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Help picking which roo to stay and dealing w/angry hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LunarRyou, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. LunarRyou

    LunarRyou New Egg

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    Nov 2, 2009
    Hey I have three roosters and two hens in my flock (major mix up at a hatchery), as of late there's been some big issues in between them. I think it might be due to the fact that my youngest hen, an Ameraucana named Aurora has recently started laying (and she's the only layer atm, the slightly older barred hen has as of yet to lay). Almost all of them have really been going after her, to the point where she has rooster tracks.

    I was wondering, what type of personality should I look for in the rooster I'm going to keep if I'm forced to bring one or more back? There's two rhode island red roosters, Big Red and White Tail and one barred plymouth rock, Rocky.
    Big Red is kind of the atypical RIR rooster, he's kinda cocky and bossy. He doesn't really peck humans that much unless they invade his personal space or give him a big opening. He occasionally gives the "evil eye" (that glaring raptor like look and stamping his feet a bit while walking sideways), but nothing ever comes of it. He used to watch over Aurora, but as of late he's been kinda, distant and jumping on her more than protecting her. I'm planning on making a saddle and putting vaseline or something on her back to keep them from going after her anymore, but the fact he isn't protecting her as devotedly isn't exactly pleasing. Though, he does give the evil eye to the barred hen, Adrienne, that loves to go after Aurora for some reason but he doesn't break up active fights. At least not that I've seen.
    White Tail has been getting hormonal lately, and he's on the bottom rung of the pecking order when it comes to the roosters. Big Red always chases him back into the house and gets into scuffles with him whenever he ventures outside. White Tail also jumps on Aurora whenever he has the chance, even when she's trying to nest. We've been separating him in the (empty) baby area as of late, is there any way to break him of this behavior? He survived being dragged through the woods and a river during a fox attack, which cost him a few of his green tail feathers, exposing the white feathers that earned him his nickname. I'd like to try to save him but if it means Aurora and every other hen has to wear a saddle or vaseline for the rest of her life, I just don't think it's worth it. He's also pretty scared of humans, bit of a skittish creature really. After everything, I don't really blame him for that though.
    Then there's Rocky, he's a barred plymouth rock. From what I've seen he's actually quite laid back, he gives his fellow barred hen, Adrienne, an occassional peck to keep her in line but I've never seen outright violence from him. He also stays pretty close to that hen, but he not only ignores Aurora but seems to avoid her. One time she tried to scootch up close to him on a roost, he looked a little upset and gave her a quick peck to shoo her away. The problem with him is that his hen goes after Aurora relentlessly, and if he's not going to protect Aurora, the little girl may get hurt. With him and humans, he's ambivalent, he neither hates nor loves us. I don't think anyone's ever been pecked or attacked by him. When all the others are still fussing and squawking before going to bed, he's already settling down on a perch, drifting off to sleep. Reminds me of an owl sometimes, lol.
    I was wondering about Adrienne as well, she goes after Aurora so much. Will the saddle and vaseline break this nasty behavior or do I have to do something else? I was thinking maybe separating her in the baby area of the coop (it has it's own run too) for a while, but, should I wait to see if the vaseline and/or saddle will work? If I do have to separate her, for how long? Does it count if they can hear and see her?

    I've been thinking maybe I'd be able to keep the barred rooster, Rocky and Big Red. If I can manage to restore civility to my flock by the 20th, I might be able to keep them all.
    Oh...and, do you think it's okay for me to ask the woman I got them from for new chicks come Spring if I want to keep my roosters? She said herself that she doesn't sell them back to the hatchery anymore because of the hassle, and how heart breaking it was for her to watch these people bring their new "friends" back after finding out they're roosters. It's her policy that, you bring back a rooster you got from her by accident, she'd give you a new chick in the Spring...but, if she's not really getting anything back...maybe it'd be okay?

    Sorry that was a bit long. Thanks loads to anyone who can help me out with this, ^.^; as well as anyone who read this far.
     
  2. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    Sep 4, 2009
    Minnesota
    I would keep the Barred Rock and get rid of the other two. If you can get a saddle for that poor girl that is getting ripped up, then do it too. Good luck.
     

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