Cockerel Suddenly Aggressive with Hens

HollyWoozle

Songster
Jun 12, 2018
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1,202
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Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Does anybody have any experience with formerly good-natured cockerels becoming aggressive with the hens? Ours, Olaf, has always been pleasant with the hens (he has always been very active when it comes to performing his duty, but was never overly rough with them).

In the last few weeks the hens have almost stopped laying with the colder weather and Olaf has stopped mounting them, but he is turning increasingly grumpy. He seems to go for the hens over nothing, although he doesn't actually doing anything... he runs at them as if to peck them and they move and he stops (although he did grab one by the tail earlier!).

Is it just that he is no longer getting laid (excuse the pun)? I was just outside for about 20 minutes and saw him chase hens off at least 10 times in that period, although they do still eat and gather around him and roost alongside him cosily at night.
 

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
5,117
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Midgard
I read something like this earlier, about a rooster chasing off hens instead of being the selfless one they’d always known. Some people said that the rooster wasn’t getting sufficient nutrition and that he was eating it all for himself and not tidbitting the hens. In colder weather they need to eat more (corn will help keep them warm) and so maybe more food would help? It might not be the case in this situation. How old is he?
 

HollyWoozle

Songster
Jun 12, 2018
512
1,202
236
Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Thanks for your answer. We have had Olaf since April 2017 and don't know his exact age, although he was only a year or two old when he came (or so we think). This time last year he didn't display this behaviour.

He is currently with 13 hens and quite a lot of space to range. They are fed in the morning with layers feed, again at lunchtime if they've eaten it all and need more and then we have given them a little mixed corn in the afternoons since it's become colder. They do also have some scraps and treats but minimal amounts and later in the day.

At the moment he will be eating contentedly alongside some hens and then might see another out the corner of his eye and go for it... or sometimes he seems to just chase them needlessly, even with there is plenty of food.
 

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
5,117
55,952
1,217
Midgard
Thanks for your answer. We have had Olaf since April 2017 and don't know his exact age, although he was only a year or two old when he came (or so we think). This time last year he didn't display this behaviour.

He is currently with 13 hens and quite a lot of space to range. They are fed in the morning with layers feed, again at lunchtime if they've eaten it all and need more and then we have given them a little mixed corn in the afternoons since it's become colder. They do also have some scraps and treats but minimal amounts and later in the day.

At the moment he will be eating contentedly alongside some hens and then might see another out the corner of his eye and go for it... or sometimes he seems to just chase them needlessly, even with there is plenty of food.
Are there certain hens he seems to dislike?
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,689
138,555
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
Does anybody have any experience with formerly good-natured cockerels becoming aggressive with the hens? Ours, Olaf, has always been pleasant with the hens (he has always been very active when it comes to performing his duty, but was never overly rough with them).

In the last few weeks the hens have almost stopped laying with the colder weather and Olaf has stopped mounting them, but he is turning increasingly grumpy. He seems to go for the hens over nothing, although he doesn't actually doing anything... he runs at them as if to peck them and they move and he stops (although he did grab one by the tail earlier!).

Is it just that he is no longer getting laid (excuse the pun)? I was just outside for about 20 minutes and saw him chase hens off at least 10 times in that period, although they do still eat and gather around him and roost alongside him cosily at night.
No eggs, no interest.;)
He’ll be back to his usual generous, helpful attentive self when he sees a chance of furthering his genes.:)
 

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