Birds and Bees questions re: Roos

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ruth, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    For one year I've had my happy little flock of all girls. For six months I've had the bigger happy little flock of mixed-sex chickens. Today I have total KAOS.

    My four young roos from my Valentines Day hatch have turned this place into a living nightmare for my girls. They are acting as a pack and chasing down every female, young or old, especially poor Ruth. The girls have taken to hiding and can be found in packs hiding behind things. Ruth won't come down from roost because they go for her every time. My older hens have stated running away from home and going deep into the woods and now two have not returned, I'm afraid lost to predators. The roos are chasing them down, while they scream and run for dear life. While one holds her down the other three crowd around as if to say "When you figure out what to do, we're next." As of yet, from what I can tell, none have actually done the deed and the poor girl eventually escapes. There are piles of feathers everywhere now. I'm concerned that the girls are so scared - this looks very traumatizing - especially for Ruth. To make matters worse I have four younger roos from the Motely Crew drop off batch and two younger RIR roos. So in all I have 10 roos to my 35 females. Right now it's only the four oldest (4 1/2 months) that are causing the problems. But never having had roos my questions are - short of killing them:

    1. Do they ever become gentlemen and try and protect and herd and court the ladies like I've read about?

    2. Does this rough behavior ever stop or do the females just get used to it or learn to like it?

    3. If I built pens and started separating the roos and wanted to add a few ladies for breeding purposes would they just be subjected to this trauma and unable to get away?

    I know this is long but I'm not sure I can deal with watching my calm little flock of girls being chased and terrorized like this. There's screaming and squawking going on all day long.
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    First of all, imho, you need to get all the roos out and into a bachelor pen asap. If not sooner. They are young, full of hormones, and will keep tearing up your hens as long as you allow them to. Once they are adults, then pick out the best one and put him with the girls. If he doesn't settle in and become a good roo in a week or so, pull him out and try somebody else. Keep this up until you find who is best suited for your girls. This is the only way I know of to deal with your problem short of just getting rid of all but one roo. [​IMG]
  3. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Thanks BeckyLa - I may do that. I was afraid to confine all roos together because they might kill each other but so far they aren't fighting amongst themselves and no one has spurs yet. Maybe I can build a temporary pen or confinement quarters in old barn this weekend. I just know they are a pack of wild things on the war path and my poor girls are terrified.
  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Roos will not fight unless they have girls to protect. Yes, they will argue and go through the pecking order routine, but not kill each other. Some people say they must be out of sight of the hens, but when I had a similar problem I just made a temporary pen attached to the side of the other pen and threw in a dog house for shelter since there were only 3 roos. They all got along fine and the hens were much happier with only 1 boy around. [​IMG]
  5. My hens are just grouchy I guess. LOL The young roosters try to get the old hen but she turns around and knocks them down a notch or 2! Today my Appenzellar Spitzenhauben decided he was going to do the deed and he started to jump on the back of a 3 yo hen when she turned pecked him right in the face and then jumped up and kicked him in the chest!!! She then proceeded to chase him all over the run! Boy was that a sight to see, I had to laugh at the poor little fella. Good luck with your boys, I personally have never had to deal with that. Like I said I must just have grouchy mean hens!! LOL [​IMG]
  6. beefy

    beefy Flamingo Daddy-o

    Apr 21, 2007
    South Georgia
    i know its not nearly as peaceful around my house either. the little roos are starting to crow and Conway spends most his time chasing them around the yard.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    My roo seemed to calm down at about a year old. However, I'd pick your favorite and ditch the rest. He'll take over and become more manly like he should once the hormones wear down.
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I'm afraid some will have to go or be put in a bachelor pen, as was suggested. They are chasing the girls down, trying to get the girl before the next guy. The chasing will slow down when there aren't so many competing. Suede and Maverick (no longer have Maverick) did that with my Buff Orps,who always ran under the coop and crammed themselves up under the floor. When Maverick left, Suede calmed down a bit.
  9. flock-mama

    flock-mama Songster

    May 30, 2008
    Bayfield colorado
    I have the same problem, too many roos. The girls are looking bad, feathers broken. They hide from roosters under a trailer. Anyway 3 roos out with 12 girls and 3 roos in Jail(Bachelor pad) I know thats too many, getting rid of 2 roos next week to see if the girls will perk up.
    It's hard to pick!
    I know out of 28 baby chicks I will have more roos!
  10. Knight Hawk Ranch

    Knight Hawk Ranch Songster

    Oct 19, 2007
    Labelle, Florida
    I just went through this. Too many roos and girls loosing feathers everywhere.
    So I chose my nicest looking roo, now named Reggie, and sold the rest.

    I have waiting orders for future roos, apparantly they tasted pretty good. [​IMG]

    I now have a hen sitting on 16 eggs, day 4, and 9 chicks about a month old and one of those for sure is a roo, maybe another is.

    We have plans for another pen for the boys (when we have them) and for seperating birds when needed.

    I have some new photos of my flock, just click the link in my siggy.

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