Aggressive Rooster Ideas

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by joleeblackberry, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. joleeblackberry

    joleeblackberry New Egg

    Jan 6, 2014
    I searched the archives, and I realize that aggressive rooster behaviors can be common. I wanted to get insight into our particular problem.
    Had an existing flock of 8 hens and a very docile silky rooster - of varying ages. Two hens were at the top of the pecking order - the oldest hens, probably 4-5 years old.
    About 6 months ago we added 6 chicks given to us by a friend. Very active, fast chicks that we could never hold or catch (Rhode Island Red/Americauna mix). One of those chicks has turned into a very large rooster.
    We lost one of the top hens to a dog attack (I think), and now the Rooster is unleashing all his fury on the surviving hen. She stays huddled now behind our wood pile. Every time I am out there, she is either not there with the rest of the flock or being attacked by the Rooster. He's pecked her comb bloody and a lot of her head feathers are out now.
    Our hens and roosters are pets. We do not eat them. That being said I am entertaining the idea of giving the Rooster away (although I am of the mind that people should stick out their problems with their pets). I really do not want to have to keep them separate, although I've locked my hen up safely away for tonight. I just hate to see her beaten up.

    Is this inevitable behavior for an adolescent rooster to establish pecking order? Will he kill my oldest hen in order to do it? (As an aside, he is not aggressive with me, my children, or really any other hen, especially his sisters (gross), but I have seen him peck at a few from time to time (one of them has a leg injury, which a whole other topic!).

    Thanks in advance for any help. It is much appreciated!
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    That is NOT normal behavior. You need to separate them or he may very well end up killing her. You wouldn't keep a dog that kept attacking your other dog bloody, would you? Even considering this as a pet thing and not a livestock thing it's not good. You can try locking him up on his own away from and out of site of the flock for a week or two, which will take him out of the pecking order and knock him down a bunch of notches, but this may work or just compound the problem if he gets even more aggressive trying to reassert his dominance when reintroduced. Honestly, I would give him away. My chickens are pets too, but mean roosters hit the bricks. There are too many nice ones out there looking for homes for me to be able to justify keeping a mean one, especially one that's attacking my hens.

    Another thing to consider: I once had a terribly mean human aggressive rooster. I relocated him, full disclosure, to a new owner. At their place he is docile as can be. A change of scenery can sometimes work wonders. But for now, for the sake of your hen, you must at least separate them. Being attacked and driven away from the flock all the time is no way to live.

    Oh, and :welcome
    1 person likes this.
  3. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 28, 2008
    What is your primary reason for keeping chickens? For eggs? If so your first priority is to take care of your hens. I know I would not put up with a rooster who acted that way. They're supposed to watch over the hens, not beat them up.
  4. joleeblackberry

    joleeblackberry New Egg

    Jan 6, 2014
    Thank you for the welcome and feedback, both of you. It is extremely helpful to know that I am not demanding too much from this Rooster. We've had hens for many years, but we recently moved to a larger area, so we've just now started getting roosters. I'm very new to it.
    Our primary reason for having the hens, besides them being a joy to keep, is the eggs, of course, so you are right - I do need to protect them.
    I have sought this site often for solutions to problems - many thanks again for the personal responses in this case!

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