I'm not having any luck trying to add a rooster.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ziegenhof, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Ziegenhof

    Ziegenhof Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    I've posted on the behavior of my golden laced wyandottes, but I think after today they are going to be heading to the freezer early next year.

    Sorry this is going to be long but I'm at wits end!

    Little background, I purchased 12 pullet chicks back in March of this year from the local feed store (they were about 5-7 days old). Raised them in my spare bedroom (I had forgotten how much dust they produce), till they were old enough to go outside (that was a long 5 weeks!)...

    So they are outside about 3 weeks when I finally find a rooster who was good natured and I thought that was a good thing as my gals were young... Oh what a mistake thinking was!

    At first I thought my rooster had mites as he suddenly had bald patches, treated him with DE and put some blu kote on him... Then I notice he hangs off by himself and never really gets around the gals too much... I discover why one day when I watch one gal attack him and then 11 other hens joined in and beat the poop out of the poor guy! I broke up the fight thinking it was just something in the wind, chicken PMS, whatever...

    No they continued to attack the poor rooster and I kept hoping he would "man up" and run the roost (he was a couple years old), it never happened. So one rooster down.

    Yesterday I was offered some plywood for building a new chicken coop (I've ordered 25 RIR pullets, 3 Cockerels, and of course I get a mystery chicken from MM hatchery)... So I know I need to build a whole new area for the new kids as my hens don't play well with others

    So the guy offers me his young RIR "rooster", because he is very aggressive with his hens and all of them have bald spots on back of neck from him riding them... I tell the guy I need a rooster who will stick up for himself but my gals are mean (like murdering kinda mean).. He doesn't care, it's either I take this "Rooster" or in the pot he goes... So in my truck "he" went.. Well I bring the new one home and decide to just find out quickly if it's going to work or not... All goes well late afternoon as they are all scratching next to each other, no pecking, and off to bed they go together without problems...


    Then I opened the door this morning and my new "rooster" who I never did hear crow this morning, won't come out of the coop.... Fact is I can't prove it but I think my "rooster" laid an egg"!!!! I asked the guy if he was sure the "rooster" was a he and not a she, as the comb was not as large as I thought it should be.. He kept saying oh "he's young and his talons haven't even grown yet"...Anyways it's right back to my hens normal behavior after the honeymoon period... One starts and then 11 other hens all gang up and attack the new one.....

    I removed my "rooster" and put him in my large brooder box for the night, still not really sure if it's a male or female as I see what looks like the start of talon buds, but the behavior is so hen like... No crows, immediately goes into "hit the deck" instead of looking to attack something that startles he/she... The only thing is my little tiny Dutch Holland rooster who lives in my backyard was trying to attack the brooder box with the new chicken in it... But he really has no real chicken behavior so I don't know if he was attacking another male or just didn't know what another chicken was?
    [​IMG]
    This is best picture I could get of the RIR in my home built brooder box (I didn't even notice the leaf).

    Anyways, I'm not having any luck trying to have a rooster with these gals... They are so mean and they started picking on each other after they got rid of the last rooster... They have plently of coop space, they have a good sized pen, plus free range half the day on lots of available land. I've thought it was feed related as I was feeding a organic layer pellet, so added in lots of protein and it didn't change anything, but I changed my food back to a non soy based diet and still no change... I thought with this new "guy" he was suppose to be an aggressive rooster and he would put them in their place as hens but well now I have a chicken in my brooder box I need in about 3 weeks! And he/she/it is really making my 5oz rooster mad as he thought he was the only chicken in the world till I put this box next to his chicken tractor (and he free ranges during the day in my driveway/parking area). It's kinda amusing though to watch tiny power rooster jumping up a foot in the air to try and peck above the 1x12" board that goes around the brooder box!

    SO any suggestions at this point? I've used up my chicken knowledge and internet commando skills... I'm at the point I will let the new chicks get to egg laying status early next year and then these gals need to be dealt with (they will never be allowed near the new gang). I can't even in good conscious rehome them as they are just so mean and who knows if they will stop pecking each other or if they will continue till they kill each other. I'm using a commercial anti pecking product but they actually seem to like the taste of it even better then no product!

