Rooster behavior

suebdrew

In the Brooder
May 9, 2017
4
1
14
First time on here with 10 week old chickens that were supposed to be all hens (6). Surprise! I have 2 roosters. I've heard they can be mean. They both started crowing this week and today, one of them looked at me real hard, dropped a wing and sorta sidestepped at me. No hens around. Is he being aggressive?
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
10,183
33,552
1,027
SW MO
Yes, I agree, teach him his place or invite him to dinner. Anyway, 2 roosters is too many for 4 hens. One per six, or even better, one per ten is recommended.
BTW, welcome to BYC. You'll find lots of info here, on roosters and any other poultry questions you may have. Try doing some searches......since the new format, I'm not sure where to send you but I'm sure you'll find it!
Good luck!
 

mymilliefleur

Keeper of the Flock
7 Years
Nov 4, 2014
6,008
1,775
382
East Tennessee.
Yes, I agree, teach him his place or invite him to dinner. Anyway, 2 roosters is too many for 4 hens. One per six, or even better, one per ten is recommended.
BTW, welcome to BYC. You'll find lots of info here, on roosters and any other poultry questions you may have. Try doing some searches......since the new format, I'm not sure where to send you but I'm sure you'll find it!
Good luck!
I agree.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
16,118
34,424
1,112
On the MN prairie.
You need to nip his behavior in the bud now. YOU are the human. That means that YOU get to be the head of the flock. A good rooster (right now you have a cockerel, but we'll discuss that in a bit) knows to protect his hens from things like lions and tiger and bears (Oh, my!) and other various predators that may want to eat them. In much of the US, that's more likely going to be raccoons, skunks, coyotes, fox, hawks, etc. A good rooster also knows he does not need to protect his flock from the Giant That Brings Food. That would be YOU, your children, spouse, or any other human for that matter. There is NO excuse for human aggression.

So, you need to train your little cockerels to respect you. ("You" being anyone who lives on your property that will be interacting with said cockerels.) I start this training from the beginning - as soon as I know they're boys. I don't interact with, pick up, cuddle or coddle them. When I'm near them I move with purpose and without hesitation. If one thinks he needs to challenge me, I stand my ground and look him in the eye. (Side story here - last fall I had a cockerel who was shaping up to be a GREAT flock leader - protective of the hens to the point where he "growled" at my dog every time the dog was near, to calling them for treats, giving warning calls when he felt it was necessary. One day I was crowding one of the pullets so she'd go into the coop and he gave me the eye, headed my way, then stopped. I was looking him right in the eye and moving with confidence. He suddenly changed his mind and decided he had more important places to be. Sadly, he gave his life to protect one of my pullets.) I walk right through where a cockerel is. If he's in my way, he'd best be moving. If your rooster doesn't figure out that you're the boss, he needs to go away. Processing a mean rooster is a perfectly acceptable way of doing that. If you're not able to do that, I'd suggest rehoming him with full disclosure. You don't want someone else to get hurt. Or, if you didn't want roosters anyway, find out if you can take them back. If you can't, maybe you know someone who would take them off your hands for you.

Now for some basic terminology just because it makes it easier to know what everyone is talking about. Cockerels are male chicks under a year old. Pullets are females under a year old. Then they become roosters or hens. When a cockerel reaches sexual maturity he's got one thing on his mind, just like any other young hormone-ridden male. He wants to breed anything and everything he can. Unfortunately, he will reach this stage before your pullets will and could become a terror to them. You have two cockerels - the harassment will be twice as bad. I would suggest getting rid of them before then, or possibly separating them for a few months until they settle down and your girls are ready for it.
 

suebdrew

In the Brooder
May 9, 2017
4
1
14
You need to nip his behavior in the bud now. YOU are the human. That means that YOU get to be the head of the flock. A good rooster (right now you have a cockerel, but we'll discuss that in a bit) knows to protect his hens from things like lions and tiger and bears (Oh, my!) and other various predators that may want to eat them. In much of the US, that's more likely going to be raccoons, skunks, coyotes, fox, hawks, etc. A good rooster also knows he does not need to protect his flock from the Giant That Brings Food. That would be YOU, your children, spouse, or any other human for that matter. There is NO excuse for human aggression.

So, you need to train your little cockerels to respect you. ("You" being anyone who lives on your property that will be interacting with said cockerels.) I start this training from the beginning - as soon as I know they're boys. I don't interact with, pick up, cuddle or coddle them. When I'm near them I move with purpose and without hesitation. If one thinks he needs to challenge me, I stand my ground and look him in the eye. (Side story here - last fall I had a cockerel who was shaping up to be a GREAT flock leader - protective of the hens to the point where he "growled" at my dog every time the dog was near, to calling them for treats, giving warning calls when he felt it was necessary. One day I was crowding one of the pullets so she'd go into the coop and he gave me the eye, headed my way, then stopped. I was looking him right in the eye and moving with confidence. He suddenly changed his mind and decided he had more important places to be. Sadly, he gave his life to protect one of my pullets.) I walk right through where a cockerel is. If he's in my way, he'd best be moving. If your rooster doesn't figure out that you're the boss, he needs to go away. Processing a mean rooster is a perfectly acceptable way of doing that. If you're not able to do that, I'd suggest rehoming him with full disclosure. You don't want someone else to get hurt. Or, if you didn't want roosters anyway, find out if you can take them back. If you can't, maybe you know someone who would take them off your hands for you.

Now for some basic terminology just because it makes it easier to know what everyone is talking about. Cockerels are male chicks under a year old. Pullets are females under a year old. Then they become roosters or hens. When a cockerel reaches sexual maturity he's got one thing on his mind, just like any other young hormone-ridden male. He wants to breed anything and everything he can. Unfortunately, he will reach this stage before your pullets will and could become a terror to them. You have two cockerels - the harassment will be twice as bad. I would suggest getting rid of them before then, or possibly separating them for a few months until they settle down and your girls are ready for it.
THANK YOU! So much good information. Like being Cesar Milan''s pack leader. I can do this and I needed a little permission to cull him from the flock if necessary. I think I'll start building a separate run for the roosters so in a month or so, I can separate them from the pullets. I may end up rehoming or culling one of them anyway since I only have four girls. Thanks for taking the time to school me
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
16,118
34,424
1,112
On the MN prairie.
I hate to see people end up in bad situations with roosters. There are some who just don't get it, and there is really no reason to keep them around. Why keep something that keeps wanting to kill you every time you go near it?
 

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