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Aggressive Rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Phoenix1, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. Phoenix1

    Phoenix1 New Egg

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    Mar 26, 2016
    WA
    We currently have a flock of 8 chickens. We have a Wydandotte cockerel / rooster that is just now turning one year old. We purchased him along with a batch of "guaranteed" pullets last Spring. Our other rooster had died months before, so we thought it was great timing for this pullet to actually be a Roo. We've only had mild tempered roosters in the past, but this ones behavior has us concerned. He has been chasing some of our hens relentlessly, then grabbing them by the comb and aggressively pulling on their combs in attack fashion, not even mounting them. He tore off one of our hens combs after we found her hemorrhaging and weak on her perch in the coop. We separated her and nursed her back to full health, but now he is showing this same behavior towards our other hens. What's even more concerning is that one of the other hens is helping him and mimicking his behavior. Both he and this other hen will chase down and capture one of our other hens, she will join him in pecking and pulling on the comb of the other hen, and even mounting the other hen. Is this healthy chicken behavior? Whenever I hear kerfuffles going on, I see this same behavior, our Roo and his hen companion attacking another hen in this fashion. This seems to be happening several times per day. Our Roo doesn't seem to be aggressive towards us, but we don't want this behavior to escalate as he gets older. We've raised chickens for years and have never seen our chickens exhibit this type of behavior. Our chickens get let out everyday to roam the property and free range, so they're not cooped up during the day and their coop yard is 60X20 with a coop on each end which allows them plenty of roosting options.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    The bad news is Wyandotte cockerels can be a handful during their first year or two. The good news is his hormones should be tempered in another six months to a year, and he'll tone down his behavior.

    I advise keeping him segregated during this "break-in" period and until his hormones settle down.

    The aggressive hen accomplice will probably stop her behavior once the cockerel is
    no longer actively mating the hens. A time-out away from the flock for several days will alter her rank in the flock if her behavior does persist.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd be less willing to wait and hope he gets better. He'd be dinner, and I'd be raising a new group of straight run chicks, and pick a couple of likely cockrels to grow out. He's just way too nasty for me. Mary
     
  4. pfields

    pfields Chillin' With My Peeps

    Agree, it's just not fair to the hen and you might be next!
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    At a year old most rooster behavior is set, I would cull him and try again, the rooster should protect the hens, not attack and maim them.
     
  6. Milagra

    Milagra Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2016
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    I have a six week old starting to look like he is getting roudy. Any way to show or teach him this is not acceptable. I wanted all hens but as babies you have to wait and see. He is a Sussex
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Separate him out of the group and keep him separately for a few months until he calms down and matures, though if he's trouble like that at 6 weeks he may always be trouble. Most don't start that behavior until around 4-5 months of age.
     
  8. Phoenix1

    Phoenix1 New Egg

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    Mar 26, 2016
    WA
    I'm not sure how long I'm willing to wait to see if his hormones subside or if he mellows with age. I'm strongly leaning towards culling this type of behavior, but my husband doesn't consider this aggressive enough behavior to merit culling. Hence the reason for feedback.
     
  9. Milagra

    Milagra Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you will keep an eye on him and if it continues separation will be in his future or out the door
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have raised lots of roosters and keep a lot, that type of behavior does no one any good, it just causes disruptions and stress. I don't even think I've had a rooster that would attack his hens like that. Some poor manners can be excused when he's 4-9 months, but he's not going to improve. He's a bully. There are plenty of nice roosters who get culled merely because they aren't needed. I wouldn't waste my time and he could kill a hen, I would find another. My roosters talk sweet to the hens, get them all to roost in the evening, stand look out when they are ranging, they feed the good food to the hens, and will give their lives to protect them. Just a few good traits for a rooster.
     

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