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question about separating a rooster - UPDATE post #6 - worked fine :)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by patandchickens, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm sorry, I know this is the second time I've asked more or less this question, but the circumstances have changed slightly and I would really appreciate a few more opinions as well.

    7x20 pen (no run available at present - being reconstructed) has 9 speckled sussex and a campine hen. All about 9 months old. Two of the sussex are cockerels: "Pants" is very dominant, very responsible with hens, and I want to use him for breeding; "Itchy" is a hormonal idiot, the hens HATE him, and I really don't want to breed from but want a Plan B if anything should happen to Pants. I posted last week asking whether to divide the pen in half and give each one 4 hens, or whether to put Itchy in solitary (4x6 pen, across aisle from the others) and leave Pants with all the hens.

    Well, Cyn and others convinced me I should divide the pen and see if Itchy settles down once he has his own harem. Before I could get it done though (neck problems and MAJOR flooding to be dealt with!), Pants seriously cleaned Itchy's clock. Blood everywhere. No single major wound, but his whole head was bloody and eye swollen.

    So Itchy now *is* in solitary, for his own safety.

    But gee whiz the hens are all SO much happier now. Completely. It is like a different flock. They didn't seem unhappy as such before, but unsettled, always moving around avoiding Itchy and so forth. Now they hang out in a bunch, they're 'talking' differently, and just, wow, different chickens, you know? WAY more than I would have expected.

    So I guess I'm asking, how terrible would it be for Itchy to stay by himself? He would be unhappy, but jeez the other 9 are just in nirvana right now and I hate to break it up by throwing four of them at the mercy of Itchy's general craziness and hormonal desperation.

    Of course if you really think I *should* do that, by all means tell me so. I guess I sort of *am* hoping for the one answer over the other, but not to the point of wanting to be cruel to Itchy or ignore intelligent experienced advice [​IMG] So if you can convince me it'd be better overall to separate them, I can try to knock together the divider this afternoon and tomorrow (it's a bit complciated since they will have to share a waterer)


    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  2. line-rat

    line-rat In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2007
    west central ohio
    Getrid of "Itchy". you don't want that bad behavier to carry over in the genes of your future flock. Roosters seem to be pretty easy to come by.
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    yep, adios itchy
  4. KennyWoods

    KennyWoods Hatching

    Aug 2, 2008
    I agree, Get rid of him.... You'll be happier and your flock will be happier without him, like they have been. If anything should ever happen to your other rooster which probably nothing will, but if, roosters are very easy to come by. I try to do everything to make raising chickens very an enjoyable and a pleasant experience. If it causes you to get rid of problem chickens to help your flock and better yourself with less stress, then do so. Also you do not want to keep any bad genes in yours or a trouble maker and ruin your whole flock. Good Luck too you in whatever decision you make. And ENJOY your flock.[​IMG]
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    If he was mine, I'd eat him. Then if anything happened to Pants, gather some eggs while they're still fertile, and hatch them. If you hatch a dozen or 2 dozen, you're bound to have some roos in the bunch. Maybe at least one would take after their papa. You could even isolate your best hens and hatch only eggs from them, and thereby improve your whole flock.

    Extra hens are easy to sell, extra roos are tasty.

    If hatching eggs and raising more chicks isn't doable for you, as line-rat said, roosters are pretty easy to come by. Just try to find one with a good disposition. Most of mine have been pretty nice, so there are a lot of them to be found.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Just wanted to comment that I finally got around to dividing the pen a day or two after New Years, and it has worked FINE. All the above comments about "eat him", "why would you want chicks if he's that annoying" made me realize that I pretty much HAD to try Itchy alone with hens if I was going to bother keeping him as a backup, because if he remained an idiot, I really DIDN'T want to breed from him even if he was my only remaining roo.

    Speckledhen was quite right (of course <g), Itchy's deportment problems have been completely solved now that he can have sex whenever he wants without getting an angry Pants upside the head.

    The three hens I put in with him -- the ones I least want chicks from, although one of 'em IS my very favorite from a personality standpoint and I may have to try to hatch a few eggs out of her <rolls eyes> -- don't seem particularly bothered. Occasionally he annoys them, and they peck him in the head, problem solved.

    The Pants pen has a little bit of pecking going on, I think they don't like the contraction of their universe since the divider went in -- but I am getting close to being able to open up their New! Improved! Roofed! run and I expect when that happens it'll put them in a better frame of mind.

    Thanks y'all for your help, I know I was really annoyingly indecisive about this [​IMG] but you got me to make the right decision in the end [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  7. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    I'm glad it was successful. I wouldn't have eaten or gotten rid of him, because as you said in the OP, you wanted him as backup. He'll calm down more, I hope![​IMG] Wishing you continuing good luck.

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