Aggressive or simply "mature" rooster with the hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wildflowerrun, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. wildflowerrun

    wildflowerrun In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2013
    I've been trying to find out more information about roosters who are aggressive to the hens, but most of what I find is simply people saying, "He's just trying to mate with the hens and hasn't learnt yet." I'm not sure myself that's what it is, but since he was the one based on looks I wanted to keep--I thought I'd get some reassurance I'm making the right decision.

    Right now I have 4 roosters in an area with about 16 hens. On Thursday I plan on getting rid of two roosters, and this is how my four roosters are:

    1 rooster I can almost forget is a rooster. He's that low in the pecking order.

    2 of the roosters will stand in the middle of their run (or out "in the wild" when free ranging) and will take turns watching. They almost seem to work together and I've never really seen them fight.

    1 rooster, the only blue rooster and the first to crow, is not aggressive to humans. But he's always dancing around a hen or a rooster trying to fight. Sometimes the hen will back away and he'll still chase them. Sometimes he'll just grab the feathers on their back for no apparent reason. Sometimes he'll pick on them and 1 or both of the pair of roosters will break between them, one standing with the hen and the other chasing him off.

    Our chickens are all about 21 weeks old and none of them have started laying (though the Anconas' combs are so bright I thought they'd start laying weeks ago).

    I guess I'm looking for a confirmation opinion--have you ever had a rooster "grow out" of that phase? Or would you recommend, as I'm thinking, that I should get rid of my one blue and keep the working pair? Darn him for being so pretty!

    We have a feeling, though, that once he's gone the hens may start to lay :/
  2. silky ma

    silky ma Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    If you are going to keep only 2 then either keep the 2 that work together since they seem to have a pecking order worked out which will cause you less stress in the long run.
    OR The one you state is lax in attitude might just surprise you by being " the man" when the rest are gone. What you want is to be able to work with your roo. He needs to see you as top roo or their will be a power struggle that could end up with you or family members with battle scars.

    If you can...the one who you say state as ..."1 rooster I can almost forget is a rooster." take this one and see if he will respond to you. Can you handle him at will? Is he nice to all hens and your family members? If so I would keep him and get rid of the others. I have silkies and I have had 18 hens to 1 roo without problems.

    Remember you rule the flock not him. The more your roo sees you as top the less problems you will have!
  3. Majd

    Majd Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    In my opinion... keep the 2 good roos who protect and take care of your flock.. but also you can keep one of the top two males besides the beautiful blue one .. so there's a beauty and a gentelman.... so the top male will interfere if the blue goes nasty.... and don't rush... they're still young and you don't know how the blue or the lowest in pecking order can surprise you... because the blue one after a while will get used to the girls and act normally.... and the lowest in pecking order is harrased by the others and didn't get a chance to show up... I had all types and all depends... ;)
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    Changing the social order, as others already said, can really change your roosters. The happy subordinate who gets elevated overnight to alpha often does not cope well. Usually he would have been alpha already if he had it in him to cope with it.

    I've bred and reared hundreds of roosters of various breeds and many mongrels, with a pretty strict criteria by some folk's standards: no attacking humans, no harming hens or chicks, and no serious aggression with each other.

    Cockerels and roosters NEVER attack hens as a natural part of mating or puberty. Never. This is abnormal and we bred it into them by keeping males and females separately caged for generations and only introducing them to mate, as well as breeding twisted violent males who were pretty. (No dig at you, it's just an unfortunate all too common truth). Any male who harms a female in the wild is crippling his chances at passing on his genes.

    If you watch a good rooster or cockerel around hens, he will be very considerate and careful, and listens if she tells him 'not now' --- cockerels are not automatically blueing and screwing machines like some people think. No rooster harms hens because of hormones, sex drive, testosterone, testicles, or whatever the excuse is: a rooster only harms hens if he is a bad rooster.

    (Some random accidents occur of course but we're talking about pecking etc here). In my experience a bad rooster does not grow out of it, but is more likely than not to pass it on. I only breed well mannered roosters and their male descendants are the picture of gentlemanly with the hens. This is necessary for general peace, productivity and safety for my family and the flock. When it comes to roosters being aggressive to females, it's more or less the same thing as with a hen who kills chicks; nobody waits for her to grow out of it and excuses it because of her 'over-excitement' or 'hormones' or 'high drive'.

    Some folks are happy to keep roosters who harm their hens, but I can't afford having that stress on my flock nor the extra time I'd spend patching them up due to abuse. It's not fair on the hens. Each to their own, I guess, though. I wish you the best whatever your decision is.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: