How to entertain a single cockerel feeling lonesome segregated from the flock?

salty midnite

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
13
5
10
We have a tiny flock of 2 cockerels & 3 pullets who just started laying last month. The beta male was terrorizing at least one of the girls, so yesterday I put him in a large run all his own, but he can still hear and sometimes see the flock. Yesterday he paced nonstop, didn't eat, didn't drink. Today he's drinking water and nibbling some food. I'm sitting with him and talking to him, but I need to find activities for him, I guess, until we find a home for him. Suggestions? BTW, we didn't raise these guys from chicks, so he's not somebody I can easily pick up to put on a swing, or such like. We could work toward getting onto one, but handling this guy is not something he's used to.
 

the3quail

Songster
Oct 6, 2020
463
631
126
Gilbert, AZ
My Coop
I will tell you this.. He is fine.
He will act like this because he might not be used to being by himself. Give him a roost.. maybe a few treats. Don't give him that much special attention, he was mean, and doesn't get to be treated better then the others if he was rude.
 

Tycine1

Crowing
May 26, 2009
2,105
4,755
431
David, Chiriquí, Panama
If he's the same age as your other birds, then his hormones are 'through the roof' right now (you said your hens have only been laying a month). You may be able to reintegrate him into the flock once his hormones settle a bit more in a month or so. In the meantime, some environmental enrichment can often be had with hanging a head of cabbage or the unsavory bits (by human standards) of leafy lettuce, tossing out a very ripe banana, a nice slice of papaya, some ripe to overripe tomatoes etc. As this is a cockerel, you've got a bit more leniency on his diet and as long as you limit these treats to 10% or less of his diet, you shouldn't have any problems. Bait stores sell live crickets/grasshoppers and you might consider this as some live entertainment for your birds; they are an excellent source of protein. Placing a rock or concrete block in the run and turning it once a week should provide ample insect hunting opportunities for your bird(s) too.
 

salty midnite

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
13
5
10
:welcome Sounds as if he has earned separation, and he will eventually adapt to his new circumstances.
Yes, sourland, thank you, and you're right...he did earn this separation, and I'm happy to report he is gradually adapting. Still almost no appetite, but around noon he managed to come out for a huge long drink of water.
 

salty midnite

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
13
5
10
I will tell you this.. He is fine.
He will act like this because he might not be used to being by himself. Give him a roost.. maybe a few treats. Don't give him that much special attention, he was mean, and doesn't get to be treated better then the others if he was rude.
Thanks--it's good to hear he's fine. I felt bad seeing him suffer as a flock creature ripped out of his flock, with zero companions. Roost & a few treats, check. He really wasn't up for the treats, though, not much appetite yet. Also, making sure the others get plenty attention & treats too. Their existence is now much more mellow with the absence of his attack mode of "seduction". To give him his due, he was good to the others in every other way, even learning to tidbit a little. Today he tidbitted for me! My garden kale gifted back to me :)
 

salty midnite

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
13
5
10
If he's the same age as your other birds, then his hormones are 'through the roof' right now (you said your hens have only been laying a month). You may be able to reintegrate him into the flock once his hormones settle a bit more in a month or so. In the meantime, some environmental enrichment can often be had with hanging a head of cabbage or the unsavory bits (by human standards) of leafy lettuce, tossing out a very ripe banana, a nice slice of papaya, some ripe to overripe tomatoes etc. As this is a cockerel, you've got a bit more leniency on his diet and as long as you limit these treats to 10% or less of his diet, you shouldn't have any problems. Bait stores sell live crickets/grasshoppers and you might consider this as some live entertainment for your birds; they are an excellent source of protein. Placing a rock or concrete block in the run and turning it once a week should provide ample insect hunting opportunities for your bird(s) too.
He is indeed the same age, and I love learning that his hormones might settle! I didn't realize that. And thanks for the enrichment ideas. We do already do the turning-over-of-everything-I-own for bug hunting. I'm a sucker for that game, so all my smaller planter boxes get rolled onto their sides regularly. But the crickets--that could really be new fun thing for all of us. Him separately of course. I wonder if the bait stores sell them all winter when the snow's on the ground...hmm...have to ask them. That could really relieve cabin fever on a gray February day here.
 

the3quail

Songster
Oct 6, 2020
463
631
126
Gilbert, AZ
My Coop
Thanks--it's good to hear he's fine. I felt bad seeing him suffer as a flock creature ripped out of his flock, with zero companions. Roost & a few treats, check. He really wasn't up for the treats, though, not much appetite yet. Also, making sure the others get plenty attention & treats too. Their existence is now much more mellow with the absence of his attack mode of "seduction". To give him his due, he was good to the others in every other way, even learning to tidbit a little. Today he tidbitted for me! My garden kale gifted back to me :)
Our roo was super rude to our hen. --we slaughtered them 2-3 month ago..but we just gave our hen more love and attention. That will tell him when he is rude.. he doesnt get extra things.
 

salty midnite

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
13
5
10
Update and new question...this lone cockerel is adapting and has become a real pet, but he does still pace and is awfully lonesome despite my best efforts to be his flock. If I could find a spare hen somewhere, would it be cruel to her to put her with him, since she'd be the only mate? And would there be a way to make it a happy solution? I don't want to see a hen suffer from too much "attention"! Maybe a very large breed of hen so she could stop the cockerel when she wanted to? Or?
 

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