Odd rooster behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Amina, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a splash marans rooster who is about 5 months old. He matured early - crowing by ~5 weeks, and mating the hens for maybe the past month and a half. He has never been aggressive toward me, and has been very gentle with the hens. I have never seen him chase the hens to mate. He has always been gentle about it. Although I've just had a couple hens with him, there has never been any feather damage, and the girls seemed to like him.

    Okay anyway, for the past few days, he's been behaving oddly. When I let them out to free range, he will make mad dashes to nowhere in particular, with his hackles raised. The past couple days, I saw him raise his hackles at and chase the hens a few times. He doesn't try to mate when he catches up to them or anything. On a couple occasions, my calmer hen would just stand there as he ran at her, and she would just stare at him. He'd stare back, hackles raised, for several seconds. Then he'd lower his hackles and walk off. What is going on with this guy?? Should I be worried that he's turning aggressive? Or is he just nuts?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Behavior as described seems like play typical of a juvenile. Can you film it?
     
  3. RoosterDon

    RoosterDon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, pretty normal. We are on our 4th up till this morning. Our first one we bought from a breeder and he finally got too mean. We gave him away. We hatched 2 more, and oddly, a third baby found its way to our sons backyard at college and we brought her home, a beautiful Bared Rock that turned out to be a roo. Well, he is now the dominant one, and to this day is sweet. Roo number two in age was/is kind of mean, and started out very sweet until the 5-6 month mark, then it was mean time. He has fallen in place and accepted the number two position though and is pretty docile, still crows, but knows he is not The Roo, and the ladies let him know too. (poor thing). So Roos 3 and 4 were the same age, one was still pretty docile at 5-6 months, but the 4th went from sweet to MEAN MEAN MEAN. I finally had to kill him today and we will eat him in a few days. My first kill. But it was easy after the way he treated our hen that we nursed back to health after a dog attack.

    Anyway, our limited experience (hatching and raising two, and raising the third roo from being a chick) is that ours were all sweet, then they are not predictable. Some will just be mean, some don't do well being number 2 or lower, who knows.

    We saw the same behavior as yours as our roos started maturing some. I am not saying yours will be mean or not, just that he is becoming "The Man" and is showing it.

    We free range ours too late in the afternoons, and it is fun to watch them all scratch and hustle and bustle through the grass and brush.

    Thanks for sharing your story.
     
  4. RoosterDon

    RoosterDon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OH and another thing, the more ladies you have the better chance that you will have two roos able to be #1. We had 11 hens and the 4 roos before the dog got in our pen. One laid an egg then died right after. :( So, we decided that we HAD to hatch another round since she did her part. We are on day 14 and her egg is fertile and growing (fingers crossed). The second roo turned out having a bad bit under his wing that we did not detect till it was too late. I had to decapitate the guy, he was still a sweetie. Our dominant roo was wounded and we nursed him back to health inside the house.

    I got off topic. Anyway, having 9 hens now was not enough for 3 roosters. Maybe that was the main problem with Elvis getting so mean and wanting to be a dominant male. Before he matured our main dom roo and number two roo were doing fine. So I think 4-5 hens is all one roo can handle, or rather, a second roo can be accepted if he behaves.

    So, the number of hens you have to each rooster can be a big factor as the roos mature.
     
  5. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting! Well, I only have one rooster, but I definitely don't have the ideal number of hens right now. I got rid of some older hens that weren't laying well, which left him with only two hens. And then this past week, the older remaining hen just dropped over dead. So now he only has one hen. Not good. :( I'm working on getting more hens, but if he causes trouble in the meantime, I am not opposed to turning him into soup.

    I'll see if I can get a video of his strange behavior.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Agrees with centrarchid....my rooster did the run around and flare thing when first let out in the morning at that age...and once in a while now at almost 7 months. Just feeling his testosterone I think. Sometimes he chases one down for a treading, sometimes not.

    Some of my hens do a mad dash around flapping their wings, mornings and other times too......just stretching their appendages.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  7. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My rooster, who is about the same age, does the same thing. The funny thing is my 5 RSL's who are a year and a half old and never been with a rooster, look at him like he's nuts. It's been pretty entertaining watching him mature. He's my first rooster so I didn't know what to expect. He's an Easter Egger and is very pretty. So far, he seems pretty good natured which I'm happy about. His crowing is not quite cock-a-doodle-doo-ish yet and he crows at very random times. I'm not sure if that normal or if it will change as he matures.
     
  8. Iko127

    Iko127 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I was wondering if I can get some input on a rooster question? I have a run that is 12 x 18 and the coop is 8x8 and 6 ft tall. I have 9 laying hens that consist of barred rocks, rhode island reds and 2 silver wyandottes. I recently bought a 6 month old rhode island red roo who is very sweet, too sweet. The hens have been so mean that he wasn't coming out of the coop and hiding in the nesting boxes. It had been a week, added 2 red hens, tried caging the 2 worst hens, nothing seemed to help. So I should've been more patient but had the chance to get another 5 month old roo but they said he was very big. I went and got him and after picking him up kept thinking he is so big he just can't be a 5 m. rhode island red, did some researching and he is a New hampshire red. Got home and was going to keep him in a big crate in the coop so they all could see him but didn't want to turn loose till nighttime and hope they all work it out the next day, and my RIR roo had decided to come out and seemed to be doing better but still not leaving the coop. My plan was to get rid of him but really like him and he is so sweet plus now I know this new roo is not a RIR, not sure I want to sell him. At the same time I really like the look of the new hampshire red and after checking, all will cross well with either roo. Is there any way that my 2 roos would be ok together being that they are 5/6 months? I know it depends on the roos but do you think the coop/run is big enough and 9 hens with a few more to come will be ok to have 2 roos? What is a good roo/hen ratio? If I did get rid of one which breed would you keep? I will have them out at some point but have to finish fencing the yard. Thank you for any suggestions or input!
     

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