I need Help ASAP! Chick and rooster are fighting!

roostersandhens

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HI, my rooster Eddy is 1 year old his birthday was yesterday. My rooster who is a chick named Licorice is 12 weeks old. Eddy is an Americauna. Licorice is a Black Australorp X Cochin X Barred Rock. I have 4 or 5 (some we dont know their gender) roosters. I have 17 hens. I am aware that I dont have enough hens and I am currently working on that problem. So today I was letting the chicks out and Eddy was out (they are free range the chicks are not yet) and he chased Licorice so we stopped Eddy with a broom (we just blocked him not hit him). Then Licorice was sooo freeked out, and I felt bad so I brought him a hard boiled egg. Licorice was still out. By the time I got back from the house Eddy and all the full grown chickens were in bed on their perches. So I was releived I didnt have to worry about Eddy at the moment. Then my chick Gandi walked passed the big chicken coop, and Eddy got mad.He jumped down from the perch ran from the coop, Gandi sprinted to the chick house and hid. Then Eddy saw Licorice and chased him around grabbed his tail feathers. I was chassing Eddy trying to stop him. Then Eddy cought him. Eddy was on top of Licorice pecking him. I scared Eddy off. Licorice just lyed there freeked out. I picked him up and made sure he had no injurys. If I had left Eddy he probably would have killed Licorice. I'm glad he's ok. I am afraid to let him out with Eddy now. I love them both soo much and I want to keep both boys happy. I willl take any advice. I appreciate the help.
Thanks,
Roostersandhens
 

sourland

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Sadly, what you are seeing happen is normal chicken society. Flock leaders constantly assert their dominance of any perceived threats to their position. In the wild it is the manner in which a rooster forces young cockerels away from the flock. The result is a reduced incidence of inbreeding. Separation of the roosters is the only guaranteed solution.
 

chooks4life

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I think you may have a rooster standing in the way of the expansion of your flock. He's not picking on young cockerels that are challenging him or trying to mate, by the sounds of that... He's beating up on kids, so to speak. Are they showing any rooster feathering or behaviours? They can battle without any serious injuries, and going straight to the kill isn't actually natural; they have an understanding of submission and avoidance behaviours to avoid wasteful and unnecessary deaths and energy blowouts, so to speak. Deaths and serious injuries should only naturally occur when you have two adult, evenly matched wild roosters suddenly introduced which both refuse to accede defeat.

It doesn't seem to make a significant difference to have even more hens than the number per rooster you've got; most roosters aren't capable of reliably fertilizing the eggs of all the hens they mate with if given as many as they'd like to try to. If a rooster is so violent that he's a killer, having more hens will distract him for longer, but sooner or later he'll kill. I think it's very important to raise all males with at least one other male and all birds should see babies in their lifetimes to normalize that social situation so overreactions don't lead to fatalities if the owner decides to add to the flock.

Even babies fight and it's great for them to sort out dominance issues at that age; they grow up to be far more peaceful. I wouldn't tolerate any male who wouldn't tolerate other males because that might be necessary in the wild but it's wasteful and damaging in domesticity. The birds we have are more a product of their domestic ancestor's situations than their ancient wild ancestor's situations. How we raise them, and what traits we allow or disallow, is why they are the way they are. Violent roosters breed violent roosters. If you want a peaceful flock of all ages, breeds and mixed genders freeranging together, don't keep vicious males OR females.
 

roostersandhens

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Do you think that Eddy would still fight with Licorice once Licorice is full grown? I could always wait 'till he is old enough to defend himself. You did say that the rooster will push young cockerels away from the flock. So do u think that it would work if I waited untilll he was bigger? I'm sure anything I do they will still fiight a little bit. Eddy didn't fight at first when I rescued this other rooster, who was full grown. I heard Americauna roosters dont like other roosters as that much, I am not certain that's true though.
Thanks,
roostersandhens
 

chooks4life

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Aha, sounds like there's hope for Eddy if he could accept another rooster... Though he's probably going to freak out and stress a bit about a mob of young males approaching puberty. Now is the time for him to cement his alpha status, for however long it lasts.

I don't believe any one breed is incapable of being socially tolerant, except of course for a pure wild bred and born Jungle Fowl. All the domestic descendants of that are either of tolerant strains or intolerant strains, which basically depends on what breeder you get them off and how that breeder chose their breeding stock and raised them.

