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Any suggestions for how to help Clarice deal w/ Bianco (roo)?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pawsplus, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So as I've discussed elsethread, last summer I got 2 young pullets, Audrey and Bianca, whom everyone here said WERE pullets, to join Clarice and Svetlana after Olivia passed away.

    Shortly thereafter it became clear that Bianca was really BiancO. [​IMG] Since I knew that it would not go well for him if I were to return him from when he came, I determined to make it work.

    Since he came to maturity, both Audrey and Svetlana have accepted his new randiness fine. They squat, he mates, and he moves on. He has been quite gentle w/ them, and neither has been overbred (even Audrey, despite her being shut up w/ him a lot--more on that below). But Clarice FREAKS OUT. She has always been alpha hen--despite being the smallest, she has always ruled the roost. But she runs from Bianco, screaming, and when he finally catches her he's often rough w/ her. She has had black dried blood on her comb a few times. Mostly, though, she refuses to come out of the coop or down from the roost even! From what I can tell, she will go DAYS like this. Usually food and water is out in the run, but I have left it inside and it is never touched, so I'm fairly sure that when Bianco is in the run she neither eats nor drinks. If I force her out into the run, she runs and screams, he chases her, he hurts her, and she goes back into the coop and up into the roost.

    So I have started separating Bianco and Audrey during the day--I have 2 adjoining 10x10 dog runs, and in the a.m. I just herd those 2 into the other run, lock them in there, and then force Clarice out into the run. When she sees Bianco isn't there she relaxes and eats and drinks--acts normally.

    It seems to me that if she would just submit and let him mate her, it would all be fine. As a feminist, I hate to say that, but heck, they're chickens! But Clarice just either isn't getting that or refuses to do it -- and I'm worried about her. She's 8 years old and she looks thinner from all the days of not coming out to eat or drink. At this point I'm separating the chickens every a.m. when it seems unlikely to rain (run #2, where B and A go, doesn't have a lot of cover), but the whole point is for them to be together. [​IMG]

    Any suggestions? Or should I just give up and keep them separate forever?
     
  2. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No suggestions?? Does anyone have a hen who just can't deal w/ a roo?
     
  3. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Quote:You may not be getting answers because the reply button is acting squirrley. I had to quote you to be able to reply.

    I don't know what is going on for sure, but I suspect that an eight year old alpha hen may just be set in her ways and may never change. She may just be refusing to submit because she never has had to! I think I would either separate just her (where she can see the others) or rehome the roo. If she has been the alpha hen and not been too mean to the other hens, it seems a shame in her old age to make her so miserable. She could live out her days in a smaller "apartment" where the roo will not bother her and even free range at times when he can be kept up. This would be more trouble, but you seem willing to accomodate her. Good Luck, it's kinda' like having kids, isn't it? [​IMG]
     
  4. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yeah. <sigh> I won't rehome Bianco--I know what happens to roosters out in the Real World. I can't do that to him. I guess I'll just keep things as they are for now--i.e., Bianco and Audrey in the adjoining run during the day w/ Clarice and Svetlana in the main run. I'm not going to put Clarice all by herself--that WOULD stress her out! I'll just get on covering the adjoining run and putting in sand sooner than I had planned. They all seem fine at night when roosting.

    Maybe eventually Clarice will see the light. [​IMG]
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will give you a suggestion, but it's probably not what you are going to want to hear. I got a new batch of chicks this past Apr. In the batch was 2 roosters. Got rid of 1 and kept the other, (BO). I had 1 hen from my first flock, another BO. So after I introduced the new birds to her, she was the boss. There was never any big problems though, she was the boss and everybody accepted it, even the young roo. Well, months down the line, I noticed the boss hen was getting beat up by the roo. When we gave treats to the birds, he would run her off and not let her have any. (Of course, we did not let that fly). She resisted at first his advances like your hen, but as he got older and bigger, she submitted. But he was VERY rough with her. He blooded her head, would forcedly hold her down. She would run away and avoid him if she could, but when he got to her, even if she submitted, he was very rough with her. In the coop, he would not let her eat or drink, she had to sneak it. Other than beating up the hen, he was a good roo with the rest of the birds, and with us he was a respectfull gentleman. I tried separating him from the rest of the flock for 2 weeks, kept him in his own "Bachelor pad" shed. The hen, along with the rest of the birds seemed MUCH more relaxed and content without the roo. After the 2 weeks, we reintroduce the roo back to the group. He wasted no time reasserting his control and dominace over the flock. Sadly that included beating up and just generally abusing our old hen. HE had to go. He was going to end up killing that hen, either by beating her to death, or just through harrassment and not letting her eat, or just live a happy chicken life. I'll tell you the truth, the chickens seem a lot more relaxed and happy with the roo gone. They don't have to deal with him having his way with them, weither they want it or not. The hen has recovered nicely, she's gaining weight, she doesn't have to be on the lookout any more. My suggestion would be to either keep them separate, or get rid of the roo. From my experiance, if the rooster takes a disliking to a hen, he will never get past it.
    Goodluck, Jack
     
  6. johnson215

    johnson215 Out Of The Brooder

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    i used to have a lot of problems with the larger roos so i had to get rid of them.. it's a shame they are so beautiful but can be very aggressive... now i just stick to bantam roos.. they are too small to do any harm... i did have one however who like to attack me so i gave him away also.... each roo is different some nice:[​IMG], some not!!!!![​IMG],[​IMG]
     
  7. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There's nothing wrong w/ Bianco! He's gentle to the other girls and would be w/ Clarice, except she runs away and fights him. He has to hold her down roughly b/c she won't give in. I'm not blaming her, but I'm not about to blame him either--he's just acting the way roosters have been bred by HUMANS to act (roosters are far more horny than any natural bird and that has been encouraged for obvious reasons, just as unnatural egg-laying has been encouraged). I think it's really unfair to blame them for what WE created in them!

    The separation thing seems to work--100 square feet per pair is pretty good digs, LOL. Rainy days are the only problem, until I can get the run covered. I had to leave the door open today b/c it's going to pour all day long but I left food and water in the coop and Clarice has been separated from him for 4 days prior to this so she's had plenty of opportunties to eat and exercise. Hopefully I can get the run covered after the holidays!
     
  8. TruGritCkn

    TruGritCkn Out Of The Brooder

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    Cull both the hen and the rooster and do yourself a favor. [​IMG]
     
  9. chickchicks

    chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    its a shame whenthey dont get on , my girls are still deciding as he learns his ways ,

    there are some good places for roosters , i just rehomed two to a farmerinneed( his last one died trying to defend his girls from a cow eating grass!)

    so there is hope if that is the way you turn but you never know your hen may find a soft spot everntlally [​IMG]
     
  10. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm curious: Do you think this is funny?? B/c I don't. I think it's extremely rude. I think it's clear from my post that these are pet chickens, and for you to suggest such a thing is reprehensibly rude. You may operate this way, but I do not, and I made that clear.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong w/ 2 sets of 2 living out the rest of Clarice's life separately. It seems to be working fine, and with 100 square feet of space in each of the 2 runs, they have more room than most chickens here. I will continue to try to find ways to make togetherness work, but not at Clarice's expense.
     

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