Rooster Behavior...how to calm a potential bully??

Balboaroc

In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 2, 2009
47
1
39
Carroll County, MD
My flock is 13 weeks old as of yesterday. 2 roosters (one a Black Austrolorp, the other a Silver Laced Wyandotte) and 7 hens.

I think its just my Austrolorp mostly but the Roos are bullying the girls. We noticed yesterday they wouldn't let them out of the coop into the run. All day long just two roosters out and about.

From day one the Austrolorp ran things, very possessive of the girls until the SLW took him over in size and started crowing also in the past 2 weeks. Now the Austrolorp will back away from the SLW but he'll do other things like sit at the opening just inside the coop, I'm assuming so the girls can't come out. He's also in general rougher with the girls doing mating behavior and pecking at them now and then. Most of the poor gals are missing their longer tail feathers. At least the Rhode Island Reds are since they are the smaller of my pullets. Now my father in law says once they get used to it the hens will just sit down and allow them to mate but for right now I know that isn't the case.

My hubby and I had decided as soon as we knew we had two Roos one would go. We are going to try and take the Austrolorp to the Auction house and get another pullet but well no one is answering my calls. Does anyone know if maybe just having one Roo will make things a little more calm? I do like the temperment of the SLW a little better. Its not often but I can get him to eat out of my hand.

I did some interesting online reading about roosters and bully issues last night. It said there is a very strict hierchy (or however you spell that) in the chicken world. You should establish yourself as head rooster early on to keep problems at bay. Don't let them flog you ever, nor mate in front of you...you need to be head rooster. If you see them do these things don't hurt them but chase them and corner them, scare them a little. If you hand feed your flock the girls come to you first not the roosters. See the roosters need to see you as head rooster and a good head rooster makes sure the girls are taken care of first. Then hens are yours as head rooster, not theirs. Every now and then pick up your rooster in front of the other one, don't let them struggle out of your grasp to get down. Talk calmly to them, pet them, then let them down. Kinda keeps their ego in check. So I'm going to try that also, picking the roosters up in front of each other. Maybe that will help a smidge until I can get rid of the one. I don't want to butcher him at all but will consider it, its just he's kinda small for wanting to do that yet if that was the route I was going.

Reading that stuff was cracking me up last night but it made a lot of sense. Who knew a rooster was so egotistical. Though if you watch them you can believe it. They act like they are the most beautiful creature ever strutting around LOL.

Anyhow just wanted to share what was going on and see if someone could add some insight on Roosters and their behaviors. So far I like having them, just two is one too many for us.
 

thebritt

Songster
10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
1,574
3
161
Humboldt County
First off, I'd get rid of the least favorite roo since you only have 7 girls. You might be able to take him to your local feed store - ours takes them, no problem. What you've read works. If a hen gets "got" by a roo and she screams, the dominant roo (in this case you) runs over and shoos him away from the hen. We have 27 chickens, of which 4 are roos. We have 1 dominant roo, but the flock breaks up into their own little groups. But if one hen screams while being jumped by the wrong roo, the dominant roo comes sprinting over and shoos away the errant roo.
All our roos are people-friendly. They all got held when young, and we save screaming hens!
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
323
661
SW Arkansas
That's exactly how I treated my roosters; one that was being a bully, one that's not.
Now I only have the one roo. He's scared of me, but I can handle him when necessary. He knows he's the boss when I'm not around, but he backs way up when I out and about with the hens.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
580
448
South Georgia
Since you said you would consider butchering, I will say they are tender and absolutely delicious fried at 13 weeks -- not huge, but neither are grocery store fryers. Most likely that is what will happen to him if auctioned, anyway.
 

skeeter9

Songster
12 Years
Apr 10, 2007
2,104
3
201
Foothills of Central CA
Sometimes you can "fix" a nasty roo, and sometimes you can't. For some of them, it doesn't seem to matter how well you establish yourself as the dominant roo, they just won't stop trying to change the pecking order. Hope you can tame your feathered friend, but if not, there are lots of very sweet roos out there!
 

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