My sweet roo just got a spanking

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by galanie, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I'm not sure what's going on here except maybe just raging hormones but George shocked me today. I have all Orpingtons.

    I have a hen with three 3week old chicks, two 1 year old hens that were raised with her, and two hens that were raised with my roo, George. George and his girls are around 5 1/2 months old. Yeah, he's at "that" stage. But he's been really sweet though he does rough up one of "his" girls just a little every day trying to play house. The older girls don't take him seriously of course and peck his butt if he gets too close. He's not aggressive to people at all and has always been pretty much a gentleman except to his favorite "sister" whom he still doesn't treat overly rough.

    Today he just went nuts. He attacked the babies. I think he is just SO frustrated (his "girls" aren't laying yet and aren't cooperative with his efforts) but to attack the babies! He ran them into the coop and Mom, who is above him in pecking order, couldn't stop him and SCREAMED. I saw the last part of the attack, heard her scream, and ran out there with a stick and got his butt gone fast, spanking him some in the process (but not HARD - he got the message though). None of the babies were hurt but I'm still trying to figure out exactly what he was trying to accomplish here.

    Any thoughts? And I know this sounds like a stupid question but you think I should just separate either him or Mom for a while? If it's just hormonal rage and won't be something he'll repeat I'd hate to make soup of him though given his size and age, he'd make a really great meal. As I said, he's always been pretty much a gentleman and now, a couple hours later, is again being a gentleman though he isn't following me around now like he does a lot.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    He's a teenager and a brat, and being an Orp, I think he'll outgrow this stage. For the interim I would suggest separating him from either all the girls or at least the hen with the chicks until things settle down.
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    I've seen hens do the same thing to chicks that age, so I usually keep mom and chicks separate from flock until they are a little older. I would guess, though, that if he is this aggressive to the females at his current age, he will probably get worse as the hormones surge.
  4. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Some cocks pay no attention to chicks, others will actually help mother them and others will kill them on sight. There is no predicting what a cock will do. As has also been stated there is no predicting what another hen will do as well.

    It is best to have the mother hen and chicks separate from the rest of the flock.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:I agree with this one. I'm kind of surprised Mama did not kick his butt, but you can never tell what will actually happen with living animals.

    Sounds like you want to keep him around, but if you have other options, he would make a good meal. I usually give the hormonal teenagers ones a little slack, but if I have to choose between which ones I keep and which ones go to the kitchen, I appreciate them giving me a reason to help make that choice.
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Cockerels & roos usually make really fast decisions & sometimes there wrong. I would keep an eye on him before you fire up the pit.
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Thank you all for your replies. I've been thinking along the lines of what Ridgerunner and 7Lfarm and all are saying but this is my first roo so I have no experience with them, only what I've read. I'm watching him closely now. It will be very difficult to separate him from the others since my other coop and runs are being used but I will most likely do so regardless. I have hopes for him since he's so true to type, large, and nice to people but it's not like I have to keep one that ends up being an ass to his flock just because he's nice to me.

    I'm thinking at least a two week separation might change things a bit. Him being aggressive to chicks though is a serious problem to me. I don't think he wants to kill them, it's more like "Hey, someone lower in status than I am.. Nyah Nyah!" Even so... he'll probably end up in the slow cooker but I'll give him another month or more and see. And yes, I'm astonished she didn't kick his butt too but she was panicking because her babies were scattering and someone was after them. Some of the other hens do pick on them from time to time but it's very minor and I'd rather keep them with the rest.

    And trust me, I really hate to do it. Not because he's my "baby" but because of how difficult it was for me to get some nice black orps in the first place. There just aren't any proven breeders within hundreds and hundreds of miles. But one of the three chicks (more mailed eggs... I'll be so glad to get my own going) already has wattles at 3 weeks so he can be replaced.
  8. effie

    effie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2011
    West(by god) Virginia
    I have 12 BO girls and one BO roo the same age-he has started in the just the last couple of weeks getting real protectove of the girls and is the first one to come running when I go to give them treats--I have picked him up and handled him some and so far so good---BUT, I have to say when he comes running at me when I go with treats it always freaks me out a little-I kinda cringe [​IMG] I read all these stories about them at this age getting kinda mean and I am terrified he will flog me (got flogged as a child and haven't forgot). I noticed the other evening it was time for them to get in the coop and there were 2 girls still out and he chased them till he got them in the coop--I wasn't sure if he was putting them up or he was really wanting some "squat time" LOL. Has anyone seen the roo get all their girls up for the evening???? Everyday is a learning adventure with them--my husband and I are so enjoying them. [​IMG]
  9. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    My roo gathers his girls togerther just before sundown, bringing them towards the coop. He will sit on his roost and seems to chuckle as he watches my hubby & I chase the stragglers. ~ there's always 1 or 2 to be chased at sunset, WHY:rolleyes:?
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  10. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    I keep between 30 and 40 cocks each year. (Right now I have around 100 stags running wild and free as well).

    I only keep mature cocks with hens/pullets and then one at a time. At times you will have a dominate hen that will hurt or even kill a young cockerel.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by