Recovering Roo - time to re-unite with rest of flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SweetBea, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. SweetBea

    SweetBea New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2015
    I will start by trying to give the back story up to where we are now. I am in suburbs of Chicago, we had a really cold winter. Went out to put chickens away and noticed a lot of what looked like paint, turns out blood freezes and stays really red when its that cold. So turns out the Rooster had got what i can only think was frostbite that the hens went after. He may have been suffering from a little hypothermia. The rooster is not a nice rooster so there was very little I could do besides separate him from the girls (he is a Welsummer, the girls are a mixed bag: Plymouth Rock, Barred Plymouth Rock, Buff Orphington and a New Hampshire Red). I added some pine shavings to the coop for added warmth since he would be alone and let the girls free roam the barn. Everyone was purchased as day old chicks and raised together, very little issues with them. They are almost 4. So this happened the first week of January and we have been allowing the Rooster to build up strength by himself. Last weekend thought he was strong enough, his comb and wattle healed from the frostbite we decided to let them all be together. No issues, no fighting just all mingled back together without problem. Then the girls one by one would go inspect the rooster and would peck him in the face(wattle and combs). He didnt do anything. So once I noticed a little blood, I separated them all again. This happened two days in a row. So we decided to see if we left the most docile chicken with him, how that would go. So all week the rooster and the buff have been living together without issue. The rooster is getting more lively every day. But still not back to self and lays down a lot more that ever before. So the question. How should we go about the rest of teh flock being reintroduced? Should we one by one add chickens? We are not set up to have two separate flocks long term. They cannot free roam the yard because of the dogs and coyote problem we have. They have the coop inside which a 10x10 pen with a green coop inside for laying and sleeping, and a pen outside the barn that is 10x10. We dont believe space is an issue. The pecking is only on the rooster. Suggestions...
     
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I would worry that this is happening because the rooster is feeling lethargic.

    Chickens can be impressively blood thirsty if they think one of their number is doing poorly.

    Some times Roosters fed the same feed as the hens, don't live super long lives... because the feed is made for chickens laying eggs, and since the rooster isn't laying eggs, on the same feed as the hens he tends to get too much calcium and often a bit too fat.

    It might be that the frostbite was enough to send him over the edge.....

    It sounds like he has been separated for over a month now? If he hasn't fully recovered by now... I super hope this doesn't offend, [​IMG] but I would eat him, and then find a different rooster.

    Roosters are a dime a dozen.. this isn't the best time of year for them, the end of summer there is always a giant number of roosters looking for a free home.... However, there are free roosters looking for homes in my neck of the woods right now... so I am sure you will find some choices where you are.

    Craig's List and local Facebook pages are good places to look. If you get a 1 year old rooster, you can pick out a sweet one.
     
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  3. SweetBea

    SweetBea New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2015
    Alaskan - it does not offend me, I understand that even backyard chickens are livestock. Although we never did intend to eat them. I 100% believe he is weak and that is why they keep pecking him. And he has been separated for almost three months. This past week we put the more docile birds with him to see how that goes over. He is with the Orphington and the Barred Plymouth Rock and they are existing well. We are skeptical about putting the other two hens in with him because he is still laying down on the job, which is an indication to me he is still not 100%. I believe the pecking is 1) he is weak and 2) because of the separation they have to reestablish pecking order again. Unfortunately this comes to a price with the rooster. I do not believe it is a space issue. He perks up when it gets warmer so we are buying time for spring. I do believe it is an age vs injury thing. I will not replace the rooster. I think the hens are happier with a rooster but there are other ways to make the hens happy. I imagined the answers would all be to cull him. I hope this doesnt offend anyone but I cannot cull him, my spouse cannot cull him either. Unfortunately we treated them as pets not livestock. I hate to isolate him for the rest of his days, and I would hate to see the hens kill him. We will see what warmer weather brings. Thanks for the input.
     
  4. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    yep, it is a tough decision.


    [​IMG]
     

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