Can we talk about rooster raising?

bhawk-23

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Apr 12, 2020
376
528
176
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
Ok, I was out with the flock this evening giving treats to the girls and Oscar came up asking for some. He was on the outskirts and not taking anything from the girls so I was giving him some too. Well, wouldn't you know about 5 minutes later he got enough nerve to peck Orpy, aka his mama, aka top hen. I immediately ran him off, quite the chase but I could not catch him. He got the message though and retreated to the far end corner of our yard and laid down. I separated him from his hatchmate pullet (who followed him down there to lay next to him but through a thin fence) for the remainder of the time I was out there. He was definitely watching the door for me to come back out and when I did he retreated. When they all went to coop, I picked him up he submitted quickly.

Did he get bold and peck the top hen because I was allowing him treats with me and my ladies? Why didn't Orpy discipline him for that disrespectful behavior? Should I no longer offer him treats? Thoughts on this interaction and how I can change my behavior to keep the message clear to him?

Thank you for any contribution to this discussion (aka, lesson for me)😁
 

RoostersAreAwesome

Crossing the Road
May 21, 2017
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Ok, I was out with the flock this evening giving treats to the girls and Oscar came up asking for some. He was on the outskirts and not taking anything from the girls so I was giving him some too. Well, wouldn't you know about 5 minutes later he got enough nerve to peck Orpy, aka his mama, aka top hen. I immediately ran him off, quite the chase but I could not catch him. He got the message though and retreated to the far end corner of our yard and laid down. I separated him from his hatchmate pullet (who followed him down there to lay next to him but through a thin fence) for the remainder of the time I was out there. He was definitely watching the door for me to come back out and when I did he retreated. When they all went to coop, I picked him up he submitted quickly.

Did he get bold and peck the top hen because I was allowing him treats with me and my ladies? Why didn't Orpy discipline him for that disrespectful behavior? Should I no longer offer him treats? Thoughts on this interaction and how I can change my behavior to keep the message clear to him?

Thank you for any contribution to this discussion (aka, lesson for me)😁
Cockerels raised with older hens will eventually be dominant over the top hen, even if this means they have to fight for her to submit. I personally wouldn’t worry about it unless he’s being vicious. I had a bantam cockerel who was generally pretty good with hens, other roosters, and people, but he did have moments where I was worried that I would have to move him to my bachelor flock. He challenged the top hen multiple times before he was able to get her to submit to him, though he was good to her afterwards. When the only adult rooster in that flock got sick, he actually did a great job taking care of the flock. Unfortunately, he died before I could really see his true potential, but I’m confident he would’ve been a good flock rooster, despite the initial rough instances.
 

Asm610

Chirping
Oct 22, 2020
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185
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Question about my young cockrels behavior. He has started to exhibit some dominance type behavior over other members of the flock. They are all the same age, born in October and have been raised together. He is also starting to get into skirmishes....small ones..with a couple of brahma cocks and another Australorp starting to come into his own that is starying to vocalize. I assume this is normal behavior but is there ANYTHING I should be on the lookout for!
 

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bhawk-23

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Apr 12, 2020
376
528
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East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
@RoostersAreAwesome

Thank you. I was hoping to stay the "dominant" rooster of my flock for a bit. Though we live in a town where roosters ARE legal and my neighbors are aware we are trying to keep one I would like to curb some behaviors for the spring time. He is 13.5 weeks right now and not really crowing. He will be in prime time for love once spring hits and I was a little concerned about that combination for the girls and our neighbors. Thoughts?
 

RoostersAreAwesome

Crossing the Road
May 21, 2017
8,094
24,027
882
Question about my young cockrels behavior. He has started to exhibit some dominance type behavior over other members of the flock. They are all the same age, born in October and have been raised together. He is also starting to get into skirmishes....small ones..with a couple of brahma cocks and another Australorp starting to come into his own that is starying to vocalize. I assume this is normal behavior but is there ANYTHING I should be on the lookout for!
Assuming you mean behavior towards the other chickens and not you, there are a few things you can look out for. Pulling out feathers and bloodying combs are both ones you probably want to avoid, and may need to remove or separate him if he starts doing that. If he approaches pullets the same age or younger than him and they duck their heads and run away, that’s usually not a good sign. That would mean that he’s bullying them, which is another thing you want to avoid. If he isn’t showing these behaviors, then I’d say everything is normal and you can keep him with the flock.
@RoostersAreAwesome

Thank you. I was hoping to stay the "dominant" rooster of my flock for a bit. Though we live in a town where roosters ARE legal and my neighbors are aware we are trying to keep one I would like to curb some behaviors for the spring time. He is 13.5 weeks right now and not really crowing. He will be in prime time for love once spring hits and I was a little concerned about that combination for the girls and our neighbors. Thoughts?
I don’t know. I’ve never tried to stop a rooster from crowing by altering his behaviors. Honestly, the sound never bothered me, for some reason. :lol:
 

bhawk-23

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Apr 12, 2020
376
528
176
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
I don’t know. I’ve never tried to stop a rooster from crowing by altering his behaviors. Honestly, the sound never bothered me, for some reason. :lol:
Yeah, I wouldn't mind either. And I know he will crow, I'm not trying to stop that. I guess I am just hoping to keep him from crowing when the sun is down (stipulation set by hubs and neighbor) and harassing the hens too much. I also thought I had a little more time before this stage hit since he is only 13.5 weeks old😟
 

Savitar

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2020
11
40
37
I'm the one who posted about the rooster knocking my glasses off my face. He's been rehomed, and is going to a ranch in Wyoming where he'll have 26 Easter Egger hens. He won't be in a situation where there are small children, etc. So, he's not in the soup pot yet.

Funny, the little bantam rooster left behind started crowing as the other rooster was being loaded into the truck. Hadn't heard him crow until that day. And when I took out veggies, he picked up a pea and clucked to show the hens. They ignored him, of course, because he's a pip squeak. But he's trying! I'll keep an eye out for him. He was supposed to be a Mille Fleur D'uccle, but ended up with a top knot, and folks here thought he was more likely to be a silkie cross. He does have the dotted/speckled feathers underneath. I hope he remains sweet.
Francois4.jpg

People laugh when they hear his name is Francois. I have no idea why.
Francois5.jpg
 
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mcdze

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
279
355
118
he'll likely go through a stage where he becomes very competitive with the hens and tries to dominate all the food .. if your gonna keep him you need to end that and you shouldnt do it by chasing or physically punishing him, the hens will see that and you'll eventually make yourself the bad guy to the whole flock .. the best thing to do is when he runs up to grab food or treats just pick him up and hold him while you feed the others, and have a way to pen him or the others off while 'they' eat .. he doesnt get anything until 'everything' else is done .. he gets it by himself .. he'll eventually get used to that routine and even 'help' you with the girls to get them done, coralling them up etc ... as far as crowing goes 'late' crowing isnt the issue .. eventually he'll crow at any odd noise .. like the neighbors opening their doer etc lol '' thats a rooster for ya .. 5am sunday morning your trying to be quiet and he's gonna react to anything he sees or hears and sound off .. thats what drives people nuts lol ..
 

Asm610

Chirping
Oct 22, 2020
90
185
86
Thanks for the input folks. Ive seen him grab at a couple other cockrels on the odd occasion. Ive also seen those same cockrels square up with him. Since theyre all 3.5 months old...Im giving it time. Hes the most physically mature without a doubt...but none of them have developed a " nastyness yet" and I spend much of my day with these birds talking to them...singing to them and holding them...so I am hoping to keep them relatively tame.
 

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