Do Cockerals Just Suddenly HATE Eachother???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PamB, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    I have two cockerals that always got along fine and seemed to work together nicely. They are about 16 weeks. Suddenly, today, they started fighting and would not stop!! Neither will back down!! Because they both drew blood, I separated one of them. It seems like the one left with the flock is the "top" cockeral. Noone else ever challenges him besides the separated one. As soon as I put them together, they fight immediately again. I'm trying to rehome the separated one since all seems fine as long as he isn't with the rest of them. I have him in the run sectioned off so that they can't peck eachother. Am I doing the right thing?? If I can't rehome him, what do I do?? I wanted to just let them sort it out as I have in the past but I was always told that once blood is drawn, it is time to step in. I'm worried about this evening. I think they should all be able to sleep together, but I don't know.
     
  2. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    I had three who seemed to get along. One day I came home to find two of them under the porch fighting, it seemed, to the death. Separated them and kept one totally separate, and the other two seemed to get along OK (They were both buff rocks, and the odd man out was younger, and a mutt to boot.). But yes, it just happened one day after weeks of getting along.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    You probably won't be able to return him to the flock safely. Once those male hormones kick in, their behavior changes quickly

    When you decided to get chickens, what was your plan for extra roos?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    At one time I had a flock of semi feral bantams that lived in the pine trees behind my home. All summer long everyone would get along. Then suddenly in early Autumn, generally on a rainy day? all heck would break loose, and it would be mass warfare. They would not calm down until I trapped a majority of the cockerels and took them to the auction. I think it was a combination of the hormones and the change in appearance the rain caused (they couldn't recognize one another.) Whatever the cause was, chicken war did not end until most of the cockerels went to market. I doubt that you will be able to reintroduce the seperated cockerel to the flock.
     
  5. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    My plan was to rehome the extra cockerals. I am just nervous now that I won't find him a home. I feel terrible that he needs to be separated.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:In many cases they get rehomed to someone's soup pot. It is just life with chickens; everyone wants eggs, and one roo for 10 hens is plenty, so the world is full of extra roo's.

    In my mind, it is nothing to feel terrible about. We give them a good home and life. If some end up being a meal, at least we can see that this is handled humanely, and that their life was good. Certainly far better than the chickens at the grocery store, or, for that matter, than the fate many roo's see at a hatchery.
     
  7. LALASD4

    LALASD4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want to keep them, I would just let them fight it out if they are about the same size, one of them will back down and runs away, make sure there are places to hide that are out of sight.
     
  8. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    I'm definitely seeing that more than one roo isn't working for my set up. I chose not to free range because of all the preditors, so I believe there isn't enough hiding spots for these guys to get away from eachother. I was trying to let them fight it out, but neither wants to back down. It went on and on today until, finally, I had to separate because I saw blood. I did know this would eventually happen, I guess I'm just so afraid now that noone is going to take him off my hands and I don't know what I'd do at that point. He has been one of our favorites because he is a sweetheart with people and LOVES being held and cuddled. Culling him would be awful for us. I don't know if my husband or myself could do it if it came to that. Are there places you can take roosters to be culled if noone is interested in him??
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    It is about hormone levels.


    Battle royals I deal with, if not managed against occur in late winter as daylengths increase. Sudden change in weather usually final trigger. With American games must be separated immediately and permanently. Other breeds are allowed to sort things out. They are simply trying to sort / reshuffle rank before breeding season begins. Damage does occur but in free range setting looser(s) have option to leave feild. In confinement, even the less gamey breeds can cause unacceptable levels of damage if looser can not get out of way. Pulling all but one male is sometimes best route to take. Experince with a given strain and setup for keeping it will enable more appropriate management options.
     
  10. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Well, after sleeping in a crate in the house last night. I decided to supervise them together again with the flock. They, of course, fought almost immediately, but then the one that was separated squaked and ran away! So, the top cockeral left him alone. There was a little chasing after that, but the one that was separated just kept running away and keeping his distance. All seems fine now!!! They are acting normal again. I'm home today so I'm just going to check on them constantly and see how the day goes. In the meantime, I'm still going to try to find him a good home just in case...but I'm happy that there seems to be a chance that they may be able to live peacefully in the meantime! [​IMG]
     

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