One roo attacked another roo today

QChickieMama

Songster
9 Years
Oct 1, 2011
380
31
206
Nearly killed him before I intervened. This whole batch is about 4 months old. Best I can tell, it's 3 roos and 4 hens in one barn stall.

Will the roos continue to fight each other just for dominance?

Will I need to remove 2 of the roos and leave just 1 for the 4 hens?

Was so hard to see this roo aggressively attacking the other roo. About 1/2 his neck feathers were pulled out, and he was bleeding. He's in the isolation pen now.

Suggestions?
 

Wishing4Wings

Isn't it Amazing?
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
May 7, 2012
39,083
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Sonoma County, CA
Nearly killed him before I intervened. This whole batch is about 4 months old. Best I can tell, it's 3 roos and 4 hens in one barn stall.
If you're not sure of the sex, post some pics. At 4 months you can usually tell for most breeds.
Will the roos continue to fight each other just for dominance?
Yes, considering that one has already started.
Will I need to remove 2 of the roos and leave just 1 for the 4 hens?
That would probably be best. If you have too few hens, the rooster can sometimes overbreed them.
Was so hard to see this roo aggressively attacking the other roo. About 1/2 his neck feathers were pulled out, and he was bleeding. He's in the isolation pen now.

Suggestions? At 4 months, cockerels are like teenage boys, getting used to surging hormones and going through lots of changes. A rooster that is aggressive toward other roosters is fairly normal, however often you can keep more than one roo in a flock, but it's best with lots of females and lots of space. A rooster that is aggressive toward people can be a real liability, and should probably be culled. For 4 hens, one rooster is plenty.
 

QChickieMama

Songster
9 Years
Oct 1, 2011
380
31
206
Very helpful. Thanks!

Judging from their tail feathers, I think 3 are roos. Hens don't grow longer greenish tail feathers, right? And the roos are larger birds.
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 11, 2010
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While things may eventually settle down, remember to respect what roosters are: breeding machines. The teenage cockerels are terrible, but if you have enough room, they can sort things out. Free range birds seem to manage to get along because the less dominant birds can get out of the way.

Coops can be death traps for submissive birds because they get trapped in corners and are pecked to death. If you are keeping your birds in a coop that is limited in space, I would advise you to get rid of all but one cockerel. Which one to keep? I avoid the aggressive ones, and keep the one who treats the ladies right. No need to keep any aggressive bird in your flock.
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
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Ohio
For multiple roosters to coexist, you need to have enough hens that the boys aren't constantly fighting over them. About 10 hens per rooster is about right.

Something else to consider is that hens can get <ahem> over-ridden when you have too many roosters.
 

QChickieMama

Songster
9 Years
Oct 1, 2011
380
31
206
While things may eventually settle down, remember to respect what roosters are: breeding machines. The teenage cockerels are terrible, but if you have enough room, they can sort things out. Free range birds seem to manage to get along because the less dominant birds can get out of the way.

Coops can be death traps for submissive birds because they get trapped in corners and are pecked to death. If you are keeping your birds in a coop that is limited in space, I would advise you to get rid of all but one cockerel. Which one to keep? I avoid the aggressive ones, and keep the one who treats the ladies right. No need to keep any aggressive bird in your flock.
Good advice about which one to keep. I'm thinking we'll keep the middle of the 3 roos: not the crazed attack-roo, and not the one who's convalescing now. I kinda wanted to keep the biggest roo for breeding large dual-purpose birds, but the largest one is a Barred Rock/Ameracauna mix and the dominant one.
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 11, 2010
31,691
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Good advice about which one to keep. I'm thinking we'll keep the middle of the 3 roos: not the crazed attack-roo, and not the one who's convalescing now. I kinda wanted to keep the biggest roo for breeding large dual-purpose birds, but the largest one is a Barred Rock/Ameracauna mix and the dominant one.
That's how flock dynamics work. The biggest and the baddest rule the roost. If you are breeding duel purpose bird always select for temperament. Nothing worse than trying to collect eggs only to have this massive rooster come at you. However, if you are breeding strictly for meat and are processing at a young age, feed conversion is your main concern.
 

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
355
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Kansas
I will add my two cents here--when our rooster Mars was going through "chicken puberty" he was a total butthead to the girls, and we were thinking we were going to have to cull him because he wouldn't leave them any peace. After a month or two, though, he mellowed out, and now the girls follow HIM around. The rooster that's the worst right now may not be so bad once his hormones level out, but definitely separate them so the girls don't get hounded to death and the boys don't keep fighting.
 

Wishing4Wings

Isn't it Amazing?
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
May 7, 2012
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Sonoma County, CA
Very helpful. Thanks!

Judging from their tail feathers, I think 3 are roos. Hens don't grow longer greenish tail feathers, right? And the roos are larger birds.

Size is not always a good indicator of gender. Females frequently have dark iridescent feathers, which are not an exclusive rooter trait.

Comb and wattle size and color (larger and redder) can help determine roos. Also, look for narrow and pionted saddle and hackle feathers, which the males start to develop around 4 months (sometimes sooner or later). If you can post pics I'm sure we could help you figure out if you've got boys.

Temperament can be hard to judge at this age. The most docile rooster might come out of his shell when the other, more dominant roosters are removed, and turn into a real turd. Most roosters are fine, but there is lots of good info about raising respectful roos. There is a good article in the Learning Center you can search out. If your biggest guy (BR/Am cross) has a pea comb, he may pass on the gene for blue eggs, so may be your keeper if you are interested in breeding green or olive eggers. The fact that he is aggressive now means that he takes his job seriously, and may be an excellent flock protector. The over aggression may be a condition of crowding with too many other males.

It's hard to decide! Post pics and we'll help!
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lbrtyldy

In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 18, 2011
72
8
31
I would get down to 1 roo very quickly! I agree to get rid of the mean one and the injured one and hopefully the remaining one will be a "good" one!

I have not had any roo fights - yet! Some have gone after me and kids (now in the freezer!) but not each other. I have some teenage chicks and I think a couple are roos and waiting to see how they behave.

They are helpful for keeping the hens safe and of course if you want to hatch out any eggs if you're lucky enough to get a broody girl, you'd need him around to do that job as well.
 

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