My rooster is so MEAN!!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by justacouplemorechicks, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. justacouplemorechicks

    justacouplemorechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a small flock of 3 roosters and 2 hens. I know that the ratio is off. But we bought these as day old chicks in April. By the time we figured out if they were roos or hens... we were in love with all of them and it was too late. My buff orpington roo has been the dominant roo the entire time. The other 2 roos are laid back and I have never had any issues between any of the roos. I have noticed lately that buff roo is VERY aggressive with my two hens. I don't know how much is normal behavior but it seems to be too much. He is pulling out feathers and pecking them from head to toe whenever he can get close enough. He is grabbing their heads and wings and tries to shake them to pieces. Everyone is flying up into the trees or flying out of the fenced in area and not returning until dark. The buff roo is very heavy and can barely fly.

    Lately he has been acting very aggressive towards my children. He has not gotten close to me, but he has jumped on my 7 year old and gave her a big scratch on her back and pulled her hair. Sunday he jumped on my 3 year old and hit her with his wings. Neither of my children were bothering him or any of the chickens. They were simply passing thru the backyard on their way to the barn or garden.

    I decided to add a few more hens. Bought 4 hens, approximately same age, over 2 weeks ago and they were kept seperate from my flock. The last couple of days I have been moving their crate closer to the backyard. Yesterday, I actually set their crate inside the backyard. The buff roo was reaching thru the cage bars and grabbing body parts and giving them a good pinch. They were going crazy inside the crate. I grabbed him and locked him inside my a-frame. I ended up letting the 4 hens out of the cage trying to calm them down. My RIR roo came out of nowhere and grabbed a hen by her wing and tossed her around like a rag doll. I grabbed him and tossed him in the a-frame too. My other roo and 2 hens came to check out the newbies and they are all fine together. They are all together in the fenced in area and have not made any effort to fly into the trees or out of the area. They all slept together in the coop last night. The 2 roos are still in "jail".

    Is that normal roo behavior? Should I have left them to sort out their pecking order? I don't want to put the roos back in. I will have to either re-home them or add them to our menu.... His behavior is probably not going to improve, right?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It really seems as if you have tolerated his bad behavior long enough. Time to relocate/eat him before he injures one of the hens or even more seriously one of your children. One strike to a child's face or eyes can inflict scarring or permanent damage. Keep the calmest and move the rest.
     
  3. Evelle

    Evelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    North Idaho
    time to have rooster soup.
    it will only get worse. until someone gets hurt. dont wait till its to late. its sad and hard but in everythings best intressed.
     
  4. redfeather

    redfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2010
    I think the BO and the RIR would make a big tasty pot of chicken soup. They sound downright nasty!! My roo has never beat up the hens... in fact, he's the one with the bald butt as they pick at him a bit. Somehow all the eggs are still fertile even though I never see him workin' the hens. He's a BO too, giant, heavy thing. But hasn't attacked anyone yet.

    Sorry you have to deal with this mess!
     
  5. Uniontown Poultry

    Uniontown Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some people say that you can't reform a rampaging rooster and some say you can. A high rooster density can ramp up agressive tendencies in roos, but it seems the addition of extra hens (which might lower the density) didn't help. Mean roosters are an odd bunch. Some are full-on mean all the time, some sneak into meanness, and some are mean only on occasion. It really comes down to what you're willing to put up with. A full-on mean rooster probably cannot be worked with & made into a tolerant roo. He may just have too much testosterone in his system. Those that sneak-into meanness may be made nicer if you can pinpoint the thing that effected a change in the roo's behavior. Likewise with the occasionally-mean rooster. I had one very nice Sussex-cross roo who you could just walk up to & pick him up & hold him. One day, I came home from work, and on my way down the walk, he came at me like a pit bull. After I changed from work, and went into the yard, he was gentle as a lamb again. Turns out it was my red pants. A friend of mine even took a "demonstration" video of me feeding him from my hand while wearing a brown sweater; I take of the sweater to reveal a red T-shirt and bam! When Roosters Attack. But then we all knew - don't wear red near the rooster, and everything will be fine. My last big rooster, Snicklefritz, a black Langshan, was so mean & incorrigible and we kept a large stick by the back door in case he snuck up on us in the yard. I gave him to someone who had just bought 17 black hens and needed a rooster. Snicklefritz totally lucked out.

    So you maybe can deconstruct what's going haywire in your roosters to make them hyper-aggressive. a 3 rooster 6 hen ratio is still pretty rooster heavy. At least one of your bad roos has got to go, if not both of them. Some RIR roos can be nice, but overall they don't have a good reputation as being calm and family-friendly (which is a shame since they are so darn pretty). BO's on the other hand, are usually calm and gentle. But like people, there are different personalities. My sis has a Delaware roo who is so nice and gentle that I use him for outreach work... but his male offspring are pure malice, delivering pecks that draw blood from you. It sounds like your remaining rooster's a good fit with the females. It's not unusual for new birds to be pecked a bit as the pecking order is rearranged, but vicious and repeated pecking is a problem. If you had let all your birds loose to sort the pecking order, you would have had some bloody birds to deal with. And of you've got one, the BO, who is bigger than the others, some of the smaller ones could have been seriously injured.

    My recommendation: you've got young children, and a life outside the chicken yard. You've got one good rooster and 2 aggressive ones that also happen to be of good breeds for meat. You don't want to have to devote weeks trying to rehabilitate them (which may or may not work), you want to enjoy the roo and girls you've got. So, find the jailed roos a new home (and warn the owner that they've been aggressive) or eat them.
     
  6. Tiss

    Tiss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get rid of the BO now! I'd also get rid of the RIR and keep the one that is getting along with the ladies. IMO there's no reason to tolerate a nasty roo (unless you are breeding him and have him caged up)!

    I'd hate to see one of your kids get hurt and that's where this is heading.
     
  7. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    west virginia
    I agree, get rid of him, life is short, his should be too, get an older more settled rooster if you want chicks, or none at all your kids will thank you for it
     

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