Rooster adopted us - Need advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by binders, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. binders

    binders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2011
    I need some advice. Last weekend a neighbor's free range rooster came over to call. He had never been over before and was quite excited to find 7 young ladies at home with no rooster in attendance. I took me 2 days to find out who's rooster it was and the owner said we could keep him since he will not stay home anymore now that he knows about my chickens. He is a 10 month (the old owner thinks) old Asian Jungle Fowl rooster who has been living free range, roosting in a tree at the neighbor's. We have heard him crowing for months but didn't know what the situation was. He has since been hanging out with my 7 hens who are also 10 months old. They have all been free ranging during the day and at night the rooster finds a tree over the enclosed run/coop to sleep in.
    Things were going OK for a couple of days but then the rooster started being really rough with some of the chickens. He was mounting them and the chickens didn't seem to want him to. There were lots of feathers around and one of the chickens went into hiding for a day. Then once when I went out I found my buff Cochin laying at the base of a tree with her head hidden in the branches. Her head had been severely pecked, skin broken and blood covering her comb,one eye swollen shut, and all the feathers on her head removed. My husband and I cleaned her up and but some antibiotic ointment on it and have her in our garage in the metal cage. Luckily her comb and wattles seem to be intact and her eye, which was originally swollen shut, seems to be fine. Shortly after this before I could get the chickens back into their run I saw the rooster mount another hen and when finished he made a deliberate hard peck at the hens eye. He missed luckily.
    I have never had a rooster before so I don't know how rough they normally are. Is this normal? Will things settle down? I have kept the hens in their run this week and the rooster has been holding watch outside. What should I do? He is a beautiful rooster and I would like to keep him if I thought that things will settle down, but if I can't keep him I will do what I have to. He doesn't seem to have any problem with our dogs and stays away from people from what I see. The old owner said that he had nothing to do with people and he was surprised at how close he was coming to us.
  2. Sounds sad, but if it were me I'd be getting out my dutch oven and granny's favorite dumpling recipe... Since you do not really have control over him and he's not a part of the flock, seems he could just go on bullying everyone without consequence. If you had him in the flock there might be some hope.

    There has to be an experienced rooster whisperer here somewhere on BYC.... Good luck with this endeavor.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would go with "do what you have to do." There are plenty of roos in the world, and many are not rough on their girls like that. I've never kept one who treated the girls badly, and I've never had one be so rough as to cause that degree of head wounds. I will put up with a little feather loss or roughed up feathers on their backs, but that's it.

    I can't get near mine, but he is good to the girls, doesn't even mount one who runs off, instead, goes and find one who will squat for him. Now that is a gentleman.
  4. binders

    binders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2011
    Don't know if he will settle down. I think it was all so new to him. Other chickens, hens new place everything all at once. Not the way I would have handled it if I had planned it out.

    Dukeofhawg: I would make him "part of the flock" if I knew what I could do to be sure none of my hens would be harmed. I have kept them penned for the time being but would like to be able to free range them again if people thought the roo would settle down.
  5. binders

    binders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2011
    I may just have to invite the neighbor over for a chicken dinner :( Hope not!
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I have some experience with rooster behavior. Cockerels are rougher on the hens when bringing them under his fold, added with inexperience mating can look bad but I've never had or personally seen a friends rooster do that much harm. He's not worth keeping around. Sure he'll become the flock leader and they'll allow him to mate easier, he'll also not peck them as much as they finally submit but I don't think he's ever going to be GOOD to his girls. It could be the vast difference in breed demeanor.
  7. That's sad, cuz you got to love a beautiful roo, but if I have a nice gentle flock of ladies, I would protect them first.
  8. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    If the purpose of your flock is eggs, and not dual purpose then process him. If you want dual purpose, find a nicer rooster. So you would still have to process him.

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