Keep or rehome rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mcbridb, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. mcbridb

    mcbridb Out Of The Brooder

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    I am fairly new to the chicken keeping thing. Have only been doing it a year. My son is autistic and pestered us for a year for chickens and ducks. A friend with a farm gave us 1 RIR rooster and hen (Rudy and Peaches) and a golden cochin hen (Henrietta). Another friend gave us a silkie hen (Miss Priss). Miss Priss was already laying when we got her. Rudy, Peaches and Henrietta were approximately 10 weeks. After quarantine time was up for Miss Priss (we received her 1 month after the first 3) we added her to the coop. About a month later we had to take Miss Priss out because Rudy had injured her with his mating. She and Henrietta are in one coop and Rudy and Peaches are in another.

    I got the smart idea to add 2 hens to Rudy and Peaches this spring. They are sex link hens (?) who my son named Rose and Peebles. After quanatine we tried to add them to Rudy and Peaches' pen. Rudy jumped on them and was pulling feathers and pecking their necks really bad so they ended up with Henrietta and Miss Priss.

    We socialized with all of them from day one. My son would hold all of them, collect the eggs after they started laying and "help" with the coop care. This past spring Rudy has turned super aggressive. He has attacked me numerous time and will chase my son around the yard if I let him and Peaches out to roam. That was one reason behind getting him new hens. I have tried the rooster taming thing of catching him, holding him, pulling his head down, stalking him. Nothing seems to work.


    He is a good rooster. A hawk tried to get him and Peaches one day way early this spring. Peaches didn't return home until dark and Rudy was hiding all day. He calls Peaches when he finds treats or when I bring them. He does the egg song with all of the hens and is really good towards the hens. Rudy is a pet (as are all the animals in our "zoo") and I love to hear him crow as does two of my neighbors. They actually walk up their driveways to hear them! My husband has declared that Rudy has to go. My son is scared of him but will feed him grass through the run fencing. Should I keep him and keep working on him (have been for 4 months) or should I find a new home for him? Don't even tell me to kill him....can't do that. We cry when a fish die. They are pets. The eggs are just a nice byproduct. I find them relaxing unless I have to go into the coop with Rudy.
     
  2. This_chicks_place

    This_chicks_place Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would never keep a mean rooster, there are too many sweet ones out there.
     
  3. mcbridb

    mcbridb Out Of The Brooder

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    He does a good job at being the rooster (at least from what I've read). He yells at the crows and squirrels if they get too close to either pen. He watches the girls in the other pen. Lets me know if the neighbor's dog is out in their yard. I just can't turn my back on him or even catch him most times! I have him mostly because he is a good alert and protection system and I do love to hear him crow.

    When I'm having a really bad day with my son it is relaxing to go sit near the coop and visit. It seems to lower the blood pressure and the other girls seem to enjoy being held or visited. Rudy just stands there and gives me the beady eyed look. It's hilarious most of the time. [​IMG]
     
  4. MattalynsBarn

    MattalynsBarn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have an extremely similar situation! We have a wonderful roo (Hamlet) and a few months ago he started attacking my dad and other males.

    Is there anyone your roo won't attack? If so, you could try going in there with them; that might aid in reminding him that you aren't a threat. Also, you could try to break him out of attacking when you get in there by squirting him with a water bottle, waving a towel at him, or opening and closing an umbrella. I've read that at about the 9 month mark the roos are at their worst.

    If nothing else works, but you still don't want to re-home him, what about building a little pen for him in with the girls but so that he's not loose with you?

    Also, just as a side note, my sister is autistic as well. Her thing is history, but I'm obsessed with animals, so we have quite an interesting mix of things in, and around, our house.
     
  5. mcbridb

    mcbridb Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2011
    He doesn't go for my husband. But since he's always at work that isn't an option having him come in with me. I will say that once I'm in the run with Rudy and Peaches, Rudy does keep JUST out of reach most of the time. At least until Peaches comes near me. Then all bets are off. I have been trying to catch him for the last few weeks for another "teaching" moment but he runs away so I just chase him. That usually satisfies the requirement for a few hours.

    My son is into animals (hence our mini zoo) and plants. I have quite a few flower gardens and regular gardens. Unfortunately he keeps picking the vegetables while they're green/not ready. He just likes to watch things grow. Quite a mishmash of things at our house.
     
  6. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your rooster thinks he is Alpha and humans are rivals.

    You could modify his behavior by hazing him. This entails stalking him at a speed walk pace for 5-10 minutes. This about how you would feel if a black SUV followed you every where as you tried to evade it. This is the feeling you need to give the rooster. Once he is intimidated, it only takes a few seconds to remind him you are boss. For this to work well, your son would need to learn this too. Read more here.

    If I were in your situation I would cull the rooster. I would not put vulnerable people at risk with a violent rooster. I am also a little suspicious that the rooster seems excessively violent with the hens. Instead of rehabilitating the rooster I would use it as an opportunity to teach about the circle of life.
     
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Chicken.Lytle is right. Put on some heavy clothes and stalk the heck out of him, even with your son-together. Never back up.
    If a roo is going to start an agressive behavior, it's usually when he's a teen and doesn't understand the rules. Good time to start.
    Depending on the age of your son, if he can get hurt, I would get rid of the roo. If your son can hold his own, that's good. I've reformed 8 roos, and 1 didn't, and he weighed a pound. The 8 were big birds.

    A young roo will also be very rambunctous with the girls till he learns how to do the deed. It takes practice. I use duct tape on the hens' backs.
     
  8. equine chick

    equine chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2007
    pennsylvania
    I would get rid of him. You have a little boy who really could get hurt and has special needs. It could traumatize him if this happens, you might be taking a few steps backward with him with his progress. I also have an autistic daughter so I myself would get rid of him and get yourself some chicks, you can get a roo. If your son loved the chickens, he will adore the chicks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  9. mcbridb

    mcbridb Out Of The Brooder

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    My son is 13 and taller than me! [​IMG] I think in some ways he teases Rudy. He will stand outside the pen and/or run around and have Rudy running around inside "chasing" him. I believe that has contributed to Rudy's behavior. I had talked to the lady who gave him to us but she now isn't interested in taking him back. She has 100 chickens and 1 rooster and claims that that is enough. Another friend had said he would take him but he has been in and out of the hospital here lately.

    I think he would be better off with more ladies and in a place where my son isn't. I hate the idea of getting rid of him because he does an excellent job of guarding all the girls and taking care of Peaches. Peaches does wear a saddle because of him. My husband has always said that if we had a farm any animals there would die a natural death. However, he wants Rudy gone like yesterday. I am not sure what to do. I think he would be an excellent rooster ..... just someplace else.

    Also, if I do end up getting rid of him do I need another rooster? I had heard that one of the girls may quit laying and start trying to crow without a rooster. Is that a myth or fact? If I do need another rooster what kind should I try to get?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  10. equine chick

    equine chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2007
    pennsylvania
    Many roosters can be a good protector and still understand above else the human is the alpha.... just saying.
     

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