Rooster becoming meaner by the day. Can I keep a hen alone?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickychicka, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. chickychicka

    chickychicka In the Brooder

    May 16, 2012
    Italy, Europe
    We have one hen and one roo (they are both 20 weeks old now) and we've raised them since they were one day old. 2 weeks ago we got rid of a second roo (as we originally wanted 3 hens but 2 turned out to be male) and the one we kept has gotten very mean since. He's been a very nice bird up until then.
    The first day I noticed aggression was when I caught him 3 times (and there won't be a next time as I have been keeping him away from my toddler now) pecking / grabbing my toddler's arm, and I am aware that we have been lucky that there was not any major or permanent damage to the child (except my boy is terrified of the roo now!)
    I have tried to shoo him away with my foot and it worked the first few times, but now he just acts as if he would try to attack my leg, sometimes HE now approaches me coming at me sideways with the wing facing towards me down and spread out, like he's trying to shoo me away. I have gotten more uncomfortable around him, so I am using a broom now as a barrier between us, and I have had to throw items at him as he does not seem very intimidated at all. It is without a doubt getting worse though.
    The disappointing thing is that the hen (who has been very tame up to recently) is now afraid of me... maybe because she has wittnessed my attacks towards her "protector". We will not keep him around, that is sure; I've heard mean roos taste good, but can I keep one hen by herself? We have hatched 3 more chicks that are now only 3 weeks old (and again it's one pullet and two cockerels [​IMG]), so she will have some company eventually; but it may still be a while. Right now we're staying away from the rooster. When can we get rid of him?
    Thanks for any suggestions!
  2. rikithemonk

    rikithemonk Songster

    Apr 19, 2012
    Mont Dora Florida
    Technically, you don't need a roo unless you intend to have baby chicks. Chickens will lay eggs even if there has never been a roo around at all. It's simply that the eggs are not fertilized.

    Chickens are social animals and shouldn't be kept alone, however one rooster with one chicken isn't a good combination either because he can stress her with too much sex. My advice would be to separate them with a divider so they can see each other but are separated. Then when your chicks are similar in size to your hen, introduce them and sell the roo.

    Have you considered buying sex links? They are color coded with Roos being one color and chickens being another. Accidentally getting a roo is almost impossible. Almost

  3. chickychicka

    chickychicka In the Brooder

    May 16, 2012
    Italy, Europe
    Thanks! Well, we did not want a rooster in the first place, it just happened like that. The person who we got the first batch of chicks from had sex link chickens (they were the parents) and we thought that their babies would therefore also be sex link. After researching and watching the chicks grow into young chickens we learned and noticed that 2 sex link parents don't make sex link babies (that's why we ended up with 2 roos!) This time we hatched ourselves, and we can already tell from experience that of the 3 little chicks 2 are roos again. Down the road we won't keep those either.
    Good tip about the seperating. I did not know that one hen can be kept too busy by a rooster. Makes sense.
    And we'll wait then until the little one(s) is (are) bigger to get them together. Right now the hen still pecks the little ones every time we try to make them encounter. They know each other though... on warmer days I put the little ones in the run and they watch the big ones and the big ones watch the little ones.
    I just wish we could get rid of the mean roo sooner.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Get rid of the rooster. Now. Today. The danger he poses to you and your child FAR outweighs your hen's need for companionship. Yes, birds are social and like company. But, she can be on her own for a while and she'll be just fine. She might fuss some, but you're the human and you know what's best. With only one pullet coming up from those babies, sounds like you'll be in the market for more birds anyway. Look for a grown hen to put in with her, a point of lay pullet or even an older hen who is ready to rest for the winter. But don't keep a mean rooster around just to keep a hen company.
  5. you could try taming him again. instead of shooing him, try to hold him for 10 min every time he act aggressive. he might decide that you are the top dog =_)
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I would not try to work with this rooster, just based on the fact that a small chlld is in the equation. The rooster may or may not settle down around a year of age and with some "training". Between now and then he is still going to do a lot of challenging and it's just not worth the potential harm to a child.
  7. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Crowing

    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Was he ever docile or tolerated handling earlier on? At this age 5-6 months he's getting an influx of male hormone that makes him more ornery and feisty. Picking him up and carrying him around shows him who the boss still is. Shooing him and stomping at him (although I catch myself still doing this because it's easy to do. [​IMG]) Haha...-- gives him the "Bring it On!" behavior and impression. If he ever was good at being handled it might be worth trying to wait for the hormones to settle and carry him around like a feathered Oat Bag. But that being said...1 hen situation makes that maybe a tougher scenario than what I've had. These boys like their harems I'm afraid and getting rid of him and searching for a pullet to keep your girl company might be your best option.
  8. I understand the danger for the child. If you do need to get rid of him, make sure to get a new hen soon, the longer you wait, the more the hen thinks herself a human! lol
  9. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    I would also not waste time and get rid of the rooster. You can earn his respect but every person he encounters will also have to become acquainted with him and earn his respect....besides its much too dangerous for a little child...eventually he'll attack him and may scratch an eye....not even worth it. Maybe the hen will flock with the younger chicks sooner if she's alone too. Weeks pass fast and she'll have company.
  10. Celie

    Celie Songster

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana

    I agree, CULL Him ! I had a friend, who had a rooster, that was so mean and aggressive, she got rid of their dog and kept the rooster as a Guard Rooster. LOL, funny, but true! As his spurs grow, he WILL become more aggressive and animals can smell fear, so to say, and reads body languish. He is already too aggressive to be around a child! [​IMG]

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