Beak clips for Roosters that are over-mating my hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickepoo, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. chickepoo

    chickepoo In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2007
    Buffalo, MN
    There is no other way to say it. We started with 2 roosters a couple years ago who were much smaller than our hens, and they were complete gentlemen. Unfortunately, a fox came on the property and one of them (Pip) fought to the death to protect his girls. [​IMG] The other (Squeak) stepped up and took over the whole flock, and his plumage even changed. He's a wonderful roo.

    Being that he was our only boy, when Coot got broody and ended up hatching 2 eggs, we knew who was daddy. Well, as nature has it, the chicks were both males and being a mix of banty and RIR, they are both full grown now and HUGE and EXTREMELY over-mating the hens. We spend a lot of time with our flock, so they are not aggressive to us in the least, but cheese and rice....they are tearing up the hens. Squeak protects Honey (our 8 yoa hen) so they leave her alone and he does what he can for the others, but he can't be everywhere at once. God forbid one of them goes back in the barn to lay or get water. We are constantly running to save the poor gal from the over-mating which seems to be their style. Only a few have war wounds and the lower on the pecking order they are, the less feathers they have on their head and backs. We rescued from certain death a girl (Bobbles) who fell ill in the winter and suffered extreme frost bite to her comb and feet. She lost all toes both feet except for one, and her one leg is a gnarly nub. She can run, but not fast enough. She is a perfect target. [​IMG]

    I morally cannot kill them, nor do I have the heart to send them off somewhere where death will most likely occur. Chicken rescues won't take them cuz they won't be able to get rid of them. I hate the idea of cooping anyone up. We have 24 hens just 1 month old, so when they are grown will the Roos (Eddy and Wally) settle down? I guess if only one question gets answered, has anyone had luck using jewelry? (i.e. Peepers or those rings in the nose?) It seems most of the damage happens with their beaks, and I will not de-beak. Thats just mean. We raised these guys, I feel an obligation to give them a chance to stay with us. Please help.

    **edited to change inappropriate reference**
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2010
  2. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Songster

    Feb 20, 2008
    Buxton, Montana
    You say you can't cull, but you use the word rape in reference to your hens. Isn't it possible for you to find a quick humane way to cull these roosters who make the life of the hens an inhumane existence?
    Freisian likes this.
  3. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    Coop de Grass likes this.
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging Staff Member Premium Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Any way you look at it, somebody is going to die. Either the roosters or they are going to kill a hen. Gang mating is not good for your girls.
  5. tabetta

    tabetta Hatching

    May 30, 2010
    i could not agree more with montana, i am not a farm girl by any means, and we raised all of ours from babies, but to think that a roo was "raping" one of my girls? that boy would have a bag over his head really fast.
    Coop de Grass likes this.
  6. luvchicks8

    luvchicks8 Songster

    Jul 1, 2009
    new Hampshire
    cull or keep them in a pen so not to get to the hens. You can make an outdoor run for them so they can't get to the hens. close off an area in the coop for the rooster.
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Morally, I'd have a huge problem letting my hens go through that everyday, when it's my responsibility to protect them. It's asking a lot of your good rooster to go up against two young roosters all day, every day, as well as protecting the flock from predators.

    If you can't bring yourself to contain them, butcher them or sell them, I would stop raising chicks and just keep the chickens you have. It's something anyone that breeds chickens has to face. Otherwise, you are going to have a situation that just gets worse every year. You still need to resolve the problem with these extra roosters.

    Until you can experiment with peepers, I urge you to pen those extra roosters. Really, I don't think a bachelor pen is all that horrible of a fate, with a nice dust bath, some things to hop on and some foraging opportunities set up. At this point, your hens might all prefer being penned, while you let your roosters run wild in the yard.
    Freisian likes this.
  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Chickepoo-

    A friend of mine had a really mean rooster, and she bought those pinless peepers and she said they really did work. I've heard other say their chickens can just rip those right off.

    I think you are attached to your chickens, and a softhearted person, but you really need to take a minute and look at the big picture. You've got an flock of terrorized hens, and your best rooster can't handle those two, much larger youngsters.

    What I would do, is put those roosters in "time out"--yes, pen them up for the good of the flock. Advertise them on Craigslist as a "pet only" rooster and see if you can't just give them away. If you really don't want to cull them, then you should keep them locked up, where they can't continue to hurt your hens.

    I really like my chickens too, and at first I told myself they would all be pets and all that, but things change when you have 19 chickens! LOL I had to modify my thinking so that I wouldn't become "the crazy chicken lady"! [​IMG] I will sell a few sometimes when I don't want them, and I've even had to cull one about a month ago because he had severely deformed feet.

    It's just the way of the chicken world. And I'm not saying cull cull cull......I'm just saying you can try to find homes, or cull and have a nice chicken dinner. It's up to you, but you gotta be your hen's protector, even if that means protecting them against other chickens.

    Just some food for thought! And I hope this helps!
  9. toto65

    toto65 Chirping

    Jun 26, 2010
    Holland, VT
    I agree with the previous posts, I have 2 Amberlink roo's with 6 hens. I kept 2 out of 5 originally and could not decide which of the last 2 to keep. They have made the decision for me. Brutus which is the largest is now very gentle with the hens and Mr. Cocky who is the prettiest is getting nasty to the girls. As much as I hate to admit that hubby was right, the larger roo is going to be the keeper. Not only do I have to worry about the hens, but Cocky is getting sneaky and I have a 2 year old grandson to worry about too. Sometimes you have to make a decision that is not always pleasant but it has to be made anyway.
  10. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Stick those 2 boys into a rooster pen. They will be perfectly happy in there. I cant stand the boys being rough on the girls. my bantam roosters are much worse than the big boys.........I caught them standing at the coop door at night and they would grab the girls as they tried to go in to roost. All their butts moved into a rooster pen the next day. They are moderately happy in there. They chase each other around, they scratch for bugs, they play on the roosts. Its a perfectly good life for a rooster if you MUST keep them. And my hens are THRILLED to have the little jerks gone. I still have my big boys out with the big flock so the girls have someone to keep an eye on them........without having to live in fear all day or hide in the bushes.

    It doesn't matter how many hens I have. I think I have over 50 out there now....and even leaving just 1 bantam boy out with them he was harassing a few incessantly and standing at the coop door at night. The big boys spend a lot of time chasing the bantams around trying to keep them off the is ridiculous how much stress and drama it leads to. Take them out of the flock and into a rooster pen on a trial basis for 2 weeks and see what a difference it makes. I think the boys are even less stressed as they are not constantly looking for their next victim......

    Here is my rooster pen. Do they look unhappy or stressed?

    Freisian likes this.

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