same time...she is a bit more eloquent...now back to lesson plans.
     
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  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

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    I learn from the best! ;) :thumbsup
     
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  7. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    Thank you everyone! Yes, the fierce little Sebright will be put in solitary if she can't behave, but first I decided to leave him in the 'see but no touch' situation a week or two longer to make sure all the others are really okay with him. I have a bad cold and it was chilly, windy, and drizzly, and I did not feel like staying out there keeping an eye on the situation. The SS hen was giving him stink-eye thru the fence. The leghorns can be very pushy and he seems quite timid. But he did sing for them a bit. And when I gave them their evening scratch feed along the shared fence, he was calling to them to come get some. I've never had a rooster before, and am learning a lot from BYC. I do know about not spoiling cockerels, not hand feeding, and making sure they keep their distance. He seems to be a good one so far.
    I have also never had cochins before, and think I may really like this breed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    As you see it's not the size of the chicken in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the chicken. I know that bantam cochin is pretty small but the sebright is still much smaller. The relationship between chickens is driven by personality a lot.

    You don't have a rooster yet, he's still a cockerel. Once he matures enough to take over things should work out, but until then he's a little boy in with women. I know those pullets are only a month older than him but they are laying, except for one. They are more mature than he is. That's something else that's important, maturity, although you read about age on here a lot as if age controlled. Nope, it's maturity.

    I'm not surprised that he mixes in well with the others for now, integration often goes a lot smoother than many people believe possible. When he does mature enough to take over the flock master position things may get exciting between him and some of the hens for a while, or it too may go extremely smoothly, you just don't know.

    Putting him in that look but don't see area for a couple of weeks may help, it may not. I think it's worth trying. If it doesn't work then I'd agree to isolate the sebright, that may knock her back in the pecking order enough that she quits attacking him. An added benefit to isolating the cockerel first is that you are not teaching the sebright to lay somewhere other than her current nest.

    Good luck, this will eventually work out. And good luck on that cold.
     
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  9. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    Carl sleeps late. He's got a 2' wide apartment across the west side of the coop, which includes part of the most coveted roost. I turn on lights when it's just barely light outside, and all the girls go out. But not Carl (he has his own entrance to his part of the run.) The girls kept coming in and talking to him, even the Sebright, who went to see him first thing. He talked back, but didn't get up for a good 15 minutes after they did. They seem to be interested in him--maybe in a good way. Every one of them had to go check on him at least once.
    btw, the Sebright is second lowest in the pecking order, all the bigs are above her. They are all pretty civil to each other, even when these pullets were integrated w the hens this past summer, no one was vicious. I noticed that the Sebright, who has not resumed laying since coming out of broodiness a month ago, is now showing red in the wattles which had gone gray. Maybe she'll be more receptive to having a boyfriend when she starts laying again? I hope she doesn't wait till spring, but I'm not holding my breath.....
     
  10. Cindysrescue

    Cindysrescue Chirping

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    Yeah, it might be her broody hormones making her act this way. I have a silkie who just finished being broody. She would really beat the cockerels when they came near her. Especially the one who was her boyfriend before she went broody. Yesterday, she walked right up to her ex boyfriend. I was expecting her to attack him, but no. She squatted for him. I guess she's getting ready to lay again. I hope your hen gets over this soon.
     
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