Cockrel - Trouble or Normal?

PattyNH

Songster
Sep 13, 2016
357
932
222
New Hampshire - USA
So I've raised chickens for a few years but never had cockrels. I now have 4 cockrels (13 weeks old). I am trying to rehome at least 3 if not all of them, but have had no luck. I also have 12 hens/pullets (2 @ 2yrs, 10 @ 13 weeks). Only one if my hens is laying currently. One cockrel has started mounting the laying hen and biting/pulling the feathers at the back of her neck. She's not been injured but does holler like crazy when this happens. He has done this with 1-2 of the pullets as well but I've seen that much less frequently. This has been going on for 2 days. I know cockrels can be inept at romancing (trying to use delicate language lol) females but also need to make reductions in my flock. To cut to the chase, would you cull the aggressive humper (who has honestly been the most aggressive brat overall for weeks) or separate him as he's also one of the two lead boys in the flock? I'd love some advice on how to choose which cockrel to keep, if any. My goal isn't to breed but to have a rooster (or 2 if it would work) to protect my free range flock.
@rachelsflock

@Wyorp Rock @Brahma Chicken5000 @aart @Chickassan @Texas Kiki
 
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ShannonR

Free Ranging
5 Years
Sep 17, 2015
2,535
16,786
552
I would get rid of the rapist cockerel first... some are more aggressive with "romancing" than others, yes they can all go through a learning phase, but if one is obviously a problem while the others are not, then deal with the problem one first.
 

CannedMonster

Free Ranging
Nov 26, 2017
2,275
4,808
577
Southwest Idaho
I agree with the others here.
Get rid of that humper lol.
I had 3 to deal with and I kept the one lowest on the pecking order that was the most skittish of me.
He’s turned out great although the romancing Of the ladies was quite the learning curve!
Older hens don’t want cockerels, especially at this time of year.
My girls have stopped or slacked off laying so they’re not happy about being bred by any male.
I also have a 5 month old BA cockerel that has wanted nothing to do with me since day one as a chick.
He’s actually turning out even better than the older one.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,627
130,411
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
If you want to keep one, pick one and eat the rest.
Personally I only keep a male to sire the next generation of layers.
All extra males get put in the freezer between 12-16 weeks...multiple males are a PITA.
It's hard to see their true demeanor's until the others are gone.
My birds are confined, but even if I free ranged would not count on a male to protect the flock, many are just a speed bump on the way to the buffet.
 

CannedMonster

Free Ranging
Nov 26, 2017
2,275
4,808
577
Southwest Idaho
If you want to keep one, pick one and eat the rest.
Personally I only keep a male to sire the next generation of layers.
All extra males get put in the freezer between 12-16 weeks...multiple males are a PITA.
It's hard to see their true demeanor's until the others are gone.
My birds are confined, but even if I free ranged would not count on a male to protect the flock, many are just a speed bump on the way to the buffet.
:goodpost:
This is very true and I forgot to mention that if you keep more than one, when the hormones do hit them, they will compete with each other too breed the girls.
I mean they seriously will tag team the same hen!
That’s when I got rid of the last one and just kept Angus.
My girls were still annoyed by the “young guy” but at least it was only one.
 

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