I've had roosters from the majority of breeds and not found even those with the most violent reputations to be violent if raised right. I don't blame the breed, I blame the breeder. Which applies to myself when there's any problems, too. Ignorance is NOT bliss.
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You can retrain them, so from what you've said Eddy may in fact be able to learn to get along with the boys, but there can be character clashes or utter rejections of certain genetics, which may mean they might never get along. As long as it's not fatal it's not the end of the world, lol. Also some initial clashes are never resolved so only lead to escalating clashes as the birds get older. You possibly may want to blunt Eddy's spurs to prevent excess damage if he's making them bleed. Even trimming half a centimetre off the tips can blunt them without hurting the bird; you can clearly see which bit is see-through and has no blood flow or nerves in it.
 

roostersandhens

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I want Eddy to have spurs. He is my hawk gaurd so.... Eddy hasn't drawn any blood or used his spurs on Licorice. He just almost hurt him. If I had left Eddy and Licorice be, I think Licorice would be badly injured. I had one idea. I was reading the part in your post (your = chooks4life) and you wrote '' Hes probably going tofreak out in stress with about a mob of young cockerals appraching puberty''. Do you think that Eddy wouldn't hurt the new boys if I introduced the chicks, with 1 rooster and 2 hens at a time. Do you think Eddy would be more exceptive of them?
Thanks!
 

chooks4life

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When you initially introduce two males, you can have 100 females present and it won't make the difference unless the boys have been kept apart from females for long enough to be really... interested in females only. Even then the end result is always going to be the same. Sooner or later every single chicken in your flock, be they male or female, is going to check out where they are in the pecking order, and who's the alpha. I have introduced two strange roosters in a paddock full of all sorts and sizes of hens, many times, and all they've got eyes for is the other rooster.

Because of his adulthood as compared to their adolescence, Eddy will come out on top. A good rooster will know that and stop there. A violent rooster will keep going even after dominance has been established, and kill. When the chick was lying there in shock and Eddy kept attacking, that's not a good sign, but if he didn't use his spurs, that is a good sign... So really you'd just have to play it by ear/sight.

I'm keen to find out if you're able to retrain him. Best of luck there. I've wasted time on vicious roosters and hens before and will never bother again. About trimming spurs, that wouldn't stop him attacking a hawk and doing fatal damage, it just makes it more likely that he wouldn't slice your chicks up. I trim a rooster's spurs, just the very tip, if he's a bit clumsy as he learns to mate. They grow sharp tips back very quickly.
 

roostersandhens

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ok thanks, but I have another problem, My rooster Oreo (he is full grown) has been getting along with Eddy. But today, he kept trying to become the top rooster. Eddy made his comb bleed and Oreos face was just covered in blood. He is ok now. Eddy isn't starting the fight, Oreo is. I brought Oreo in the house so they'd stop fighting. After like 4 hours I let Oreo out. I went with him incase they fight. Then they started fighting again. So I brought Oreo back inside. Then I brought him back out to put him in te coop for the night. He had to mate with oneof the hens. Eddy jumped down to stop him, then they had a 3rd fight! So then I put Oreo back on the perch. They are in there right now togeather. I am not watching them, I dont know if I should leave them in there tonight. All help is appreciated.
Thanks!
 

bobbi-j

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You will always have challenges when you have multiple roosters among your hens (not to mention stressed-out over-bred hens when there are too many roosters). One solution is to reduce the number of roosters you have. Another is to keep them separated from the hens in a bachelor pen. Otherwise you will be dealing with rooster fights all the time, and that's not really fair to the birds you love so much. Sometimes the best decisions we make for our animals are the hardest ones for us. I hope you can find a solution that works for you.
 

chooks4life

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In my experience, which may not be useful to you, if you ever have to break it up, you may as well get rid of the one you think is to blame. If it gets violent enough, you may as well remove the one willing to be so violent. Or cage them for the rest of their lives. It's your choice. As someone who picks the temperaments of their breeding stock carefully, I would avoid buying from anyone who keeps their birds caged, because I want mine to socialize peaceably, and caged birds can't breed liberal attitudes and behaviours easily. It may be fine for you, it's not for me.

When you step in and break it up, all you're doing is postponing the inevitable. They will only ever go right back to sorting out the pecking order. I find with all my animals of all species --- cats, dogs, birds, etc --- that if it gets to the point that you have to intervene to prevent death or serious injury, then you have an animal you need to rehome or one that needs to be permanently caged. Which I dislike doing, so I only keep animals that can sort it out reasonably, and rehome or cull all others, so I have all birds equally enjoying freedom without the drama.

If you consistently protect an animal that is keen to fight, it will get even more aggressive until it is killed, since the proper results of its actions never occur because you save it from them. Just my opinions and eperiences, other people's vary, and it may not be relevant to what you face. Best of luck. It takes a certain kind of nature for an animal to become so violent. Not all roosters are like that. It's a matter of what you're willing to put up with and for how many years, because violence tends to breed true.
 

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