Integrating cockerel... Is this a good idea?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by IDdreamin, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. IDdreamin

    IDdreamin New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2016
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    Hello, I'm new to BYC and relatively new to chickens. We have 6 BO hens that are approximately 16 months old. This spring a friend ended up with a BO rooster in her batch and we decided to take him on in. As we do not have a second coop we raised him in a small pen in the house. Once he was the same size as the girls we started putting him put to free range during the day and bringing him in at night. He is now free range and in the coop with the girls at night. He shrieks and runs from the girls and on one occasion they bloodied him pretty good. He's still not crowing, but yesterday I noticed him sneaking up on the girls and grabbing them on the back of the neck. Is this "normal"? Should I just let the hens handle him? He is approx 4 months old.
    On a second note, he has also bitten me twice in the last week. When I'm walking through the yard he either lunges at my leg or tries to stand in my way. I'm not sure how to interpret this chicken posture. However, after reading here, I'm concerned I may have ruined him? He was raised inside with plenty of petting, etc. I would carry him in and out at night.Any advice on how to correct my error / proceed would be appreciated. We've gotten attached to him, but I can't risk an aggressive rooster around the kids
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Unfortunately excessive handling often leads to human aggressive roosters which can be hard to undo. You could try some of the techniques of carrying him, squirting him with a water bottle, chasing and dominating, most probably won't work as his hormones are raging, that's why he's grabbing the hens. His behavior will escalate over the next few months if the hens don't continue to put him in his place.

    Since you have kids and this is your first experience with a rooster I wouldn't even try to keep him. Roosters can do a lot of damage quickly to a kid, they go for the face usually, and he can very quickly turn on you too.

    When I raise my roosters it's a hands off approach, they are friendly and come to see what I have. When they begin to harass the hens they will either be corrected by me or rounded up and put in jail for a while depending on his behavior and whether I wish to keep him.

    They really need to be managed more like livestock, with an understanding of their behaviors and the potential for aggression. Their are exceptions, some bantam breeds can be handled more, but all have the potential to be dangerous.

    So I would be looking to be rid of him for the safety of your kids, and maybe try again next year if you still want a rooster. Your hens will be fine without one though.
     
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  3. IDdreamin

    IDdreamin New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2016
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    That's what I was afraid of... It's too bad. First timer mistake, I suppose. [​IMG]
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Don't beat yourself up. It makes sense that taming and handling an animal makes them better because we do it with our pets, but chickens are still considered livestock and weren't bred with the behaviors that makes certain animals good pets. Most males of any species is more aggressive and dangerous. Chicken keeping walks a line where you can have friendly interactive birds but you still need to be cautious around roosters especially if you aren't familiar with them. Just turning your back to them can be a signal to attack.

    It took me a few years to figure it out and for me to safely keep roosters. Though if any of them show human aggression it's the first to go, that's not something I wish to tolerate. I choose long ago not to be terrorized by my birds. If you have a fear or wariness of a rooster he will feed on that. Unfortunately that's why kids are often attacked, that and their smaller size and erratic behaviors.

    A good rooster is a great addition to a flock, and a bad rooster is just a bad rooster, and adds nothing but stress to a flock.
     
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  5. IDdreamin

    IDdreamin New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2016
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    Thank you for the feedback... He got a lot more TLC than our hens because I had a pet perspective and hoped he'd be sweet. My husband told me that I was ruining him... I took that to mean I'd turn him into a wuss, if I'd only known it would be the opposite!
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    He might have turned into a jerk no matter how he was raised, but I totally agree with oldhen! Mary
     

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