Rooster aggression toward chicks

familyfarmer4

In the Brooder
Apr 25, 2017
17
6
39
We have had our 15 chicks in the coop next to our rooster and 2 hens for 2 months now. They are separated with chicken wire. The chicks are 12 weeks old, but a good size. We cut a small hole in the wire wall so that they could start mingling with the older chickens. I was expecting some pecking from the mature chickens, but I did not expect the rooster to go at them so violently. He grabbed them by the back of the neck almost like he was going to mount them. Was that normal? How much aggression is too much? Should I wait for the chicks to be bigger? I would like to keep him because he does a good job of looking after his ladies, but I am prepared to process him.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,850
34,516
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Colorado Rockies
Process him. His behavior is not the norm. Such aggression toward chicks is rare, and it signifies a "bad roo".

Usually, roosters are indifferent toward chicks, and if they do happen to pay attention to them, it's in a nurturing way. Some even brood chicks. A rooster, as a rule, considers chicks to be part of his flock and assumes they came from him.

I hope you've taken steps to segregate this rooster so he has no further access to the chicks. Do not expect him to change his mind about them.
 

1TurkenLover

Songster
Jul 2, 2013
690
99
176
WASHINGTON state
Process him. His behavior is not the norm. Such aggression toward chicks is rare, and it signifies a "bad roo".

Usually, roosters are indifferent toward chicks, and if they do happen to pay attention to them, it's in a nurturing way. Some even brood chicks. A rooster, as a rule, considers chicks to be part of his flock and assumes they came from him.

I hope you've taken steps to segregate this rooster so he has no further access to the chicks. Do not expect him to change his mind about them.

x2
Rooster Freezer Camp Quick, they will not get Better attitude.
 

familyfarmer4

In the Brooder
Apr 25, 2017
17
6
39
I only let them interact that one time. After he attacked the second chick, I separated them. I was surprised that he responded that way since they have been side by side for at least 8 weeks already. To the freezer he goes!
 

MageofMist

Crowing
Dec 9, 2016
1,211
1,993
327
Britain
My rooster used to chase and peck at the chicks at first, but after the hen went broody he became depressed so I picked him up and sat down with him when I had the chicks out, they pecked at his comb and wattles a few times, but I poked them to tell them to stop, and then they snuggled for a while. The next day he was completely fine with them, and a couple of days after that I started letting them sleep with the rooster, them all cuddling into a ball. This is after 2 months of him terrorizing them

Even when the hen leaves the nest, he hasn't had any issues with the chicks and is even calm around the newly hatched chicks that hatched today when I tested them, even the now 3 month old chicks are docile and sweet towards the new chicks, giving light curious pecks, but not hard pecks and they let the baby chicks snuggle against them, but I wouldn't leave the new babies unsupervised around them as I have heard of older chicks bullying the younger ones to death.
 

familyfarmer4

In the Brooder
Apr 25, 2017
17
6
39
My rooster used to chase and peck at the chicks at first, but after the hen went broody he became depressed so I picked him up and sat down with him when I had the chicks out, they pecked at his comb and wattles a few times, but I poked them to tell them to stop, and then they snuggled for a while. The next day he was completely fine with them, and a couple of days after that I started letting them sleep with the rooster, them all cuddling into a ball. This is after 2 months of him terrorizing them

Even when the hen leaves the nest, he hasn't had any issues with the chicks and is even calm around the newly hatched chicks that hatched today when I tested them, even the now 3 month old chicks are docile and sweet towards the new chicks, giving light curious pecks, but not hard pecks and they let the baby chicks snuggle against them, but I wouldn't leave the new babies unsupervised around them as I have heard of older chicks bullying the younger ones to death.

This was definitely not light pecking. That is what I was expecting. The rooster grabbed them by the back of the neck and was not letting go until I intervened with the first one, and until a couple chick friends came to the rescue of the second.
 

MageofMist

Crowing
Dec 9, 2016
1,211
1,993
327
Britain
This was definitely not light pecking. That is what I was expecting. The rooster grabbed them by the back of the neck and was not letting go until I intervened with the first one, and until a couple chick friends came to the rescue of the second.

My rooster didn't light peck, he even picked one up by the back of the neck once and was chasing them around the yard in the past. He didn't even peck at the new chicks, the youngsters he is now with did in curiosity.

It is weird, as he was terrorizing my batch of 5 chicks before, but now is a total marshmallow around them and shows them food and lets them eat first, and even with chicks he doesn't know now, he is very docile around them.
 

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