Nasty roo, or is it just hormones???

bmerb

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 21, 2009
12
0
22
Fall Creek
Hi, not sure if this is the right spot for this, but... We have 20 chickens, all between 14 and 15 weeks. 2 are roos, a GLW and an EE. Both roos have been crowing for a couple weeks now, and although the EE is a more vigorous noise maker, the GLW is definitely boss (and very mellow too).

I'm concerned about the EE roo. He has begun trying to mount the hens, who are all EXTREMELY unhappy about this. He races up and grabs their neck feathers, they SCREAM and race around while he rips feathers out and gets dragged along. If the GLW is around, the hens run for him and the EE lets go. He only tries to mount our production reds, the SS, my beautiful slate Ameracauna hen, and two dark EE hens (he completely ignores our all white hens, the light brahmas and the BRs). I've only seen him 'successfully' mate one very threatened hen, but I regularly see him EAT the feathers he has ripped out of the ladies necks. Additionally, this evening I heard a huge commotion and discovered that he had beaten a RIR hen into submission, and she was laying flat on the ground afterwards as he continued pecking at her head. I seriously thought he had killed her, but when I went in and grabbed him up by his feet, she popped up and ran off...

I know chickens can get pretty raucous with mating, but I've never seen hens this unhappy or a roo so nasty about it before. Is this because he is just figuring it out, and the girls are too young to be interested, or??? The GLW is super mellow, and will interfere if he is nearby, but he doesn't try to breed the pullets yet himself at all... Should I be worried?

We really wanted at least one roo, and both are very handsome, but if this is abnormally aggressive, I'll send him to the stew pot before I see all the dark hens neck feathers ripped out!
 

onthespot

Deluxe Dozens
11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
7,187
44
271
Riverside/Norco, CA
If you want to keep the EE roo, you could try a smaller pen temporarily so the hens can't run and they will learn to squat and submit a lot sooner.
 

ruby

Songster
11 Years
Apr 10, 2008
406
0
139
Gold Hill, Alabama
If you want a roo I might give him a chance. I think having two roos will keep them from getting a big head. My chicken pen is roo free tho.... when I had a roo I just had one and he became very mean.
 

janinepeters

Songster
10 Years
Jun 9, 2009
906
80
153
Oh, my. I am usually one to try to make it work out and give the guy a chance, but if he is that violent at this tender age, I think I would get rid of him. And if he is eating the feathers, I think it's only a matter of time before you see bald spots and others join in and begin picking. I would not let this situation continue. It might seem cruel to get rid of him, but the way I see it, he will probably make other members of the flock miserable, which would be cruel to them.

In my experience with roosters, they start out mellower and get more aggressive as they get closer to maturity and the hormones surge. If he is this aggressive already, I think it's a bad sign. I would not want that one in my flock. Especially if the flock is confined. If they free range, then at least the hens can get away from time to time, for some peace and quiet. Even so, I probably wouldn't keep him.
 

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