Cream Legbar Cockerel traumatizing my three year old Dominque hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Toetwo, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2012
    Hi,

    Ah the continuing Soap opera of my chickens....

    I ordered 4 Cream legbar pullet chicks this past summer when my Austrolorp went broody. AUTO sexed, as you may know. Long story short, I now have one cockerel and two pullets in my flock of eleven chickens. Given the circumstances, I had hoped to hatch some cream leg bars.

    Meantime, my Rhode Island red rooster died of cancer this past fall. The older hens, with whom he was raised, still seem a bit forlorn. Beatrice, his daughter, just stares into space. And our Dominque hen--well, I don't know what's happened. When Big Red died, all the older hens only tolerated the cockerel. They've all resigned themselves to him now but the Dominque, who used to be one of the top hens, is keeping herself apart from the flock and is TERRIFIED of the cockerel, who persists in chasing her. She spends most of her time hiding in a nesting box. (No, she is not broody.)

    I don't know what to do. I do like having a rooster. He seems to get along with the rest of them. But the drama and trauma of Ping, who is also my favorite hen, is getting to be too much. This has been going on for weeks.

    Any suggestions? Though I assume it is get rid of the cockerel or the hen. ... :-(
    FYI, I don't eat chickens. I won't kill them if I can avoid it. Not sure how to go about rehoming a Cream Legbar. I live in southern NH.


    Toe
     
  2. CGilbert

    CGilbert Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a cockerel that was just horrible to one of my girls. She screamed and yelled every time he tried to breed her. I asked the question on here and was told stew pot or sell him. I didn't like those options because he was such a good mannered boy otherwise, and my only breeding male white Ameraucana. I put him in a bachelor pad for about a month or two (with a few other boys). Then I re-introduced one of the girls that never took any crud from him and removed the other boys. I left them in there for a week and they seemed to do fine. Then I reintroduced them both back into the main flock and he has been a complete gentleman.

    Long story short: I think when the boys first start wanting to mate they're too aggressive and not very smart about it. They just know there's a need that needs to be met. If you can separate him with one of the girls that tolerates him (or both cream legbars), I would suggest trying that for a while.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  3. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did separate him for about a week. And I separated her from the main flock at one point. I just moved the entire flock to a new winter coop situation. I'll attempt separating him again.
    Thanks very much for the suggestion!
    Toe
     
  4. CGilbert

    CGilbert Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck. And I would not suggest separating him by himself. Let me know how it's going in a few weeks.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Yeah, that auto-sexing of Cream Legbars is really terrific, isn't it? I have a Cream Legbar cockerel under the same circumstances as you.

    Strawberry is eight months old now, and is the only cock in the flock. (See what I just did, funny, huh?) He is pretty smooth when he mates those who are receptive, but one older EE hen seems to be his favorite target, and she isn't wild about him. He was mating her so often and so roughly, she had back to back eye infections from getting her face smashed into the dirt so often.

    So I would close him off in a section of the run every time he got overly focused on her. I'd keep him apart with a couple of pullets that like him. After a few hours, I'd let him out, but back he'd go if he started up on the EE again.

    Interrupting bad behavior often works to curb it. You need to stay on top of the flock action and keep separating him repeatedly, and maybe he'll be persuaded to drop his fixation on the one hen. If he doesn't, keeping a cockerel separate from the hens is a standard management practice. They are usually content as long as they can still see and talk to the girls. After a cockerel reaches a year to eighteen months, the hormones begin to settle down, and they become less disruptive. If you can last that long.
     
  6. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Azygous and everyone.

    As to Strawberry. it is frustrating, isn't it? to order chicks, at no small expense, and have them cockerels. Poor cockerels. They get it no matter what. Thus, I have hoped to be able to tough it out and wait until he's a calm roo. I have Little Big Man in solitary confinement--his own coop and big run with views open to the girls all around. I worry he is lonely and bored and so let him out when we work outside with the "girls"--and he just zeros in on Panda. (He has moved from being aggressive with our Dominque to our Austrolorp. And frankly he does have an aggressive mounting technique.)

    I called around and next week the Friendly Farm will take him. They have a barnyard situation that's open to the public.I just hate to think about the trauma/drama of meeting all the roos and hens there. . . . But assume Friendly Farm will know how to introduce him--and he is a handsome fellow!

    I've reread all the posts and half wish I had the time and wits to wait it out for a bit longer to see if he calms down. But then I let him out and he is rough, youth or not. And the girls seem to kind of like having him crowing in the distance and not on their backs. So I guess I will grab the opportunity while it is there and be ever so grateful that Friendly Farm will take him and hope he settles in there.

    Thank you again.
     

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