Fighting Roosters

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by saboyd, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. saboyd

    saboyd Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2008
    I am not sure that I am putting this in the right place, but I'll try it anyway.

    I have two 10 month old roosters that have been raised together since three days old. One Barred Rock and one RIR. The Barred has been the "King of the Coop" since day one. They never actually fought, but he would always chase the RIR a little here and there and to be honest, the Red always gave in...

    That is until yesterday! Out of the clear blue I walked out and they were going at it like crazy! The Barred was a bloody mess and and the Red wasn't taking anything off of him! They fought until they were each so winded that they couldn't hardly take another step.

    When it got dark, they went into the coop (like always) and seemingly got along well. I kept them in until midafternoon and let them out again and they went after one another all day... I couldn't catch them to stop the mayhem, but tonight they went right back inside and they are acting like best friends!

    My question: will they finally stop all this, or will I have to separate them from here on out?

    Also, what could have caused this since they have been together all this time?

    Thanks for the help!

    SAB
     
  2. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    My guess is that maturity has changed them. We are watching ours very carefully for signs of aggression right now because we just mixed all of ours. They may quit when one establishes dominance permanently over the other but you run the risk of them fatally injuring each other in the mean time.
     
  3. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would keep an eye on them. But they need to TRY to work things out. If they can not seem to get along in a week or so I would seperate them.
     
  4. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I hate to say it but i have been thru this before with a few roosters. Once they start fighting like that they will not stop and it seems like each time they fight it gets worse. I had a cuckoo marans and a glw that got along very well for several months until one day they to snapped and went after each other. How many hens do you have in with them? Maybe adding more hens so they boys have at least 10-12 each would solve the problem
     
  5. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    We went away for Christmas holidays for 3 nights and I had my brother and his family come stay at our place to watch all the critters and when I got home he met me at the door with his wife .....he said I have bad news and real bad news....my heart dropped ....and then he told me my rooster who I hatched out this past spring (7/8months old) totally pecked a hen almost to death that my brother had to put it down and another one was just hanging on and I had him put her down to much bleeding....This Rooster was held and picked up when he was younger...I would walk around the yard with him tucked under my arm ....I noticed that he was starting to become the man around the coop.....but oh Vie to this extreme...My brother put him in a dog crate in the coop with water and food ...until I decided what to do with him.....so tonight he went to my elderly Italian neighbours up the road and they are very excited ....I am not sure if there going to keep him for their flock or he's going to become soup....but I tell you the blood on the snow and in the coop is incredible !!! and here I thought I'd get a tamer one...I had another one before this that I brought in and he was crazy hormone thing also...he went to the neighbour also..If I want to hatch out chicks I'll just buy them when my hens go broody.....just my 2 cents....
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:Those are million-dollar questions, without any certain answers. I think there's a lot of variability amongst roosters, amongst tendencies for breeds and for individual behavior.

    As you saw, they can live together agreeably for months, and then one day try to beat the giblets out of each other. Sometimes it'll be mostly posturing & threats, sometimes they'll fight until one calls "Uncle!" and hides his head under some object, sometimes they won't quit until one is dead or close to it.

    They can live for months with a gentleman's agreement to stay with certain hens in a certain areas of the yard. But there's always the chance that one day they'll fight to change those terms.

    It's uncertain why they do what they do when they do it. Instinct & hormones, or when one roo seems weaker or is getting older & the other senses he now has an advantage, or when the voices in their heads tell them to do it.

    With roosters, I think it's always good to have a "Plan B" handy for them, so you'll know what you'll do if problems arise. You could just let them work it out between themselves, even if it means they get injured. You could keep some Wound-Kote or Blood-Stop Powder on hand (I think you could even use flour or cornstarch to stop bleeding) for their injuries. You could get more hens, or give your flock more space, set out more feeders & waterers, or build more pens. Or keep a sharpened axe on hand, or locate some elderly Italian neighbors of your own.

    One thing I would advise is to be ready to dispatch any roo that starts to show agression to any person. There are so many many mannerly roosters that I wouldn't waste a minute keeping one that spurred or clawed a human.

    I wish you well with your rooster dilemma. Behave now, boys!
     
  7. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Very well said Sunny side up !!
     
  8. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Wow, so sorry to hear all of that. It's horrible to lose girls, especially to the dumb roos! I would just buy hatching eggs after that experience. I've never had a roo beat up a girl before, just other roos. I'd sure send them to elderly Italian neighbors, too, and hope they ate them!

    My neighbor has peafowl. In the spring, his cocks are really hormonal and ready to fight anything. One morning, he went out and discovered the shiny chrome on his pickup grill was all bloody, with feathers stuck in it. Turned out one of the peacocks had been fighting his reflection in the chrome, until he bloodied himself and the truck. At least your roos haven't started doing that!
     
  9. saboyd

    saboyd Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Quote:The hen count could be a factor here I suppose. I only have eight hens all together. (2RIR, 2Buffs, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Barreds)

    I have a coop that is 4 by 8 with two stories and an 8 by run. I wasn't sure if I could add more hens to this coop or not. Getting more hens is not a problem, if you feel that I have the space...what do you think?

    For now, I just caught the Barred Rock Rooster this morning and let him out and will keep the RIR and all the girls penned up...

    This is a picture of the coop and run area so you can get a better idea of what I am dealing with...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/15068_coop_front.jpg
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/15068_left_side.jpg
     
  10. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    That's a good-looking coop. I wouldn't add too many more hens to it, though. Overcrowding causes some real problems.
     

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