Rooster Attitude Change

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by edoyle, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. edoyle

    edoyle Hatching

    Jan 24, 2017
    San Antonio, Texas
    Hi All, We're new to raising chickens. We have 2 hens and 1 rooster, about 10 mos old Barred Rock who are free-range during the day and locked up at night. We also have 2 mini donkeys, 2 pygmy goats and 3 dogs on about 4.5 acres. Up until recently there was sweet harmony around here, but the rooster is starting now to terrorize everyone. He never attacks us (humans), but he seems to have singled out one of the little goats. Chases him around every chance he gets, poor thing. He's attacked each of the dogs (who are smart enough to keep their distance now), and this morning he attacked a donkey who has a big scratch on his mussel. He's a very good protector of his girls, but he's often very rough with them too, and dominant over the food in the coop. He even tries to dominate the goats' food when I feed them - I have to pick him up and move him away. In the evening, I try to let the girls in the coop alone for a little while to eat before I put him to bed. He doesn't like being separated from them and paces around the coop, but if I let him in there too, all hell breaks loose and the girls get beat up. I'm assuming this is typical rooster behavior? Hormones kicking in? Any advice? I really don't want to get rid of him, but I don't want the other animals to suffer or get seriously hurt.

  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    A major part of your problem is that you have a too high rooster to hen ratio so that makes your hens overbred and unhappy too, especially if it is a young hormonal rooster. The usual ratio given is one rooster per ten hens but that isn't written in cement. Why do you need a rooster? For breeding? If that is the case you need more hens.
    I've found that chickens free ranging in pastures with other four legged animals are often much more safe than a chicken only pasture. Some people utilize donkeys or llamas as protection against foxes, coyotes and feral dogs. Even hawks don't want to come down if there is an animal nearby so goats and sheep can help too. In that case a rooster may not be needed for protection.
    I've never before heard of a rooster attacking a farm animal with whom they were raised. Perhaps the goat is afraid of him, a dwarf variety maybe? It does seem like the rooster's behavior is stressing out everyone from the humans to the other farm animals to the hens.
    You might have to decide if you are better off with or without him and if you really want a rooster get more hens and get a rooster with a nice temperament. There are so many nice roosters needing homes to put up with an aggressive one.
    People raising chickens will often keep good tempered cockerels for a while in case someone wants them or as a backup rooster or they may be looking to rehome a rooster after breeding for a year or two to bring new blood in. Then those would be the roosters to consider.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  3. edoyle

    edoyle Hatching

    Jan 24, 2017
    San Antonio, Texas
    Thanks for your reply! We had ordered all females, but one turned out to be the rooster [​IMG]. Going into this, I didn't think I wanted to deal with fertilized eggs and the crowing, but since we've raised him from a little peeper we've grown attached and really don't find the crowing annoying at all. We did get 8 more chicks (hopefully all girls!!) that are 3 weeks old now and in the brooder, so hopefully that will help. In the mean time, should we separate the rooster from the hens?

    You hit it on the head, the goats are both pygmys - little guys and they have always gotten along amazingly with all 3 chickens till recently, often seen all lounging together in the sun. The goat the rooster has singled out is a scaredy cat in general, so maybe that has something to do with it.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Getting more females is probably not going to change his demeanor.

    Sounds like a stewer to me.

    1 person likes this.
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    He could calm down, eventually... but personally, I would not wait. I know that you have become attached to him, but it will be better for all your livestock if you remove him.
  7. aldarita

    aldarita Songster

    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    Ditto that, your livestock needs to go back to live peacefully, that rooster is just putting too much stress on them

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