Roo is VERY aggressive toward younger birds

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by abenardini, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All,

    Appreciate tips/insight here.

    A bit of background:

    I currently have three sub-adult birds. Two Jersey Giants and One Ameraucana Rooster. Both of the hens aren't super-hand tame but also aren't mean. The boy is about six-seven months old, crowing, and is very sweet to the girls. He hasn't tried breeding with them yet, just shows them treats etc.

    Before we talk about the hen ratio, I also have recently rescued (for lack of a better word) 7 three to four month old "chicks." I am not sure if these newer birds are hens/roos yet but at this point guess I have at least two roos out of the bunch.

    In addition to these birds, I also have 6 nearly 2 month old black Australorps.

    All of these birds are kept separately at this time, and were adequately quarantined (more than a month). I lost one bird during that timeframe and realized they had coccidia; after treating, the birds are healthier, albeit still trying to regrow feathers from how they were kept in their prior "home."

    When I received the 8 rescue birds (now 7), almost all of them had little to no feathers and it was obvious they were kept in very close quarters (looks as though they've picked each other to no end). Very unlike my pristine black Australorps.

    I am having another coop built for the younger generation to have them reside next to the older birds (see but not touch.) The little ones currently live in my garage - can't wait to get them moved out of the brooder in there... :)

    What I'm hoping to hear from you on:

    1) Is it pretty typical roo behavior to literally attack newcomers? I've never seen this behavior with my hens as this is my first roo. He seemed to attack everyone, pullet or possible roo. I'm used to the usual scuffles and all that with new birds, but haven't seen an outright attack. He was pushing them against the fence, jumping on them, just generalized attacking.

    2) Would putting the roo in the coop by himself (the new one I am constructing next week) be better? I have another large coop big enough to accommodate everyone...the hens are doing the typical pecking order stuff, but nothing major. More of a curiosity of "OH LOOK WHO IS NEW!"

    Thanks guys and gals!
     
  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

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    Hmm...my rooster normally is the one to make sure the hens don't hurt the newcomers to much. He will now and then give them some pecks to tell who is boss but nothing to aggressive unless it is another rooster, when it is another rooster he will run it up against the fence and completely and utterly try and damage the new roo (very jealous rooster :p). Is your rooster attacking the all of the newcomers or just some of them?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
  3. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All - including the "gals" at this point I know are pullets.
     
  4. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

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    Is he mean to you? You could post in the what breed and gender forum to find out what gender your supposed pullets are. Honestly if he doesn't stop beating them up I would get rid of him.
     
  5. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He's actually quite nice to all humans. He doesn't show any aggressive and "talks" to us. Maybe when I move the other pen out there so he can see but not touch it could help.

    He's an Ameraucana - I really do like him....but if he does continue to be mean, I guess he could live alone for a bit. Might change his tune if I put him by himself.
     
  6. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

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    Maybe it's just a maturity thing for them, I would put him in the other coop and give it a try.
     
  7. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quick update - a new coop and enclosed run was placed inside of the sub-adult chicken run. Roopert immediately ran around the new coop staring intently at the chicks, and attempted to find any method to get inside their area.

    How long would you say I should keep the chicks completely enclosed in their new coop/run before attempting to free range them inside the huge area with the adult birds? I would like to avoid injuries with anyone; would a two week period be enough of the birds being able to see each other, just not touch?

    The little birds' run is enclosed in hardware mesh, so there's no chance Roopert could injure them even if he tried.

    Thanks!
     
  8. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I attempted to let Roopert free range a bit with the young birds, but he immediately attacked all of them in turn. I really don't want to have to rehome him (he is so pretty and otherwise nice to people and "his" hens).

    Why would a sub-adult rooster see little chicks as a threat? More of a thinking-out-loud question, but it seems odd he would feel threatened by smaller birds, especially the pullets.
     
  9. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey guys and gals,

    I wanted to share an update with everyone...

    So, in the end, I put my "meanies" in the small 3x3 foot coop with a huge run area for about a week. At that time, I also moved my little birds into the huge coop by themselves.

    The little birds made themselves comfortable and the bigger birds seemed like they were wrong footed after getting moved out of *their* home.

    When the week went by, I took down the temporary fencing separating the two groups.

    Now, the little birds are not chased by Roopert at all, and he actually seems to enjoy scratching around with the little birds. He'll even break up squabbles between the Jersey Giant hens and the smaller birds.

    I am very glad I did not rehome Roopert and he has really turned around. He loves his people, and now his flock...

    Just thought I'd share my update with what I tried, and how I was able to solve the problem in case anyone else ever has a bird-aggressive rooster.

    Thanks guys!
    Angela
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

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    Good to hear, I tend not to judge my roosters until they are closer to a year old, they can do all kinds of goofy things as they are maturing and learning to be head honcho, especially when there isn't a mature rooster to keep them in line and set an example.
     
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