New Roo in the famil....have Questions?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by donnavee, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    We have a flock of 7 laying hens just over a year old. We added 6 more chicks in April – all were supposed to be female, but the SS has turned out to be a roo. At 14 wks, he has just started crowing. We decided if he isn’t too noisy, and isn’t overly aggressive with us or the girls he could be a good addition to the flock. Though I do have vivid memories of the many foot races I had with my grandmothers rooster when I would try to collect eggs.

    Both old and new chickens are together with no real problems though the hens are still dominant and none of the younger ones have challenged their authority. Even though they are together, the young flock pretty much stays to itself.

    So as a new and somewhat reluctant roo owner, I have some questions about roos:

    1. At what age do roos normally start trying to mate and will he go after his brooder buddies first before challenging the hens?

    2. Is there anything DH and I can do to help ensure he doesn’t become a meanie? We treat him the same as the others, offering treats etc. He has never been handled a lot because after about 4wks of age, he decided being a lap chicken was not his thing. He will eat out of our hand though.

    3. At what age do they start acting protective toward the flock? Right now, he is the first at the treat bowl and will peck some of the pullets kind of hard at times for no apparent reason.

    Any other advice and/or info is appreciated.
  2. Chickengal505

    Chickengal505 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2010
    Bolivia N.C
    Haha im on the same boat! But i give him special treatment such as he gets to go out after cerfew with his gal friend of the day... althogh he has not started crowing he protects his peers from big mama and the two teenagers [​IMG] He goes as far as stealing goodies from mama for his peeps... But some of them just dont need him and makes shure he knows Oh does this sound like a good hen roo ratio: 8 hens and 1 roo haha Make shure when he starts to exibit good roo behavor you shower him with goodies (it's okay to make the hens turn a nice shade of green at his batchlor party [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:1. He is probably trying to mate right now as I type this reply. He will most likely "go after" the mature hens, first, as they already throw off "I'm a mature woman" scents.
    One thing to consider is that weeks equal years in adolescent roosters; at 14 weeks, he's a 14 year old teenager, raging with hormones and only thinking "sex sex sex sex sex" all the time. He knows WHAT he wants, but not how to get it properly, yet. Fumble, fumble, try again and again and again. 14 - 18 weeks at least is the obnoxious rooster period. Sorry.

    2. Continue to treat him the same as others, with one exception: if he fluffs up his feathers at ANY of you, or pecks at your feet or anywhere else, show him YOU (each of you) are the Boss with higher status than he has. Without showing fear, step towards him. If you can, sort of thunk him on the head with a couple fingers together, just once. Walk forward, slowly and deliberately, and when he turns and walks away, stop. Don't follow him. Just make him go from backing up to turning away. The rest of the time, continue to talk nicely, with that warm "Aren't you a pretty boy!" tone of voice, and continue to feed him by hand as long as he will do so.

    3. It will be awhile before he will stop being a greedy-guts and being first at the treat bowl - after all, he's a 14 year old teenager, remember? But he may start being protective within a month or so. His pecking "for no apparent reason" is his way of saying, "HEY! I'm the ROOSTER here!" It's showing dominance.

    I didn't want a rooster, either. Mine was an accidental roo, just like yours. But I am SO glad I didn't get rid of him. He's gorgeous, he's now very protective of his flock, he's adorable when he courts the girls, and I love his crow.

    Oh, about crowing. I dunno what you're gonna do about that.... they do that whenever the heck they can. In the morning to announce the day, after a successful mating (occasionally), when triggered by the sound of other roosters nearby, in the afternoon when they want to tell the world about their status, when they want to call the girls to the coop, and in the middle of the night when a dog barks, or you turn on the bathroom light and it's visible from the coop through a window, or a predator sneaks by and he hears it.

    I happen to like the sound. Good thing, because I have 3 more teenaged accidental roos growing up in my flock now! Carl is gonna make sure they don't get too big for their britches, though.
  4. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Hey, some great advice which I really appreciate. We live on 2 acres and the coop is a distance from the house so the crow can't be heard from inside our house. For now, the girls can out cluck him - though I realize that will change. I do hope he turns out to be a good protector and he is a very handsome boy. Guess we should quit calling him Suzie?[​IMG]
  5. Keens2050

    Keens2050 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 24, 2010
    Narvon, PA
    I agree with prior post that you absolutely DO NOT tolerate bad behavior. You wouldn't from your children or other pets - so the rooster is also under the same rules. If he does have a bad temperment and you cannot persuade him to change his ways, he will make a good soup.[​IMG]
  6. homeycow

    homeycow Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    North Texas
    Quote:Had to laugh at this! After our first rooster, Pimp Daddy, turned mean (and had to go away), we decided to let our second rooster keep the hen name he started out with - Lucille. We hoped the humiliation would keep his testosterone level down! [​IMG] Sadly, it didn't work, and Lucille also had to be re-homed. We have two more roosters now. One will have a manly name - Mac Daddy, and the other will have the girly name he started with - Safire. I vote you let Suzie keep his name!
  7. NC29mom

    NC29mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Scotland Neck, NC
    Our flock STARTED with a rooster. Wouldn't have it ANY OTHER WAY!! He is the nicest, most considerate, awesome rooster EVER!!!! And he was a stray! I've even posted some pictures of our Rocky. I think you should keep him, roosters are good for a flock. I think the hens are more at ease knowing their rooster is around. We don't have to worry about the hens, we know Rocky is taking good care of them. Generally we let them out around 3-4 every afternoon. Rocky makes sure they are all back in the coop by dark, I never have to go looking for one. Best of luck and post some pictures of your flock!

    Here's Rocky waiting for the hen to do her stuff (she's in backwards, don't know what that's about!! But he does this with most of the hens)

    Rocky looking over his girls!!

    When we first built the coop and added the girls, I bet it was a good month before we saw Rocky mating. We were starting to worry, but that's before we realized what a cool rooster he was. He was just getting to know them before getting that fresh with them!!!
  8. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Wow, Rocky is one cool rooster. I'm feeling good about our guy, I think he will work out fine. Our 2 RIR hens are dominant and can be a bit much at times, even mounting some of the other hens. People have told me that a good rooster would take care of that problem. I still don't think he is mating yet - most of the time he hangs out with his brooder mates, though I have noticed him sort of "patroling" the run at times. I'll try to get some up to date pics of the whole crew.

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