Aggressive Rooster, should I soup him ?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Portalguy, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. Portalguy

    Portalguy Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2009
    Ripton, Vermont
    G'Day Experts ! It's 5:55 AM and I'm about to let my flock of 24 out; about half Black Australorp, half Sussex, and an odd adopted Barred Rock who follows me about.

    Two are cocks, one huge Black Australorp and one Sussex. It is the B. A. I am concerned about. He's very alpha, and goes about biting all of the other chickens on the back of the neck, even the other male (as he's treated as a hen, he acts like one). Sometimes during the day I hear a scream; I go clap my hands loudly or make some big noise, and the problem stops.

    The hens are not missing back feathers .... yet...

    Now, I know that I don't need males to have egg layers. But I am hoping to have some babies next year, hopefully reduce dependency on hatcheries and the whole petrol-fed big-agro industry. I'm frankly sceptical of chicken behaviour, when boxes of the babies are delivered by Teamsters and raised in big boxes rather then by their parents. I've seen little chicks raised by their parents, in flocks where the hens do not have bloody backs and missing feathers all the time (mostly in eastern Europe and the poorer non-tourist parts of Vermont) but I digress.

    If I coq-au-vin the B.A., will the other rooster (Sussex) become dominant, and take Bubba's place, abusing the others? Or will Sussex remain a nice guy, respectful toward the ladies?

    Suggestions? Advice?

    Rob in Vermont
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    My guess is the Sussex would remain a gentleman with the ladies, partly because that is common in this breed, from what I've read. I had one Sussex roo and wish now that I'd kept him instead of the ones I did keep. I had lots of extra roos and as they were thinned out I never saw one that was left get more aggressive; they just got calmer.
  3. jafo

    jafo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    [​IMG] Hey there Ripton Rob, Fred in Northfield here. I'd say put 'ol "Bubba" in the pot, or just quarranteen him. Some roos are just mean. That other roo will step up to the plate. We have Orps, and had 3 roos outa 6 birds. We gave two away to all girl harems and they both turned out to be great Roos, very beautiful, great crows, and masters of the coop. Just like our "Ol Blue" is. Picked up two Orp pullets to replace 'em, and we got our first two eggs this last week. Good luck![​IMG]
  4. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    With that many hens, I'd keep both roosters; however, if he starts going after you or other people, he should go. Sounds to me though like he's just being a rooster who's showing all the hens and the other rooster that he's THE boss. He might start treating the smaller rooster better; after all, there are plenty hens for both. I'd wait.
    EDIT: BTW, if you're planning to hatch eggs, have you considered seperating the two breeds into two different colonies and letting each colony free range every other day? Doing that, you'd need both roosters.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like they are young and the big guy is asserting himself. When most roosters mature they generally become gentlemen with the ladies. Even then it is proper for the alpha rooster to give a peck to any other rooster in close proxemity. Give him some time. I agree that you should have 2 for that may ladies........Pop
  6. Portalguy

    Portalguy Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2009
    Ripton, Vermont
    Thanks, folks, for the excellent advice. I will give him more time.

    I guess what's really bugging me is that the behaviours that I'm witnessing, I have no idea how much is natural chicken behaviour, and how much is due to them being overbred, raised in hatcheries or brooder boxes, then put all together without adult chicken oversight, not unlike Lord of the Flies or the Vermont Public School & Daycare system. Relying on all instinctual behaviours, but no learned behaviours other than those behaviours learnt from peers.

    I've also had opportunity to observe someone's flock down the road a piece. Mama chicken leads her babies everywhere, making sure they cross the road OK, scratching the earth and then stepping back to point out the goodies. I wonder what my own chickens are missing.

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