Double trouble roosters!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gypsy07, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two young cockerels that were the only two chicks that made it out of a poor hatch last spring. They're about 7 months old now, and very easy going to have around the place, compared with my big old nasty Marans roo who I just ate last weekend. They go everywhere and do everything together. They stomp about the yard side by side like a pair of funny twins that always wear matching clothes and it's really comical. They're friendly to me in a kind of standoffish way and have never shown the slightest hint of aggressiveness to anyone.

    But I'm a bit worried about how they act with the hens. When I say they do everything together I really do mean EVERYTHING. Ahem. I've nicknamed them the tag team shaggers and I'll apologise in advance in case I'm offending any delicate sensibilities. But when they're romancing one of my ladies, one of them will grab her by the neck feathers with his beak while the other one jumps on top and does the deed. Then they swap places. Is this normal behaviour? I thought roos would always compete for top position.

    Anyway, I have 13 hens which I thought would be enough, but I think they may have taken a shine to one in particular, as I have just noticed that she has small bare patches on her shoulder area. Should I be worried?
     
  2. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had the same situation with my two young roosters (also the only hatchees out of a clutch of Maran eggs). I thought they might grow out of it, and they were SO beautiful and otherwise seemed like good boys, but then they both started picking on one hen, the most docile and submissive one in my flock (and, of course, my favorite) and would just beat her up every time they saw her. Her head was bruised and battered, and she was terrified of them, so I had to keep her separate. Then they went after the next lowest on the pecking order, same thing. They're in the fridge now. [​IMG] Is this just adolescent behavior that they would have grown out of, or just a preview of worse to come? I have very limited experience with roosters, though I read all these things about how great they are, I'm inclined to like the coop a little more peaceful.
     
  3. Rowtag

    Rowtag Out Of The Brooder

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    I had a pair of RIR brothers that were inseparable like that. And just as you said they did everything together. I think they are fine until they pick a favorite, at which point you end up with a bare backed bird. You could try a saddle if you have one hen getting more attention. My two boys were great, but one of them died in the line of duty. The roo I had left was so depressed and stressed out watching the girls alone that I decided to get a second roo for him. It worked great for him. My theory is that he just gets stressed out making sure everyone is safe, he won't put his head down to eat if there is not another rooster present to watch for danger.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I had a couple of roosters like that, two brothers raised together that hung out with each other more than with the hens. One was dominant, no question about that, but they did not fight. Several times I saw them working together to chase down a relunctant hen or pullet, but when they caught her, they did not tag team her. One of then would mate her but the other usually did not. And it was not always the dominant one that did the mating.

    They do compete for top position. Often, when they figure that out, they form a good team to work together to protect the flock. Sometimes the dominant one will not allow the second in command to collect his perks in front of him, but sometimes they do. All chickens have different personalities.

    I would not be worried about that hen, but I would be observant. She is at some risk but I've had several with that problem and they were never further injured. As long as she is not bleeding or raw, she is OK. I did trim the spurs and blunt the claws on the rooster that caused that and it did not get any worse. Saddles did not help because that was in an area the saddle does not cover. The feathers did not grow back until they molted. If the feather is broken off instead of completely removed, it is not going to grow back until a molt.

    Nostalchic, sometimes they grow out of it and sometimes they don't. Some are brutes and some are just teenagers high on hormones. In your case one of them at least would have found its way to my table real fast. The change in pecking order or flock dominance might have corrected the problem with the other, but then it might not have. I do not fault your decision at all.
     
  5. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had two young cockerels last year, a RIR and a buff Orp, They did the exact same thing. They got along so well, but when one mounted a hen, the other was right behind the first. I had 25 hens, thinking that would be enough for both. They did this for two months. I thought they would grow out of it but they didn't. I had to get rid of them when they tried to jump a hen in front of me. That was the last straw for them. But now the hens are much more happy without them. I still have the Buff roo, but he is in his own coop with no hens. I'm afraid he will mess my hen's backs up again. The hen's didn't heal for a month after that.
     
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL at all the responses. And I thought I had an unusual problem here!

    I'll need to pay closer attention and see if one of my roos IS dominant and I just haven't noticed it yet. They're almost identical so I'm not actually sure I'll be able to figure it out. None of my hens is actually injured or poorly looking, it's just this one with the baldy patches that's causing a bit of concern. Maybe I'll separate the boys from the girls for a while to give the ladies a rest. I'm hoping I'll be able to keep both of the young chaps so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it's just youthful exuberance and they'll calm down as they mature a bit more...

    Thanks for the input everyone [​IMG]
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Think horny teen aged boy. They may calm down, but it won't be in a hurry. The hens will be happier if the boys go to a seperate pen.
     
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: I got ten new hybrid layers just before Xmas and that seems to have sorted out my worries. My baldy and slightly harassed looking black hen is now looking much better. I guess with ten new ladies to romance, the boys don't have as much time to spend with her any more. Problem solved, I think.
     
  9. RainbowBirds_of_a_Feather

    RainbowBirds_of_a_Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aloha,

    I recommend a apron for the balding hen to save her from the treading. Just to help her out.

    I have a similar situation with the mating but they take turns for the most part. You may need to get more hens to accommodate the double trouble beaus. But with submissive hens some will still be in the squatting position even after the mating. So keep an eye on her and if needed separate the boys from the gals. If you decide to keep the boys for the long run. I have a mixed flock so the naughty ones are in check for the most part by the dominant males.
     

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