Calling Roosters Experts!!! Why don't they get along any more?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mom23chicklets, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. mom23chicklets

    mom23chicklets Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2007
    CT
    OMG!!! I just typed for 20 minutes and hit the wrong key and deleted everything!!! Here goes again.

    I have a flock of 27, 22 are raised from day old chicks. They are 6 months old. The other 5 including a Blue Ameraucana rooster ("Blu") I bought two and a half months ago from Golden Sunset Farm. Blu is 7 months old, but was very timid, skittish and nervous. He wouldn't come out of the coop for the first couple of weeks. His flock of younger black Ameraucanas always stayed with him.

    Over time, the two flocks fully integrated and everyone got along really well. Blu would always be a nervous nelly and hang behind to make sure everyone got out (or in). He would walk away from getting treats to check to make sure everyone was accounted for. Really a sweet guy, just not used to being petted and loved like my other chickens.

    Buckbeak, my GLW roo is a month younger than Blu. He recently started to crow and try to mount the hens (unsuccessfully). He thinks nothing of biting a hen to get them out of the way so that he can get to the feeder.

    Well, yesterday I noticed Buckbeak all by himself in the front of the house while the rest of the flock was in the back, getting ready to go in the coop for the night. Next, I see him on TOP of the coop crowing!

    This morning I was in the run with the chickens and saw Blu chasing Buckbeak and biting him repeatedly on the neck. He chased Buckbeak into the coop and refused to let him out into the run. I found Buckbeak inside the coop hiding his head behind a barrel.

    Blu did not allow Buckbeak to come near the flock all day, including when they were free ranging. Buckbeak now has a bloody comb, and is last to go into the coop at night. The rest of the flock hangs with Blu, not a single hen went to Buckbeak.

    Why the change? Obviously something happened that Blu is now top rooster. I just feel sorry for Buckbeak even tho' he was never too kind to the others.

    Will they work it out over time? Is it hormones? I noticed that when Blu is chasing Buckbeak, he will bite him but he isn't going for the kill. He seems to be doing what he needs to in order to keep him away. Is it normal for the entire flock to stay away from Buckbeak who was raised from day 2 with 21 out of the 27?

    Thank you for your advice!
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It is natural. You have a new top rooster and it has little to do with who grew up where. It's hormones and genetics that determine their dispositions, with a hit of environment that lets their behavior show. Chances are now that your top rooster rules the roost, your other one won't try to fight back till he sees the top roo falling as he has accepted his new place. Not much more you can do becides separate them.
     
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Yep, the pecking order is reality to the flock... as the flock gets older the intensity of the fights will become more extreme, with the top roo being priority in daily exitience and also causing stress. One roo to 12 or 14 hens in a mixed flock is plenty. I prefer only one roo to keep the peace.
    Trying to keep more than one in a mixed flock is a work in progress that never seems to end../ in my opinion.

    bigzio
     

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