New to roos

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bappl, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. bappl

    bappl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have been reading the threads on roo behavior and how to tell a good one from a bad one. I see the words "mild" and "moderate" in regards to rooster behavior, but since I have no prior experience with roosters at all, I'm not sure what counts as "mild" and "moderate". I figured I'd just write and post this as a question and tell you all, who are so much more experienced than I, my roos exact behaviors.

    I know there is a pecking order, but my rooster will only let the two rir hens eat with him at the feeder. When any other hen tries to eat, even if he isn't eating anymore, he drives them off. When mounting my barred rock hen he pecked her really hard about six times in the back (even though she had dropped to a mounting position the first time he pecked her, then he mounted her. We've only had him (he's a rir rooster) about two weeks. He's very young, about the same age as the hens. He was bought in early-mid March 2015. I'm not sure if he's really protecting them or not. And he doesn't call them when he finds foods; he just starts eating. I'd appreciate any advice you all can give me. Thanks!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    There are two concerns when it comes to roosters, how they interact with people and how they treat their hens.

    Interactions with people from what I have seen, is governed by how the rooster was raised and whether it has a healthy respect as well as a bit of fear of humans, too much cuddling and petting will make your rooster see you as equal or beneath him and will result in attacks. And of course a bit of it can be breeding. I will cull for aggression.

    How a rooster treats his hens is a personal thing, some only want to mate, others want to take care of them and everything in between. A young rooster doesn't always get it right, they are too eager to mate and control everything. I have found that you can't judge a rooster until they reach about a year old and have matured and calmed down.

    If I find a young roosters behavior towards the hens to be a bit too much, I have a pen they go into where everyone can see them. They might stay in here for months, with trial releases, until I think he is where I am happy with his behavior. If he continues to be poor with the hens I will cull him.

    Your rooster would be in my pen if he was mine.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Doesn't sound like a 'good' rooster to me......
    ......but he's only been there 2 weeks so he may still be establishing his dominance, thus the pecking and chasing off food.

    How old are they?
    You say he 'was bought' in march 2015...let's assume that means he was bought as a day old so now is about 6 months old and your pullets are the same age.

    That's still kind of young, so maybe give him a few more weeks to integrate into the flock and if he doesn't shape up, get rid of him.

    Also how many pullets do you have?
  4. barneveldrerman

    barneveldrerman Chillin' With My Peeps

    The rooster is still young. I would seperate him for a while if this continues. He is definitely not a good rooster. After a whole if he doesn't calm Down he is gone.

    Hope this helped!:cool:
  5. bappl

    bappl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wanted to answer some of your questions and give an update. To answer the questions first, yes he was bought as a day old chick in March so he's 6 months old. My neighbors gave him to me because they wanted hens only. They don't handle their chicks. Plus he was in a pen at their house. At our house we handled our chicks a lot and so they're very friendly. Also, we free range. We have six hens at the moment but are going to buy more day old chicks in the spring. So he'll have more "company" once they're old enough. I read a post somewhere in the forums that suggested catching a rooster (that's being too naughty and domineering) and holding him for 20 or 30 and not putting him down unless he isn't struggling. My daughter (shes 13) held him for 30 minutes yesterday and I held him for that long today. I think it's just him finding his place. This morning he didn't peck any of the hens although he showed "affection" to one of them. When I was holding him this afternoon a hen clicked loudly like she wa hurt (probably my dog scared her) and he started squacking and flapping trying to get to her. So, I think he'll work out, I just need to let him settle in more.
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Yep, i'd give him another month or so, by then he should be showing the girls food treats etc. Re: dealing with dominance, i too recall reading that post but this was followed by another suggesting that it is not a useful approach (for dogs, maybe) since chickens simply do not interact that way.

    Engendering a healthy respect / fear of you is probably a more appropriate way forward. I do this using a pressurised plant sprayer. I used to give my cockerel a shot of water whenever the mood took me, just to show him who is in charge. Additional approaches include:

    Never allowing him to mate in your presence
    Chasing him and shouting at him if he crows in your presence
    Never walk around him - walk through him and make him move
    Prevent him from eating for a short time by standing in front of the food.

    There are others, but i can't remember them all but I'm sure its in the same thread as you referred to.

    Good luck
  7. NatureChica

    NatureChica Chillin' With My Peeps

    If my kids did what you're suggesting I would tell them they are being excessively cruel to a chicken and theyd be in hot water with me. There's no way spraying a chicken is deemed acceptable in my book, they eat when they want, and I don't agree with interrupting breeding or crowing since that's the purpose of them in the first place.
    Everyone has different methods to be sure. I'm sure we can all read the threads and apply the things that make the most sense for each individuals situation.
    I have no belief that handling my roos will make them mean. I believe if I feed them and let them alone they are more likely to be untamed and try to get away with pecking, spiking, and attempting to dominate my kids. It has yet to happen but I believe handling them helps.
    I see others believe differently and that's good to have a variety of ways. It gives people more than one option.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Indeed, you are correct that we do what is right for us as individuals - there's always more than one way to skin a cat, as they say (in the UK). The list i posted were simply methods that i recalled reading. I also recall suggestions including kicking or using a stick (not for me)- using a hand held watering spray was something that i found preferable to physical harm. We are all different, make different choices and thats fine as long as we respect our differences then all is well.
    1 person likes this.
  9. NatureChica

    NatureChica Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am familiar with that phrase. My Grammy used to say it and I picked it up. :)
  10. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I'm sure you get some strange looks when you use it [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

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