A Tale of Two Roosters

OzarkChooks

Songster
Jul 12, 2021
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So I have two cockerels or roosters. I can't remember when they are officially called roosters. Jefferson, an Easter egger, and Bruno the blue ameraucana. Bruno was supposed to be a hen and I was a little disappointed since I paid much more for him than some of the other chickens. My concern is that these two will kill each other. I am very new to raising chickens and to rooster behavior. They are 19 weeks old and so far seem to get along. Jefferson appears to be the dominant one because Bruno will run away from him when there is food involved. I have only seen then fight when Jefferson "mates" with some of the girls. The girls start making lots of noise and Bruno will come running over and attack Jefferson, kind of like he is saving the hen. I find this weird because when Bruno is mating, he will do it right in front of Jefferson and Jefferson does nothing. Jefferson also seems to be a bully, pulls out handfuls of feather from some of the ladies.... sometimes without even mating. Just because he feels like it I suppose. I thought roosters would find treats or food for the girls but Jefferson will chase them away from food and eat it all himself. We have seen him run up and grab the girls by their neck and just shake them in a circle, no mounting. He hasn't acted aggressive to us or our children but he is definitely not friendly. Very suspicious of us. I don't need him to be a cuddly pet, I just don't want him hurting my hens or kids. Bruno on the other hand seems very friendly. He will sit in my lap and let me pet him. He also is much more gentle with the girls. So my question is, by this age should I be seeing their true nature? If they were going to be aggressive, would it be showing by now? Is Jefferson's rough behavior normal with the hens?
 
They are youngsters, and this behaviour will change in both of them, so no, you are not seeing their 'true' adult nature yet. A lot of roos are jerks as teens, but grow into wonderful roos. And a good roo can become a nuisance when deposed by another. Change is normal.

If they have plenty of room to run away and hide from one another, they will probably not suffer life threatening injuries. If they can't, then one may kill the other.

The dominant one will probably be nicer to the hens, while the subordinate may feel he needs to grab what he can. From your description, Bruno seems to be the dom at the moment, but it may change as they mature. I wouldn't expect either of them to be lap chickens when they're mature.
 
They are youngsters, and this behaviour will change in both of them, so no, you are not seeing their 'true' adult nature yet. A lot of roos are jerks as teens, but grow into wonderful roos. And a good roo can become a nuisance when deposed by another. Change is normal.

If they have plenty of room to run away and hide from one another, they will probably not suffer life threatening injuries. If they can't, then one may kill the other.

The dominant one will probably be nicer to the hens, while the subordinate may feel he needs to grab what he can. From your description, Bruno seems to be the dom at the moment, but it may change as they mature. I wouldn't expect either of them to be lap chickens when they're mature.
Thank you. So they are just rough teens then. We have 10 acres and they free range all day, sometimes together and sometimes far away from each other. We are building another coop so they don't have to share a coop together. Hopefully they will continue to be civil.
 
sounds perfect! I've found the dom and a sub commonly hang round together, and 2 of my roos commonly choose to share a coop though they could have one each, while the third (deposed sire of the current dom) usually roosts in another. Once you have mature hens or a mature roo, they teach any youngsters coming up how to behave and you get a lot less of the teenage jerk nonsense. Here's a picture of all 3 together to show you it's perfectly possible for them all to get along just fine
DSC00731.JPG

The current dom is on the left, the sub who chooses to share a coop with him is the black one at the back, and the dom's dad (who was deposed without a fight when he and the black one were seriously injured in a fox attack) is in the middle. Note the two hens here are hanging with the dom; that's normal.
 
sounds perfect! I've found the dom and a sub commonly hang round together, and 2 of my roos commonly choose to share a coop though they could have one each, while the third (deposed sire of the current dom) usually roosts in another. Once you have mature hens or a mature roo, they teach any youngsters coming up how to behave and you get a lot less of the teenage jerk nonsense. Here's a picture of all 3 together to show you it's perfectly possible for them all to get along just fine
View attachment 2783907
The current dom is on the left, the sub who chooses to share a coop with him is the black one at the back, and the dom's dad (who was deposed without a fight when he and the black one were seriously injured in a fox attack) is in the middle. Note the two hens here are hanging with the dom; that's normal.
A very beautiful and colorful flock!
 

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