Rooster attacking chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cjdkj, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. cjdkj

    cjdkj New Egg

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    Hi everyone!

    This isn't my first time with chickens, but it is my first time dealing with an age difference.

    I happen to inherit a very docile rooster who is a bit over a year old. He's so nice that my kids can just walk up and pick him up. I really think he's confused as he acts like a dog honestly. Needless to say, I went chicken crazy and bought chicks who are about 2 months old now. Mr. rooster free ranges and I want the chicks to free range too. In the last couple of weeks we have moved the chicks outside, and they are loving it. They are in a run, but twice now one of the chicks will sneak past me while I'm cleaning out their hotel and the rooster attacks. I just got done chasing him all over the yard as he chased and ripped the feathers off of one of my chicks. It was a violent aggressive grab them by the neck and try to kill attack. Luckily the chick seems to be fine...scared but fine.

    Will he get over attacking them as they get older? I really want them to get along so they can all free range.

    Thanks in advance for any tips and info on how to deal with his attacking!
     
  2. mrs buff laced

    mrs buff laced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well a rooster can be great to protect hens.... not so much chicks. Unless they are his own chicks he will attack them thinking that he must take out the competition's offspring even though there is no other competition. Sometimes roosters will even attack there own chicks.... roosters can be crazy sometimes. Now when you want your chicks to free range put Mr.Rooster up in a pen or somewhere where he can't be in contact with the chicks. When the chicks are done you can put Mr. Rooster back out. Now when the chicks get big enough to look like hens you can put them all together and he will protect them. Hope this helps!

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  3. cjdkj

    cjdkj New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2014
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    Thank You!
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    The problem here is the age difference. Full-grown chickens don't like little ones, unless it's a broody hen who has hatched out or adopted chicks of her own. The rooster really doesn't know if the chicks are his or not. If you had a broody hen and slipped babies from the feed store under her, he'd have no idea that they were "outsiders". Right now, he doesn't see these chicks as members of "his" flock. An adult hen would act the same way toward them. When they grow up and he sees them as potential for his harem, he'll behave better. Maybe not at first - there will be some kerfluffles as he tries to establish his dominance as flock master, but it will settle down. Keep the little ones separated until they're closer in size, and then try integrating them.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My issue with the above statement is, how does the rooster know if they're his chicks or not? A hen doesn't even care if they're her biological chicks, I'm not sure how a rooster would know this.

    I've raised chicks in my flock for years. My advantage is I usually have a broody momma to watch out for the littles. Even then, I've never had a rooster go after chicks. I've got a rooster right now that's getting where he chases the 5 month old cockerels around, cause they're maturing and he sees them as competition. But the 2-3 month old cockerels he still considers babies and under his protection.

    It's impossible to predict how he will behave in the future. If the chicks are pullets, he should be willing to accept them into his harem when they reach maturity. You might just have to keep them separate until then. Are they in a set-up where the rooster can see them and interact with them through a secure fence? That might be a start.
     
  6. mrs buff laced

    mrs buff laced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have also had a rooster that is fine with chicks.... in fact he guarded them from the other hens who were trying to peck at them... like donrae said it's impossible to predict how roosters will behave in the future. Also as bobbi-j said it would probably be a good idea to have the rooster near by where he can see the chicks, but not in physical contact with them until they get older.... I hope this helps!
     
  7. cjdkj

    cjdkj New Egg

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    Thank you all for the advice! Sounds like time will tell :)
     
  8. IttyBiddyRedHen

    IttyBiddyRedHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Time will tell. I have 5 excellent roosters....who are great with the babies. The others...went to freezer camp. With no regrets. If they want to be nasty.....they can go bye bye.
    Also, as we hatch chicks from our flock..we only want the good rooster traits in the future hatches.
     
  9. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He knows they're not his because they showed up a couple of weeks old. They either have to start in the flock, or you have to wait until they're big enough to defend themselves.
     

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