new to roos

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Leah S, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Leah S

    Leah S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just found out that we have rooster in our flock! Was wondering what I should be expecting from him? Still fairly new to raising chickens, and roosters are completely new! Is there anything special they need to eat? Are there any behaviors that I should be on the look out for?
    We actually have two and plan on only keeping one. So, we want to pick the most "gentlemanly" of the two. Any suggestions there?
    Thanks to all of you!!
    Leah
     
  2. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new to chickens and to roos as well so I am excited to see what responses you get! Our neighbors rooster has officially decided he would rather roost with our girls, he has been in the coop every night this week when they come in for the evening. So I guess he is ours now....lol. I don't mind if our neighbors don't mind...he is a naked neck chicken and our girls really like him....so I guess it's about whatever they like! I don't plan on ever letting the eggs hatch....our girls are barred rocks and silver laced wyandottes. Also we recently adopted to chickens, both were supposed to be hens around 1 to 2 years old. We had to pick them up while it was dark because that was the best time for the previous owner to catch them while they were in their coop...so we really didn't get to see what we were getting....well the next day after bringing them home, one of them was doing a silly side step dance....I figured maybe she was just slow and special and not quite right in the brain...turns out the side step is a rooster thing, but he hasn't crowed yet...so he must be younger then a year or two! So if you see your rooster walking funny you will know what it is! That is as much help as I can give....lol.
     
  3. Leah S

    Leah S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "not quite right"
    hahahaha!!
    but, good to know, thanks!
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Establish yourself as top rooster, don't baby him. Walk through him, not around him - make him yield to you. If you have children, bring them in the coop/run with you so the rooster gets used to them. Never allow them in alone, children make erratic movements that can trigger a rooster's defense of his flock - and with their height, there can be serious injuries.

    Things to watch out for (basically anything he does to a hen that is done to you is bad):
    A sideways posture where he's picking up rocks and dropping them, sometimes while clucking at you. (sometimes the back wing is a bit higher than the front wing)
    A little dance for you where 1 wing drops to the ground. (this says that he thinks you are a hen and thus beneath him)
    Challenge for dominance - usually in the form of a flogging. It happens lightening fast and I've been hit as high as hip level. (I'm 5'8") He's not here anymore.


    Things to look for in a good rooster:
    Clucks to the hens for treats
    Mates as gently as possible (young cockerels will be rough, it takes practice for them to get it right)
    Alerts hens of danger
    Coos to the laying hens of where to lay, sometimes they will get in the nesting boxes
     
  5. Leah S

    Leah S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the tips!
    The one that is in the running for staying is actually very sweet. He goes around me and seems to be horrified of the kids. Looks like he kind of looses it when one of the ladies strays from the group. I think he may be too young to show signs of being a true gentleman, but seems to be progressing that way.
     
  6. chickens? not yet

    chickens? not yet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3hens & 1 roo and this morning was the first time be mounted one of the hens & I didn't like it, neither did the hen she screamed & I had to walk back in the house! Not sure I'm going to be cut out for this part of the chicken thing!! [​IMG]
    My roo did that sideways walking and I would pick him up and hold him even walk with him while I was in their pen, he doesn't do me that way any more.
    They are Silkies. Not the greatest looking Silkies but I hatched them & we love them!!
    Have fun!![​IMG]
     
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, that reminds me, I don't let my roosters mate in front of me either. A small push with the boot, just enough to push them off the hen, gets their attention. A top rooster never allows a subordinate rooster to mate without a beat down.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    First of all, young roosters do not breed in a gentlemanly way. They get better with experience and it goes better when the hens finally accept it. Usually young roosters of the same age as the pullets want to mate before the girls are ready. I separate the roosters until the pullets start to lay.

    There's another school of thought on the domination thing.

    Roosters that are doing their job will protect hens from danger or other roosters.
    If you move slowly and only bring food the rooster won't see you as a threat. Other roosters don't bring treats.

    I've had lots of roosters, 3 adult roos now. I've only been attacked by 1 rooster and he was delicious.
     
  9. psimons2004

    psimons2004 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Roosters are my pride and joy! How many hens do you have? They say approx. 8 to 1 is the rule. However, we have only 11 hens and two roosters and have no problem at all!!! I think it definetly depends on the individual personalities. We started with 12 chicks (lost two :0(...) and of the 10 left had what I thought was two roosters. All my young cockerls have been banty's and we did that on purpose because last years Rhode Island Red Rooster tried to kill me on multiple occasions, and I am not even exaggerating. He made egg collecting miserable and I figured bantum roosters would at least be smaller and not so scary and leathal. LOL. So far so good.

    Now story time: They just had all their feathers and my young birds got moved out of the broody coop in the garage and into the big backyard pen and coop. That very night a fox came snooping around and my two (soon to be three ) roos went on the defensive. I was frantically looking for my shoes and before I could even get down the hill to the coop, the fox was being full on attacked by my d'uuncle (sp?) cockerl who was so upset he was able to raise the flip lid on the coop and got out and attacked the crap out of the dumb fox! The fox high tailed it out of the yard. Let me tell how easy it is to catch a scared rooster after his first fight all hopped up on adrenalin!!! That was the hardest part. Not unscathed, I had the cutest frizzle roo that got a big bite taken out of his bum! Thanks to BYC's awesome advice after a month he was all healed up and we tried to re-intergrate him and at that point finally the two roosters started to get aggressive with one another. So we found our frizzle a new home much to my dissapointment, but I just couldn't part with the other because he was so brave and such a good protector even at about 3 lbs.

    So I thought all was well with our little flock. I even had, what I thought, was a broody silkey hen - she would sit on anything, even apples we threw in the coop. (see the photo below) Well.... That little fluffy grey hen started crowing one day - a horrible honking crow. It's SO funny - sounds like a dying goose to this day! And I had heard that even females sometimes do that, but he has fully developed over the last few months into a strapping and protective Rooster with a beautiful golden mane and long curly tail feathers, LOL. Since the two Roos had been brought up together and kept together for so long because I was sure he was a hen, LOL, they get along quite well and sit on the perch in the morning and crow together, so funny! Apparently even chickens have egos... Every once in a while we find a stray wild chicken asking to be let into the coop, and he immeadiatly claims the 'extra' birds and protects them and we haven't even had any trouble adding new individuals because of this. So it is possible to have Roosters that are friends. And that's my drawn out story. And of course since I got to brag on them I also have to post my rooster pictures, LOL. Good luck with your decision!!!!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. DebbieDee

    DebbieDee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boise
    What a great story and a beautiful rooster....Cute pic sitting on the apple...[​IMG]
     

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