RIR cockerel behavior questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by F650, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. F650

    F650 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 14, 2016
    I recently discovered that I have a RIR cockerel - he's about 4 months and I am new to having chickens.

    As a chick, he was more aggressive with the other chicks (3) who are all pullets. He would peck at their toes causing some blood - really annoying but keeping him isolated for a little bit mellowed him out. I want to say this was around 6-8 weeks old.

    Flash forward to now and he started doing the rooster dance around me - no dropped wing, but would circle may arm if I went to pet him or show the chickens a bug. When I discovered this could be his aggression coming back, I started picking him up and carrying him around with me. Once I pick him up, he is very calm, doesn't try to get away and is content to stay there. He never bites at anytime. He does also do the side step like turkeys do. If he challenges me in anyway, I don't back down, but just calmly pick him up. After a few times of that, he will start squatting around me or hiding and squatting. It seems like he is submitting? When he squats, the challenges from him have stopped.

    He is trying to mount one of the hens which is the same age as him - she want no part of it.

    So is all this normal or do I have a more aggressive rooster ahead of me? I usually just chalk it up to chicken puberty and figure he'll grow out of it, but I just want to make sure I am addressing it correctly.

  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Not sure about the behavior at 6-8 weeks, I usually know gender by 5 weeks and stop handling as much.
    Whether that behavior is a clue to future bird aggression, I'm not sure, could have been other causes.
    Sounds like he is pretty submissive to you now......whether that will last remains to be seen as will whether he treats his girls right.

    At 4 months he is just coming into his sexual maturity....the same aged pullets will not be ready...this normal.
    Many different scenarios on how this plays out and/or how to manage it.
    Some folks segregate their cockerels until the pullets are laying and sexually receptive.
    Some have enough space and 'hiding' places that he can remain and the pullets have a respite.
  3. F650

    F650 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 14, 2016
    Thank you for your reply. The girls seem pretty happy and relaxed most of the time so I guess were ok.

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