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Can this randy rooster be rehabilitated?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by batta, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. 'Relocate' him before he causes serious injury or death.

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. Try to keep him away from the pullets until they are old enough to breed.

    3 vote(s)
    60.0%
  3. See if taking down his spurs will sufficiently reduce the risk of injury.

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. Don't worry, he is unlikely to cause any serious problem.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Feed him saltpeter. (Okay, I'm not serious about saltpeter, but if anyone has a suggestion to reduc

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. batta

    batta New Egg

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    Jun 26, 2013
    Big Island, Hawaii
    I'm a chicken novice. A bit over a year ago a rooster passing through the neighborhood decided the livin' was easy at our place and settled down. We had watched him drifting for 6 months prior to his putting down stakes as every 4 to 6 weeks he would shift his territory by about 100 yards or so. He is a typical Hawaiian mix, with probably a good bit of game fowl in him. He looked not quite full grown when he first appeared in the neighborhood, and is now probably about 2 years old. We know that for the past 18 months he has lived the life of a lonely bachelor.

    We brought in a dozen day-old pullets with the primary objective of controlling coquis, and the secondary objective of providing eggs. They are now 9 weeks old (and 9 of the 12 remain thanks to a couple of now-deceased mongooses). The pullets are barred rocks and gold sex links.

    Our problem is that the rooster wants to make up for his long spell without female companionship. To get the girls used to foraging, we let them out of their fenced enclosure under supervision for an hour or two every day. We try to maintain some separation between the rooster and the girls, but he got to one before we could stop him and drew quite a bit of blood, he grabbed a beakful of tail feathers in an attempt to subdue another, and has made additional attempts at mating. His spurs are not particularly large, probably just over an inch long. He is not consistently aggressive, and usually will calmly watch from a short distance. He accepts me and my wife as the flock bosses.

    We would like to keep the rooster if manageable -- he has proven himself to be resourceful and able to survive and feed himself, skills which we would be happy to have him teach the girls, and he could be good protection from mongooses. While I think the girls are now grown enough that a mongoose would not attack a group, there is often a straggler who is distracted and could be easy prey.

    So the question is whether it is likely that this rooster will, with time to become more used to being part of a flock rather than a loner, and with additional growth of the girls, stop presenting a risk of injury or death, or is it time to 'relocate' him.

    Thank you for all comments, suggestions, and advice.
     
  2. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 1, 2011
    Plainfield, NH
    Do you intend to hatch the eggs? Because if not, there's no reason you ever need to let him near your girls.
     
  3. batta

    batta New Egg

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    Jun 26, 2013
    Big Island, Hawaii
    We do not plan to hatch eggs, but would not mind if that happens. But if he stays there will be no way to keep him physically separated from the girls because of our primary objective of having the flock for coqui control. They need to be out foraging and finding the coquis around the trees and shrubbery.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Trap him and eat him....or pen him until the girls are old enough to breed, he may make a good flock leader.

    9 weeks is way too young to breed, I wouldn't think a mature rooster would try to mate an immature pullet, and he may well be trying to eat them.
     
  5. Cheyen

    Cheyen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    Sounds like he's trying to dominate your girls before they reach maturity for "ease of access", if you will. Establishing a pecking order is a nasty business, and nine weeks is way too young to breed a pullet. He could seriously injure one of them if he's too rough. If you really want to protect your flock, but are worried about this rooster, I would seriously consider trapping and relocating him. You could easily get yourself a more tame, gentle rooster for your girls.
     

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