Rooster Aggressive To Hens: Separation Help?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mosey2003, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    So, I generally have rather few management questions, but I'd like some input on my current situation, preferably from users who have dealt with a similar situation.

    I have a ~2 year old cock. Respectful around me, usually just did his business and moved on with the hens (older pullets currently). He'd tidbit and dance a bit, was a bit rough with the breeding but not too bad.

    Fast forward to the daylight diminishing and he has become positively RANK to the hens, both the ones he's been with for months and five new ones I added a month ago. He's grabbing them by the neck and throwing them around at the feeder, mating super roughly (I'm finding snarled feathers on their sides and missing patches from their necks), just being an absolute ass to them in general.

    Obviously, I will not have this. I have removed him to a large brooder while I think about what I want to do with him. Note, they had plenty of feed and plenty of feeder space daily, he didn't have to fight for his supper. Now to my question:

    Has anyone had any luck with keeping a rooster in solitary for a couple weeks and re-introducing? Or is he likely to stay just as rank and I might as well butcher him now?

    I have a young cockerel that I plan to use for my breeding this summer, so I don't *need* the jerkface, but I have this fear that if I kill him, something will happen to the other one :oops:
     
  2. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    It’s always good to have at least 2 cocks on hand if you are breeding birds.
     
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  3. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    Yeah, that's the only thing keeping him alive at this point. But honestly, I really don't like him physically for breeding, so he could go. But but but... I keep waffling :lau
     
  4. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    Is the cockerel you want to use for breeding this summer his son?
    Process the cock and choose a new male from the summer hatchs.
     
  5. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    No, completely unrelated. I had him shipped to me. Has all the qualities my current line is lacking. The aggressive cock is related to the pullets (soon to be hens) I currently have.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Haven't been in this situation.....but....
    ...if jerkface is not what you want for breeding,
    even if the cockerel dies for some reason,
    he'll be delicious.
     
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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I haven't observed that so I have no experience. I don't know how likely isolation will be in changing his behavior. There is one way to find out.

    I don't know what changed his behavior. Perhaps he is molting and uncomfortable as he grows new feathers. I don't know if he is doing that to all the pullets or just the ones not laying if some are or are not laying. Did adding those new pullets start the change? I don't know how they are housed in relation to the others, is that other cockerel coming of age so he thinks he has competition? Whatever caused the change I agree, that behavior would not be acceptable to me no matter the cause.

    My goals and methods are different from yours. In that situation he'd already be in the freezer of it were me. When faced with these decisions I try to see how it fits with my goals first, then I decide what's best for the flock as a whole instead of what is best for one individual.

    You've looked at your goals, it sounds like he failed that first test. The only thing keeping him alive is your concern something will happen to that cockerel. It is a risk, stuff happens. I only carry one male through the winter so I'm willing to take that risk. That's in spite of loosing the cockerel I was keeping to a dog attack one year which set me back a year or more. I had to scramble to get another one for the following year, stuff can certainly happen.

    If you are unwilling to take that risk (I would not criticize you for that you) then you can try isolating him for a while and see if that helps. You can keep him isolated until the next year's breeding season is over and you know yo don't need him. You can try finding a different back-up now, could be a challenge as far as quality. It's too late to hatch any this year and get a replacement started, a male would not be ready for the breeding season, but that might be a long term back-up.
     
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  8. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Hello. Is he Molting? Are the Hens molting? What are you feeding because he may need more protein in his diet.
     
  9. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

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    You didn't say how old your young cockerel is but there is a good chance that he wouldn't allow the older one back in the flock. Whenever I have separated a rooster for some reason there is a fight when he is reintroduced. Usually leading to the death of one of them. (by me!) I always have 6 to 8 roosters around here since I raise and sell started chickens every year.
    You can try putting him back with the flock but my guess is that you will end up removing him permanently. I understand your concern about being left without a breeding rooster if something happens to your young one. It happened to me last year but fortunately I still had two old roosters to get me thru hatching season. But good roosters are always available, usually for free or very cheap. I kept 4 young roosters this year and only need two for breeding. So I will be advertising the two extras this spring. Craig's list always seems to have roosters advertised.
    So do what's best for your hens. And your peace of mind. :th
     
  10. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    To cover some bases :)
    -He has finished his molt.
    -They are on high protein feed.
    -The young cockerel is housed inside the barn, and isn't even crowing yet. They can't see each other at all.
    -The behavior started as the daylight got less, and that didn't coincide with when I added those pullets. They do seem to be bearing a lot of the attacks, but "his girls" he had before are also being bullied by him.

    I think I'll butcher him over the long weekend. Feels almost like a waste, he is pretty nice to ME. But he's not up to par, and I have other options now, so he should go. *sigh* I've just had way too much going on in my life lately and I think I was just hoping to ignore this problem awhile longer :lau
     
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