Flocks are rearranging, might need to cull a rooster.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by thebulg, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    2 weeks ago we found out our second flock (it's just 2 chickens who we got later and live in their own coop, everyone shares a yard and they tend to share nesting boxes) has a rooster! Good times.

    Before we realized we had anther rooser, Roo 1 (R1 from here on out) started overmating one of our hens. He has been a generally docile, respectful rooster until this point. I made her a saddle once she started balding, and now he is tearing up her wings. Now another hen from flock 1 is starting to show signs of overmating. Of the other 2 hens, one must have realized he was trying to assert himself, and she started submissive squatting when he was around, only to have him not mount her and instead rip out her head feathers. I watched him do it 3 times.

    The non-overmated 2 hens from flock 1 avoid R1 and are letting R2 mate them. They literally sneak to the nest box and spend the rest of their days out front where R1 can't get to them and when they are in the yard, run from him.

    I want to let them all rework this on their own, but i am getting to a point where i can socially see that 3 of the 5 hens want R1 gone and the other 2 are being injured by him. Is it time to intervene?
     
  2. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    5 hens isn't much for a single rooster, let alone 2. You need more hens or fewer roosters...
     
  3. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I completely agree. And so does science! Ha. I was hoping one rooster would kill the other (i know that sounds bad, i just figured nature knows best). But right now it looks like the two roosters are jeopardizing the lives of the hens. We're in the process of incubating, but there is no guarantee they will even hatch, and even if they do, it could be 5 roosters for all i know. It's rainy. Might be a good night to do it so all the blood can sink into the compost pile. Bah.
     
  4. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Processed R1 last night. This morning all of the hens are finally together again for the first time in weeks. I also got another shelless egg from the one he was attacking the most, who has had to sneak everywhere, including the nest box. I'm really glad i intervened.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'll bet your entire flock is much calmer and happier now.
     
  6. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh they are. I cannot believe what a good choice it was. All of the hens stay in the yard now, and the older hens have very quickly put the young rooster in his place so currently he is not dominating or abusing them. It has been very quiet and serene again. No egg shell abnormalities and i got to take the saddle off of one of the girls and she seems elated. I'm so relieved. A little sad, but ine rooster's life can't be more valuable than the wellness of the whole flock, and i know that now and can make better choices in the future too. :)
     
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  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Once you see and feel the tension leave the flock, it is so apparent. This happened to me many years, about the second or third year I had chickens. Chicken math got the best of me, and I had a predator sort it out. But within days, I realized how much calmer the flock was without so many birds. I had ignored the rising tension, as it comes on gradually, but I have never missed it again. I know that be it a rooster, or a crabby old hen, or too many new chicks there comes a point where the flock is in tension, and it is up to me to adjust it.

    Mrs K
     
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  8. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is an excellent observation- you are right, it came on very slowly. I dont believe anyone is wrong, but many of the things that were happening can be considered "normal" behavior according to the chicken world, so it was harder to be sure until it reached a certain point. But the difference between now and 4 days ago is stark enough for me to know that what might pass for normal in different flocks is a sign of discord in my own. Know better, do better.
     

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