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Help! Rooster with no bedside manners.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ochochicas, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2014
    Washington State
    Below is my 5 month old Turken cockerel/rooster. He is a huge boy (7 pounds already) and just started crowing and courting the ladies. He tends to go after the more submissive or younger pullets since they are easy targets and are not as likely to fight back. The problem is that he seems to be very rough with the hens. I have had other roosters that have always been gentlemen with the ladies. He, on the other hand, will grab them by the neck and not let them go until he has ripped out a mouthful of feathers. He has already injured one hen to the point where she is not able to walk. We have her in the house now to recuperate; she's been limping around since the middle of December.

    Tonight he waited for one of my small legbar hens to go to the floor of the coop to eat. He pounced on her and did his business, but then would not get off. He stayed on her for a very long time, and if she tried to move he would peck her very hard in the back of the head until she laid her head back on the floor. I was just about to go in and rescue her when the other rooster flew off the roost and attacked the younger rooster.

    I'm wondering if this is a phase he is going through, or is this his "style" and something he's always going to do. Will he outgrow this? I wanted to keep him for breed, but I really can't risk him injuring any more of my laying hens. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of problem? I could lock him in our quarantine coop until he matures a little more, but I don't think putting him in solitary confinement will teach him manners. Any suggestions?

  2. Thechickmama

    Thechickmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2013
    Fort Collins, co
    I had the same problem, so I put my rooster in a large dog crate, where he was able to see the hens but not get to them, he calmed down, somewhat, so I let him out at night and kept him in the crate during the day, slowly I started putting him back in his crate later and later in the day, it worked, but it took sometime for him to calm down though.:D
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You see, the problem is with his hormones at this young age. They're surging and he's half-crazed by them, like most adolescent boys, in fact. Naturally, over time, whether he's with the hens or not, the hormones level out and he'll calm down considerably.

    Many of us keep the cockerels separated from the hens until they're well past this awkward age, usually until age one or two. It's better to wait to let him breed until then anyway, since his sperm will be of a better quality.

    Keeping roos can be a hassle. But the entertainment factor sure makes up for it, I believe!
    1 person likes this.
  4. Anna77093

    Anna77093 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 27, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    He sure is a hansome boy[​IMG]
  5. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2014
    Washington State
    Thanks for the advice everyone! I am glad to know that this is something he will hopefully grow out of. I guess I got lucky with my other cockerels since I never had issues with them harming the hens.

    Unfortunately my injured hen is living in my spare cage, and my broody hen is in my large dog kennel with her chicks. The cockerel is so big he will not fit in my smaller crates. I have a smaller coop that I set up for breeding a few hens to my older rooster, but it looks like I'll have to put the Turken in there with the other cockerels for a while. I'll have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't hurt them. None of my other birds are over 5 pounds. I don't think the Turken realizes how big he is and he just ends up hurting the others. :(
  6. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2014
    Washington State
    Update on the cockerel - His skills have improved slightly over the last three weeks. Unfortunately he has also become more aggressive when pursuing the hens. I've never seen a bird run so much! He has 19 hens all to himself, so I know the numbers aren't an issue. He has a half dozen or so of his favorites and just won't leave them alone. Tonight was the last straw when he was yanking out my favorite hen's feathers while she screamed and screamed. I moved our two young cockerels out of the quarantine pen (they've been in there since November) and put the Turken in there by himself. Maybe he just needs a little time by himself while he grows up. I still want to breed him, but not if it means he'll abuse the hens. The two new cockerels (about 5 months old) are happy as clams in the coop with the hens and the babies. Everyone gets along so far and the hens seem relieved that the new boys are gentlemen.

    My injured pullet is still in the house while she relearns how to walk. I'm still not sure on her prognosis - she has good days and not-so-good days. Fortunately she's a chicken and as long as she has food to eat she seems pretty content.

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