New to rooster, what to watch out for?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sabz, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    I am new to having a rooster and I would like to know if there is anything particular to watch for?

    I know that my flock is small for a rooster - 6 ladies for one rooster, so I will be watching my hens closely and if it's not OK I will cull the rooster.. no point getting my layers in bad shape just to have fertile eggs, I can buy them for 1.50$ each.

    Should I trim his claws?

    Can he be too heavy for the chicks? He is maybe double the weight of the hens (I never weighted the hens but ballpark). And to know this I would check what? For leg injuries from the hens holding a big male on their backs?!

    I've seen posts where hens would have chicks and the chicks would be raised with the roo. This wouldn't happen if I use an incubator and try to introduce the babies in the flock at a very early age right? Since there will be no mother to protect them, I assume they would be picked on.

    Will my hens become broody because of the rooster? They've NEVER, ever been anything like broody. I doubt any of them will lay on some eggs. My eggs are always cold when I come home and besides the time they lay, I never see the chickens in the nest boxes. I wonder if the motherly instincts develop after they get mated? I don't suppose so, but I have no idea really..

    Anything else? Yes, I know he will possibly attack me some day, I am prepared for that :)

    I know he is protective already. This morning I was feeding them and I always sit and pet them a few minutes.. I picked up a layer and started to pet her, he immediately jumped on her back to "mate" her (or possibly just to show me she was his).

    I love his signing in the morning, I feel like I live on a farm now. So fun, he answers to another rooster that lives 3-4 houses away from me :)

    Sorry for all the questions. I have 20 meaties to cull soon and want to decide if I cull TarzanBoy or if I let him be, so I want to understand what I am walking into!
     
  2. andreanar

    andreanar Overrun With Chickens

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    How old are your hens and the rooster? The rooster can be too heavy if say he is a Brahma and your hens are bantams.
    I've heard not to let a roo mate in front of you, that this is controlling behavior on his part.
    Before my cockeral attacked,I noticed behavior such as puffing up towards me, picking up sticks and dropping them and scratching at the ground in front of me, and getting in between me and the girls all the time. He would herd them away from me if they came near.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I think your best bet is to do a thread search regarding anything rooster related. You'll get a lot of stories. Much easier to glean info. from previous threads as they'll answer questions that you don't even know that you have. You also need to learn how to handle a rooster, or you'll have behavior problems. There are some excellent threads regarding that as well. I'd never allow a rooster to mate a hen in my presence. He needs to know that I am the flock master. When I'm around, he's hands off with the ladies.
     
  4. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh!!

    So what do you do, "brush him off" kind of? Push him off the lady? Mine didn't really mate, he jumped on her back and fell off, but I knew it was protective behavior.

    My hens are.. I don't know, around 8-10 months, rooster is 4-5 months old.
    Hens are Leghorns and he is crossbred (rosso).

    Alright, I'll read many rooster threads.. thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
  5. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    Arg, double post, sorry.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

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