cockerel behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by arabbie1, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. arabbie1

    arabbie1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 2 - 8 mo. old cockerels. One a more mature Black Copper Marans, & a Partridge Rock.
    The Marans has an attitude, Partridge Rock is laid back & mellow. They and 7 hens & pullets have been living peacefully for several mo. now. They both service the girls without incident. The Partridge hasn't even crowed until today.
    Today harmony ceased! The Rock crowed and both boys came face to face after being let out of the coop. No blood, I didn't let things get to that point, just face to face heads lowered, neck feathers on guard. Lot's of charging & jumping over the charger. Back & forth, first one then the other. I picked up the Rock & placed him in the run with the coop & outside doors shut. The Marans & girls foraged & the Rock paced for a while.
    Is this just posturing, or will this behavior progress into bloodshed? They took turns running at the run fence when the Marans came around. He doesn't appear to notice the 2 other Partridge Rocks living together all the same age.
    Should they be permanently separated? Will they settle back into 1st Marans, & 2nd Rock places without violence? What should I do? I originally placed the Rock with the Marans & girls because his 2 brothers were ganging up on him & drawing blood. Help please
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    There's no predicting what they will be doing weeks or months from now. They could settle their differences quickly if you allow them to finish what they started or this could be the start of a bloody feud that can get worse as time progresses.

    If you don't wish to take a chance on seeing which it will be, it would be best to separate them now.

    The fact that the less dominate cockerel suddenly decided to challenge the dominate one does not bode well for a peaceful coexistence, though.

    And if you have other cockerels all of the same age, this could occur again at any time. You'd best be thinking about rehoming a few of the boys. Or having some for dinner.
     
  3. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Am I correct in understanding that those 2 cockerels are in with only 7 females? If so, then that will never do. They would need to have more females than that in there. One male can service 10 hens by himself.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Hormones will start surging over the coming months with the increasing of daylight. Two roosters will go at it continuously unless one can escape. Things will probably get worse. Get rid of one of both, or swap them out every week or two.

    You didn't mention the size of your set up. Your hens will be bare backed soon with two roosters constantly mating them. Unfortunately some decisions will have to be made for the good of the hens. I would personally keep no roosters unless more hens were added.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    To keep the birds looking good, I would pen one and allow other to range with females. Having both out can be done although one of both will be dinged up at some point. In a free-range setting, the fighting is not a function of hen to rooster ratio as much as a need for space. If you can make so flock can split into two with a male heading each and so areas they range have very little overlap then both can be out and the they can look good. Area I need to have free-ranging like that is multiple acres with a few other investments in terms of feeding stations and cover.


    My first approach would be to pen one so he can also serve as a backup rooster in the event first is lost.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Cockerels that have been housed together all their lives with the same hens do have mini battles to keep their top position in the flock.....Being you do not live with them 24 hours a day....I can say it is not the first time they have postured with each other....As long as no real fighting is taking place, leave them.....They will mellow as they mature....


    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  7. arabbie1

    arabbie1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all for your advice & your absolutely right. I have 8 young females to be added at a later date. Once their grown that is. As for now, your right, I'm sure they have duked it out without audience prior to this. This am. both had several black spots on combs. I couldn't leave the Partridge in the run, alone, in the dark, in the cool evening, without the protective coop. The Partridge is staying out of the Marans way and is playing cool, dark, handsome & silent. So I guess Bruce is still reining king. They have a 6x8 foot coop with a 10x10 run for 9 birds. They free range every day I'm home. With 2 weeks off, they are in chicken heaven.
    Working on an A frame so the 2 lone cockerels can be moved in which will free up a 4x8 coop for half the present group with a 10x10 run.
    Once this is done, will work on adding 10 more feet to each run. Not counting the tree stumps, swing & dust baths. Going to add roosting bars at a later date.
    Yeah I know this should have been done BEFORE the chickens, but I saw hatching eggs I just had to have & since no one can tell girl eggs from boy eggs, welllll you can guess the rest of the story.
    I have let it out that I have cockerels that need new homes, but doesn't everyone?
    I just can't send any of my birds to freezer camp. Even Bruce, who can be slightly aggressive. He and I have an unstable truce.
    Again thank you all for your advice & suggestions. Very much appreciated.
     

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