Bullying?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WilloughbyStead, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. WilloughbyStead

    WilloughbyStead Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a flock with 2 roos and they all used to get along just fine, and then one day I noticed the alpha roo getting more ticky with the other roo (who is and always has been submissive and very passive/gentle)... I don't know what has prompted the male to get more bossy when the other roo hasn't done a thing to prompt it. I assumed there was some sort of disagreement. Over the last week it seems to be progressing away from resolution. To make matters worse it appears all my girls are also getting nippy with the lone roo. He spends a lot of time with his nose in the corner- as if the flock has punished him. :(

    Should I be concerned? What should I do? It doesn't seem serious, and no one seems to be getting hurt- except ego and feelings. I feel bad for my other roo, he isn't allowed to really join the flock at all, they shoo him off or force him to stick his head in the corner.. It's bizzare because they've all gotten along together since they were chicks- about a year and half. Now this? Weird...
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Does the picked-on rooster seem like he's getting enough to eat and otherwise appears healthy? If not, then I would be concerned. Otherwise, though undesirable, this behavior is a relatively common occurrence in flocks with more than one rooster.

    As for why the rooster is suddenly getting picked on, there may have been a "disagreement" that left lasting rank impressions on both the aggressor and the victim. This happened with three roosters I had a few years ago. Early in life, one rooster ("Greenhead") had thoroughly dominated a feisty Wyandotte bantam rooster (Stalker), which, for about a year, never challenged the dominant rooster again. Stalker, Greenhead, and another submissive rooster (Tuck) lived together happily for a while. One night, however, I let Tuck breed a hen (normally the males lived in a bachelor pen free of hens, but breeding season was beginning and I wanted offspring from Tuck). Stalker could hear what was happening and got rather ramped up. When Tuck went back into the pen shared with Greenhead and Stalker, Stalker attacked him. Greenhead (the dominant rooster) came to Tuck's rescue. Stalker turned on Greenhead then, who fled. Stalker discovered that he was stronger than Greenhead and Tuck and became the dominant bird. He continued to harass the other males, who were now terrified of their previous "subject." I had to separate all three males, since they no longer got along well--Stalker injured the others.

    The moral of the story: Some males get along great until, overexcited by something (probably a squabble over a hen), their pecking order shifts drastically.That is likely what happened between your two roosters. The aggressive male may become nicer if given time, or not.

    One other possibility: the male may be getting targeted because there is something wrong with him. He may have an un-noticed disease, injury, or parasite infestation that is weakening him and making the others shun him. I would carefully check the rooster over for signs of problems, just to rule out that possibility.
     
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  3. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    @WilloughbyStead You did not mention the ages of the 2 roosters, That can make a difference. Also how large is the flock?

    Do not try to think in human terms. It is normal for a bird to be the bottom of the pecking order, It would seem your flock is going through a reorganization.


    As was mentioned check to see he is eating and drinking. Do not remove him from the flock, if you want to separate him do it in a cage placed inside the coop so he is still a part of the flock. To take him out will just make it worse when you put him back in.

    You can be thankful he is not a guinea, he would be dead by now. They are ruthless. ( and I love mine)
     
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  4. WilloughbyStead

    WilloughbyStead Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2016
    USA-FL
    They are black Americaunas- usually very docile and sweet tempered, both are a year old and the submissive roo is eating and drinking fine. He's healthy, I checked him out today and I'm thinking he may actually be getting bigger than the alpha roo, my alpha too is round and masculine, very proud and big. But the submissive roo has more decorative tail feathers and seems taller and bulking up. maybe my alpha roo (we call him the General) is noticing and just making sure he stays submissive?
    But, Even more interesting- the strange thing is my two Roos are snuggled together right now in the coop like best bros..
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Pecking order changes.....They all try for higher positions in the flock.....Maybe he tried to breed a higher ranking Hen?
    I am sure it will work out once they get the new pecking order figured out........If he was sleeping with his pal, all will be fine.....


    Cheers!
     
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