Can I keep my roo in the coop while my hens freerange??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by opihiman911, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2007
    For the last year or so I have been letting my hens and 2 year old Austrolorp roo, Keoki, freerange in my fenced yard while I am home. The roo has always been on his best behavior toward me and all my family, he has always kept his distance from us as he should.

    Last week while they were out Keoki took a dislike to my 4 year old, fluffed up his hackles and started eyeing her up and down. I saw this yelled at him and chased him around till I caught him. I carried him around for 10 minutes, gave him a couple raps on the head. Then had my daughter do the same but she could only carry him a couple minutes. Let him down without a struggle and he ran off to his corner.

    All was fine for another week, till Keoki started it again, but this time he actually charged my daughter. Luckily I was close enough to intercept with a swift kick and a chase around the yard, caught him and did a repeat sesion.

    These last couple days whenever my daughter is in the backyard, Keoki is right there on the fence of the coop eyeing her up making agressive gestures to her like hackles up, drop wing dance, bobbing. I show up and he stops and goes back to his past submissive self.

    We have taken to letting the hens out to freerange, but keeping Keoki in the coop. This drives him crazy. Walking back and forth in the fence, up on the roost, crowing 10x more than usual, calling to his girls who of coarse ignore him. Worse is when the hens go back int o the coop, he is a terror on them. They come in the door and he attacks them, most get a chase and a peck or a pin to the ground, but his 3 favorite hens are brutally mounted one after another.....I feel sorry for them.

    I think his freerange days are over till my little one gets a little bigger and can handle herself like my 9 years old son can. I just can't take a chance on him flogging her. And I don't want to get her scared of her chickens that she loves dearly. But is it okay to keep him locked up while his girls freerange and get all kind of goodies without him? or am I going to disrupt the social balance with his girls and/or make him more agressive toward us without the daily contact? I don't have to worry about predators here, I just want a roo for fertile eggs and a more natural balance in my coop.

    Keep him locked in the coop or is it chicken soup time?

  2. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    I would say find him a nice home with someone who will and can let him free range, keeping him in the coop while the girls come out and play is just going to make him mental, also in his eyes not fair.... Like having 3 kids and only giving 1 a cookie !!!!! Maybe someone in the area could give him a nice home ??
  3. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2007
    Not much chance in rehoming them here as not many backyard coops around. I've put others up on Craigslist before and was only able to rehome one...the others became my uncle's dinner.

  4. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    SAD !!!!!
  5. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    he will be a good chicken soop in the same day.
    Good luck.
  6. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Best keep them all in the pen and everyone happy.
  7. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    If he's doing the "drop-wing dance", (like when he's about to mate a hen, right?) he's evidently decided that your little girl is a hen. This is bad, he's mis-identified her, and could injure her by trying to mate her. (Not to mention "the ick factor", here)

    A friend of mine had a peacock that decided she was a peahen. He jumped on her and delivered some nasty gashes, trying to hold on to her. A roo a lot smaller, but so's a 4 year-old. I wouldn't risk him hurting your baby girl. Roos are pretty easy to come by, you can replace him without too much trouble.

    Locking him up will just make him crazier, IMO.

    If you can't find him a home, I'd say make dumplings. Or crock-pot him and use the meat for whatever chicken dish you prefer. I like tamales, burritos, and enchiladas myself. Crock-potted roo is great for that, or any other dish. More possibilities than just boring old soup!

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