Bad rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LOTRnchicknluvr, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. LOTRnchicknluvr

    LOTRnchicknluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm about to get some chicks to add to my flock and I was wondering about replacing my rooster. My rooster is a complete coward. He's the kind who will hand one of the hens to a fox to save himself. Also, he has no idea how to take care of himself. He has gotten frostbite for the third time this year and has lost about 1/2 of his comb to it. None of the hens have gotten frostbite once. And I really don't want a rooster to have to live in my garage all winter. We have long winters and I've tried everything for him. Any suggestions? Help!?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm thinking you probably shouldn't have a rooster at all. I don't know if you understand the nature of the beast or that they have no control over whether or not they get frostbite. You don't say where you're from, but if you are in a cold climate (and by "cold" I mean temperatures that regularly get in the double-digits below zero) and have a large-combed rooster, you are very likely going to have frostbite issues. Frostbite is also a sign of too much humidity in your coop. Is it well ventilated? Dry? Not heated?

    How old is this rooster that you want to replace? (Because it sounds to me like you are looking for a reason to do so) Is he a mature adult (over a year old)? Not all roosters will stand up to a predator and give his life for his flock. What has he done to make you believe he would "hand one of the hens to a fox to save himself"?
     
  3. LOTRnchicknluvr

    LOTRnchicknluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, it is the double digits negative a good bit here. And I know they don't have too much control over getting frostbite, but, I meant in the context that the hens will tuck their heads under their wings and the rooster refuses to do so. I have to have a rooster as we have several foxes and coyotes and I have already lost a flock to them last year. I would love to keep my rooster if I can. And as far as being a coward, he's almost a year, and I know that it can take a while before they start protecting but, he hides from snowflakes. Also, the coop is very well ventilated, almost too much, always dry, and I don't heat it as that can cause humidity. Also, his comb isn't too large, maybe medium? He's a RIR. And again, the hens have combs slightly smaller than his and absolutely no sign of frostbite with them.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Roosters generally don't tuck their heads under their wings - maybe that's because they want to be more aware of what's going on around them.

    What else are you doing to protect your hens from the foxes and coyotes? If he's your first or only line of defense, you can plan on losing more hens to them. After all, once he's given his life, what is there to stop the predators? He can only die once when protecting them. Once he's out of the way, there is nothing to stop them from wiping out the rest of your flock.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    All roosters don't tuck their head under their wings at night. I assume because they are keeping watch. In colder climates it's better to keep smaller combed roosters. If he has enough frostbite he won't feel good for a while and will be a bit off. He's still young yet, I don't consider mine mature until they are 2 years or more. As temperatures rise and spring approaches he should being feeling more hormonal and should get more confidence.

    It's possible that without another rooster for competition he's slacking too. Not every rooster is a good leader. Yours is still young, he may improve over the coming year.

    I love the Lord of the Rings movies too, we watch them a couple times a year.
     
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  6. LOTRnchicknluvr

    LOTRnchicknluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok! Thanks! I'll try to keep working with him! I've resecured the entire co-op and spread predator wolf pee around regularly. So it's secure without him. I just need an alarm system as the last flock was killed quietly.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Running electric fencing around the whole coop and run can be a great deterrent. You could also try motion activated lights, or a product called Night Guard. I personally have some donkeys and a husband with a gun.

    All chickens will start cackling when disturbed. A good rooster will go into attack mode and either get taken or startle off the predator. If it's really dark out chickens are basically paralyzed as they can't see and are easy to snatch.
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I too, have serious predators. I have lost many a chicken to !#$^%$#@ predators. What I have found, is, a rooster needs to be a year old before they even start to get the hang of the whole flock master idea. They are sexually active long before they are protective, or dancing, or settling squabbles with the girls.

    And when I have a good mature rooster, my day time predation has dropped dramatically. However, I have lost very good roosters to a predator. It is not fool proof. At night, chickens are senseless, and very fair game. Especially to coons... oh don't let me get started on coons.

    If you are just getting chicks, well it seems like there is always a rooster in them. My point is, for what ever reason, you are not real happy with this rooster. So do cull him, but personally, I would keep him until your chicks are nearly 6-8 months old. I am a firm believer in a multi-generational flock. I think chicks learn chicken manners in a multi-generational flock. The older birds do not put up with the attitude. I think you get better roosters.

    Mrs K
     
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  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Sounds to me like you just plain don't like this bird. You don't need to justify that or get anyone's permission to replace him. I've had animals I simply don't care for. They get sold, and I replace them with someone I get along with or just like better.
     
  10. LOTRnchicknluvr

    LOTRnchicknluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you everyone for your help! I think I'll definitely keep him for a while, I really love him, he's super sweet. I think I just needed a little reassuring that he'll mature.I just got a little discouraged the other day about him getting frostbite for the third time and as he's my first rooster, I'm always worried that he'll turn out bad. One more thing, any recommendations for super cold hardy good egg layers?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017

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