    My family thinks we need to have a chicken exorcist and keep telling me they've never seen this type of behavior before in laying hens. I've actually watched these 12 gals run at a fox and chase it off... What kinda chicken can scare a fox?
     
  2. Big A Chickens

    Big A Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    Palmetto, Georgia
    Golden laced wyandottes usually "hang together" and also fight with each other . You may want to try the look but no touch socialization method for a while until they get use to your roo. Maybe two to three weeks. Even if he is mean they all will gang up on him which will cause him to isolate himself or become so afraid of them that he will not go around them.
     
  3. dirtylittlefly

    dirtylittlefly Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2012
    Vancouver, WA
    12 chicks and thu were all the sex they were supposed to be- lucky!

    Did you give them a look don't touch period at all? I hear a couple weeks of this is pretty much mandatory unless you want a bloody mess...
     
  4. Ziegenhof

    Ziegenhof Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    No the first rooster they were very young and didn't think they would care about a "look don't see" period.. Which they didn't, he just became part of the family and it wasn't till they were full grown and laying that Mr Chuckles (1st roo) became the enemy. So by that time he had been living with them for 10 weeks.

    Now here is the embarrassing part, since the rooster has been gone every time I walk into their pen or get close to them when they are out free ranging.... They think I'm a rooster! Seriously they squat down and won't move till I pick them up, pat their bottom and send them on their way. So I thought putting another rooster in with the gals would be a good thing as they have been displaying this behavior ever since Mr Chuckles went on.

    And the even stranger part is the first night everything was fine and I really thought they liked the new "rooster"... Well I have a very quiet rooster (maybe he is without a crower?) and like I said I'm 90% sure he laid an egg yesterday..... But absolutely no crowing this morning while the bantam chicken screamed his head off at him for several hours after sunrise today.... I'm waiting to see if an egg pops out since he/she/it is in a separation cage.....

    So considering I'm pretty sure my new rooster is not of the male variety..... I need to move the brooder box down by the gals and let them get use to the new "hen"!

    The good news is I picked up another coop today for dismantling to get out of someones yard. I also got 20 heavy duty T-posts for a $1.00 each. So new pen is going to have two coops, and will start off as a 1500 sq ft pen and eventually will move it out to around 5k. Plus the free range ability they have.. I just need to do some re-assembling and some disinfecting to make sure nothing yucky got in the wood.
     
  5. dirtylittlefly

    dirtylittlefly Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2012
    Vancouver, WA
    My guess is you've got one mean bully who instigated the whole thing and all the other hens follow her lead. Do you remember which one attacked Mr. Chuckles first?
     
  6. Ziegenhof

    Ziegenhof Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Aug 11, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    I do believe it is a "bully hen" as I see one start the attack.and then it's a free for all beating... Having the same breed makes it a little hard to know which gal as I'm usually rescuing the attacked bird... I guess I need to test again and she if I can catch the meanie.
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I only skimmed your post and this thread, but that picture looks like a hen, and if that hen is being bullied, it's because she's the loaner in a new flock. May have been head hen taking over rooster roles at her old home, but in yours, she's rock bottom. Don't bother defending the low one, as it will just make the process of initiation harder and longer. She'll learn to get out of the way. You just need a real male who is mature to show the girls that they are girls.
     
  8. Ziegenhof

    Ziegenhof Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Aug 11, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    Yep that is what I'm trying to find is a real rooster. Mr Chuckles was a very timid rooster, he had come from a home of several roosters and was low man on the totem pole. Well that was great for young pullets, but once they matured and started laying they determined he was not much of a threat and could be bullied.

    So rooster take 2 (Wapato) who was an aggressive rooster at "his" former home I thought would be the perfect answer.... Until Wapata laid her confirmation egg today in her single pen............ I gave her plenty of chances to be a rooster as I was assured "he" was, just young.

    So I'm watching craigslist and just left my information down at the feed store looking for an experienced hen butt kicking rooster! Hopefully something comes up.
     

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