Avoiding a Mean Rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Squirrelgirl88, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Squirrelgirl88

    Squirrelgirl88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK - I've given up, I'm giving away one very mean rooster. I'm worried how the hens will react to his leaving. If I replace him with a young roo, what suggestions do you have for keeping a new one from growing up mean? I can't go through this again.
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    If he's really mean to them too, they'll likely react with relief. In my experience, unless a chicken is someone's best friend, they don't react much when someone is gone. A rooster is different though, depends if they depend on him or not.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    There are no guarantees with any rooster. Temperament is heritable, so if he comes from a calm, non-human-aggressive sire, he has a better chance of being a good tempered boy. My big blue Orpington rooster, Suede, throws the same calm, even-tempered intelligent sons as he is about 99% of the time.

    Best thing is to give him his space, don't snuggle him like some do, just on occasion pick him up so that you can handle him when you need to, like in case of medical care, etc. Biting is usually the first sign that you need to do some "aversion therapy" on him, and if he starts that before he gets to mating age, around 16 weeks old or so, you can nip it in the bud by snatching him up and holding his beak shut a few seconds, as long as he is not inclined to be human-aggressive anyway. If he is inclined by his nature to flog/bite the hand that feeds him, after his hormones kick in, nothing can really fix that, in spite of what some tell you.
     
  4. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that roosters are pretty much the way they are. No matter what you do, some will be aggressive and some won't be.

    Your hens will probably be happy to be rid of him. I personally think hens are generally happier without a rooster -- everything seems calmer and quieter without one and they don't have to run away from someone trying to mate them.

    However, you might see a bit of jostling amongst them, though probably no actual fighting/bloodshed, as each one vies for a new position in the peck order. They don't necessarily each just move up a notch with the loss of the top bird. Removal of one chicken, especially a high ranking one, can upset the peck order quite a bit, and gives previously middle of the pack birds a chance to move up. I lost my rooster a few weeks ago, and have noticed that a middle of the pack hen has been working her way to the top ever since. Anyway, that has been my experience.
     
  5. Squirrelgirl88

    Squirrelgirl88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We originally started out with this rooster and one hen. Then four of the neighbors hens moved in as soon as we got the rooster. They actually squeezed out of their fence and paced infront of ours til we let them in. Then they refused to go home! They do depend on him - alot. He calls, they come running. He goes to roost at night, they follow.

    What's crazy is this rooster is NOT aggressive with anyone but me. DH can walk in and out without so much as a second thought. I walk in with food and water and I get flogged. Tonight, he's out free ranging and I approached him - got within 2 feet and he just looked at me. No attack. I go in this morning with fresh water and her tries to take my arm off.

    I can't begin to tell you how I've agonized about getting rid of him. I just don't want to go through this every few months with another rooster. We have a hawk problem, and he does provide protection. God help the predator that comes after his hens!

    I'm considering a young rooster, maybe 4-6 weeks old. One that could integrate into the flock fairly easy - before he gets that hormone surge. But is someone really going to tell me that this roosters father was mean, and the roo may be also. NO - their going to tell me how docile dad was and what a good roo he'll be.

    I give up.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If you tell folks where you're located, you may find someone who will give you a rooster from good tempered stock, which greatly increases your odds of getting a good guy, like my Delaware/EE cross boy who is 10 weeks old and sweet as can be. I'm sure someone would help you out with that; still, you really never know for sure until a rooster is at mating age what his temperament will be.
     
  7. LegginMF12

    LegginMF12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had one of my roosters become very mean to me. He would literally draw blood and always go for my feet or legs. So one day he went after me and I snatched him up and carried him around tucked under my arm like a football for about 40 minutes. Now? He doesn't want anything to do with me! LOL
    [​IMG]
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Wish that worked every time, but sadly, it doesn't. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a rooster will fixate on one person. They can't usually be dissuaded. Had to remove a rooster I adored from here because of that. Can't be watching my back every moment I'm outside with the flock. In fact, I refuse to do so.
     
  9. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had 3 roos,

    one was the Best rooster ever. He was so nice and gentle.
    If another rooster attacked you, big old Popcorn would be there right at your side to protect you.

    He never bit or attacked me once. [​IMG]

    now the other two rooster, that was complete different story [​IMG]
     
  10. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He may target you BECAUSE you handle the food and water. You see it as providing, but he may see it as you meddling with the most important resources within his territory.

    I think it's about 50/50 with roosters of dual purpose breeds. You'll find a gentle one.

    Funny how he captivated those 4 hens belonging to your neighbor! Hens must feel just like women: You can't live with him, but you can't live without him!
     

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