My Easter Egger Rooster viciously attacking some of my hens.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HomesteadFrau, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. HomesteadFrau

    HomesteadFrau New Egg

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    Ok, first of all Hi! I'm a long time lurker first time poster.[​IMG]

    Second:
    I have searched the forums and could not find a post that really covered my circumstances. Sorry up front if I am doing this wrong. Also Sorry this is so long. I wanted to be detailed and accurate.

    Let me share the details.

    Last night my 9 week old Easter Egger Rooster viciously attacked 5 of my pullets(also 9 weeks old). I mean chased the first one and ripped out feathers. The second one he chased and attempted to mount. The third and fourth he repeated the attempted mounting. The fifth and final he chased and chased terrifying all of the other hens. He finally cornered her and got her down as I was running to get in there(I would have been there sooner but I was in the field feeding the calves and horses). Once he got her down he savaged her. Ripped out feathers until she was bleeding and she was just laying on her side. He was still doing it when I was getting in there.

    I got in there and booted him and chased him into the coop. I bent down to grab him and he jumped up and spurred at my face but I ducked and he got the bill of my hat. I went after him again and grabbed him when he came up to spur me and he was still fighting and trying to peck after that. I shook the hell out of him(I also had a hold of him long enough that he calmed down because I had to carry him around while I located the pet taxi) and chucked him in a large pet carrier and he is still there with food and water of course.

    I have doctored the hens and they are doing well and seem calmer without him in there.

    The situation:
    They are all the same age and from the same NPIP certified hatchery.
    I ordered 15 Pullets and 1 Rooster(I figured the odds were that I would end up with another Roo too.)
    They have a 16x4 coop with a 25x75 run with plenty of grass and bugs. There is also a net covering the top for protection.
    They eat a high protein(20%) starter grower ration until they start laying. They also get some kitchen scraps that they really enjoy like tomatoes, yogurt, cheese, kale, and spinach.
    They are healthy, have no mites, or other problems. He really just freaked out.

    My question:
    Will he grow out of this? Maybe when they are a little older and more ready submit to mounting behaviors?

    I know I don't need a Rooster for eggs but would like to have a flock protector(I prefer to lose a Roo not one of my hens to a predator).
    I don't really care if he's aggressive towards me. I'm not afraid of him at all(I handle cows, bulls, start horses, and do manners for people with problem stallions for a living)In fact this leads me to believe that he will better protect his flock. We have foxes, neighbors have stupid free range dogs, there are possums, hawks and owls that are all around this place.

    I will not however tolerate the attacking my girls. If this is something he has a chance to grow out of or maybe he wants more mature pullets I can keep him separate and wait. If this won't change I will move him to the freezer.
     
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] .

    Do you ever have young children around? If you do then consider getting another rooster.

    Here's some reading for you.

    This one explains how to deal with or correct behavior in an aggressive rooster.
    http://www.hobbyfarms.com/hobby-far...ver/how-to-deal-with-aggressive-roosters.aspx
    another
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/help-for-agressive-roosters.aspx
    and another
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/07/about-aggressive-roosters.html

    But if he is overly aggressive with the pullets then they may delay laying due to stress that the cockerel inflicts on them. He could severely injure or possibly kill them with his over aggressive mating behavior. So you may want to think about rehoming him, culling him, or separating him.
     
  3. Nupe

    Nupe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    9 weeks old... wow.

    I would say your roo has a few screws loose. Definitely not a breeder.

    You have him separate and that's a good thing. Keep it that way.

    I tried the same thing you did with my flock. I got 2 roos with 16 hens as my initial flock. I found out later, this was not the way to do it. The roos didn't start as early as yours but he got aggressive with the hens just before they started laying. By the end of all my drama, my dominant rooster, who was never human aggressive, was rehomed to a family with a mature flock. Then my 2nd roo who was always gentler with the hens became aggressive towards them and me. So he ended up in a soup.

    I learned that the trick is getting other chickens to teach them while young. If there were 1-2 year old hens in your flock, they would have thumped that behavior right out of your roo before you ever noticed there was a problem. Once they start this aggression, I find you can never trust them again.

    My advice to you is to either send your roo to the freezer when he's about 16 weeks old or cull him out now. Don't rehome him to anyone without full disclosure and never let anyone breed him. This kind of aggressiveness could be hereditary.

    Once your hens all start to lay, check craigslist or ask around your local feed store for a 2 or 3 year old rooster. There are always plenty sweetheart roos out there hoping to escape the soup pot that you should never have put up with a psychopathic flogger.
     
  4. HomesteadFrau

    HomesteadFrau New Egg

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    Nov 16, 2015
    Free Spirit- Thank you glad to be here[​IMG] and thank you for the reading materials.[​IMG] I never have any children around. I separated him last night and he will stay that way until I get him culled, I think. Thank you for taking time to respond. [​IMG]
     
  5. HomesteadFrau

    HomesteadFrau New Egg

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    Nov 16, 2015
    Nupe- Yeah literally got them at the post office September 30th it's pretty crazy. I agree and I hadn't even thought that far ahead of if a hen went broody would I let her keep them(definitely NOT from that nutcase lol). As far as rehoming I wouldn't feel comfortable with the possibility of a new owner letting him reproduce or culling him if necessary, so I believe he will end here with me. I would rather be responsible for it. I really wish he would have worked out He was quite pretty.

    [​IMG]
    Sorry for pic quality. He's the grey devil at the back.
     
  6. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cockerel behavior tends to be hard-wired and highly hereditary, so he will very likely continue to act this way and pass this aggressiveness on to his offspring. I would recommend keeping him separated from the pullets until you can cull him.

    Your best bet for a well-behaved rooster is to 1) get hatching eggs from someone who has well-behaved roosters, and 2) have one of your broody hens hatch and raise the chicks within the flock. Cockerels that are raised by a hen within the flock tend to learn manners very quickly from the older hens, who will not put up with bad behavior. If you're able to get hatching eggs from a mixed flock, that's fine, as some of the nicer roosters may be mixed breeds.

    Oh! . . . . and welcome to BYC!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  7. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Q If you want a nice rooster wait until your hens are mature and either get a nice rooster from someone who simply has too many (I often look for homes for the nice guys.) or get a younger cockerel and put him in with the adult hens who will teach him manners and won't put up with his shenanigans.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I think you've got it covered...give him a few weeks in isolation, then put him on the grill.
     
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    His aggression will worsen as he gets closer to sexual maturity. There are FAR too many good males out there to put up with a mean one. And if you have kids, he can easily get face level on a child. It's just not worth it.

    I think you are being really responsible to cull him yourself and not make him somebody else's problem. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  10. HomesteadFrau

    HomesteadFrau New Egg

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    Nov 16, 2015
    See I had know idea about the hereditary issues and I was worried that it would get worse. He will definitely stay separated until he's culled. Honestly I don't think I have it in me to put him back in there even if he was magically nice. He terrorized those poor pullets. :(
    Thank you I'm really excited to be here.
    Happy Chooks-Thank you. I have farmed and raised animals forever so taking life is inevitable.(Even though I hate it worse than putting up hay lol.) It's part of the cycle and I hope there are many others who stick it out in situations like this.
     

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