Naughty Roosters!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bensmumma, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. bensmumma

    bensmumma New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Dec 11, 2012
    Central MA
    My 2 roos are about 6 mos old now. I have 8 hens; one of them incubated two of our friend's eggs this spring, and they both turned out to be roosters. We really thought one was a hen until about 2 weeks ago, he was late in developing secondary characteristics such as feathers and wattles/comb. And, he still doesn't crow. Now we are facing 2 aggressive males; a couple of our hens won't even come down from the perch in the coop, I have to take them down and lock the roosters out of the run so they'll drink and eat. Some of the other hens don't seem to care, and a couple of them have firmly told the roosters NO WAY and the roosters have backed off. The roosters are not too aggressive with us, they still know we are the "boss" so I'm not worried about safety (yet). But I am worried about how to handle this with the hens. We do plan on increasing our flock size in the spring (we're ordering pullets, no more roos!), but I even worry about introducing pullets into the flock with randy roosters...

    Any suggestions? Will the roosters "mature" and become less aggressive with the hens? Should we separate the roosters out for a while? We did that today all day, let the roos free range, the ladies quite enjoyed their quiet run for a change. But once it was bedtime all heck broke loose as the roosters started in on them again...
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    66,683
    17,820
    836
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] Two 'randy' young cockerels trying to mate the same hen at the same time is frequently a recipe for injury. Is there any possibility of rehoming/eating one and keeping the other? If that is not an option what about separate pens?
     
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    18,985
    1,462
    396
    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    I would not keep any rooster that was mistreating hens, randy young ones or not. There are plenty of good roosters out there, no need to put your girls through all that with aggressive ones.
     
  4. bensmumma

    bensmumma New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Dec 11, 2012
    Central MA
    We keep our chickens as "pets" so eating is out of the question. I may try to re-home the more aggressive of the two through our 4-H club. He's a purebred Java so he may also be desirable to someone wishing to breed Javas. He was very sweet as a cockerel, so it will be hard for my two sons to part with him... I think that would be more realistic than another coop. Hard decision. I was hoping they would grow out of their behavior!
     
  5. bensmumma

    bensmumma New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Dec 11, 2012
    Central MA
    This is true, and we don't NEED a rooster, but I do love hearing our one crower in the morning, and throughout the day... I wonder, if we rehome the other one (who is the more aggressive of the two) if his personality will change and he'll be more aggressive. Chicken dynamics amaze me!
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    4,210
    455
    328
    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    I think that re-homing one rooster is worth a shot. Then you always have the option of getting rid of the other if he continues to mistreat hens. Seems to me your biggest problem is too many roosters with too few hens.

    I wouldn't worry about the rooster mistreating pullets. In my experience, the rooster pretty much ignores pullets until they are breeding age. It's the HENS that give pullets the most trouble when you introduce them, and they don't belong to the rooster yet so he doesn't defend them.

    I'm a proponent of keeping a rooster if you can. It seems like our flock is always happier with a rooster, since he polices the hens and gets in the middle of hen squabbles before they become serious. And I like seeing them--they're so pretty. And if they treat hens well, they're a joy to watch. Love watching them find goodies and call the hens over to eat them instead of eating them himself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  7. bensmumma

    bensmumma New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Dec 11, 2012
    Central MA
    Yes - the other day I through out some tomato scraps and he was so excited - stomping his feet and calling to the girls! I hope we can make this work... I have been free-ranging the roosters all day, and letting them back in after the girls have gone to bed. So they have a little time in the morning before I get out there, then the girls have the day off.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by