Over Protective Cockerel ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mcleveland, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. mcleveland

    mcleveland Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    Northeast Georgia
    This is our first time keeping chickens. We started in Nov. 2011. As is stands right now, we have 19 pullets and 3 cockerels and 23 baby chicks in a different coop. (I don't know how to update my sig, we got rid of 7 cockerels last weekend).

    Of the cockerels and pullets, half are 19 weeks and half are 18 weeks. Big Red, our NHR cockerel is the Alpha, very dominant and protective of the pullets. Bruster, our BR always seems to be the one ah....hem making mischief with the pullets. Let one of the pullets hollar and no matter where Big Red is, here he comes a runnin'.

    Yesterday, we were wrangling the chickens up to put them back into the run before night fall. Big Red and most of the pullets were already in the run. I had the door to the run shut but not latched. Bruster was still out and a few pullets were as well. Bruster decided to jump on one of the pullets and of course the pullet screams. No more than a second later Big Red stops what he was doing and comes running for the run gate...remember it's shut, but not latched. Big Red literally busts the door open (I kid you not!) and runs to the pullets defense and attacks Bruster. It's hilarious to watch Big Red in action defending his girls. BUT I worry that he is going to kill the Barred Rock cockerel. We don't have another coop to put the BR in. But I'm thinking that's what were gonna have to wind up doing is building another coop to house rough roosters. The third rooster we have, Dudley, is a RIR. He is very shy and anti-social. He's 18 weeks old and STILL has not crowed yet. So Big Red doesn't mess with him. I love Big Red!!! He is always the first chicken to run up to me when they are free ranging, once I step outdoors. "Oooo.....mama got treats!" [​IMG]

    Have you experienced a rooster like this and how did you handle it? Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Fleabuskitty

    Fleabuskitty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2011
    I had a production RIR rooster who was always smaller than the Buff Brahma roo he was raised with, but always in charge. Peanut (Brahma) would, ahem, "jump on" one of the hens, and Tallulah (the majestic RIR) would go running over like you described with your roosters. They never hurt each other and got along perfectly except for then. It sounds like maybe Big Red and Bruster haven't quite figured out which of them is in charge, but they're still very young and they'll sort it out over time.
    Peanut actually never crowed until Tallulah died (now he won't stop crowing!), so I wouldn't worry about your anti-social RIR, it's just a pecking order thing. Only the "alpha" rooster gets to crow and such.
     
  3. mcleveland

    mcleveland Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    Northeast Georgia
    Thanks for replying!

    Oh, so sorry about Tallulah (love that name!)

    Big Red and Bruster both crow. And it's funny they will get into what we term a Crowing War. One will crow then the other will crow instantaneously back and forth. And sometimes they'll keep it up for 15 - 20 minutes. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top. But for now, it's definitely Big Red.

    So you never felt like you had to separate them?

    Sometimes Big Red gets to chasing after Bruster in the hen house and it gets the girls all shaken up. I worry one of them may get hurt.
     
  4. Fleabuskitty

    Fleabuskitty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2011
    I never thought I would need to separate them, nope. If they continue arguing when they're 6+ months old, then I would worry, but they'll probably figure it out by then.
    Tallulah was originally a pullet, and by the time we figured out that he was not we were already used to calling him that [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

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