Rooster being bad...time to replace?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MontanaDolphin, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I know a lot of you believe that aggressive roosters are easily replaced, so time for the stew pot. I also read some people want to give the roosters until a year old when their hormones have calmed down a bit. Some say to try to teach the aggressive roo that you are boss. So, when do you decide enough is enough?

    My guy is a 10 month old Barred Rock. His aggressive behavior started a few months ago. He has chased my kids (boys ages 8 and 10) and has flogged my mom and myself. I have taught my boys that if Zeus goes after them, not to run, but to face him and run towards him. If he tries to flog or peck, give him a hard kick. Then I chase him, catch him, and make my sons push him down to the ground and hold him there until he submits. This is what I do as well when he comes after me. Usually pushing him to the ground. Sometimes I tuck him under my arm and parade him in front of his girls. Sometimes I make him sit in my lap (which he HATES). I've taught my mom to do these things as well.

    It's not working. Zeus will be fine for a little while...a week or two, but sometimes only a few days. Then he's back at it again...chasing or flogging SOMEONE in my family. When do I know there's no hope for him?

    Also, if it is time to have him for dinner, how hard is it to integrate a new rooster to the flock (I have two 10 month old BR's and six 9 month old Commercial Blacks which are hatchery BR crosses)? Is it the same as introducing new pullets? Should I remove Zeus and introduce the new roo immediately, or give the girls some time to get used to not having him around? Finally, will a non-aggressive rooster be a bad protector of the flock? Even though Zeus is a bad boy, he's very good at protecting his girls, and I'm afraid if I get a rooster that isn't aggressive towards us, that he'll SUCK at keeping the girls safe.

    Thanks for any input. I hate to see Zeus go...not because I'm attached to him, but because he's so darn pretty...I wanted to be able to have the girls hatch some of his offspring.

    Here's Zeus:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Zeus is a beauty, but in my opinion you have given him enough of a chance to change his attitude. A non human aggressive rooster is not necessarily a poor flock protector. Gamecocks generally have very little human aggressive tendencies (this trait has been selected against - understandably) yet are generally extremely good flock protectors. I'd let the young cockerels mature and then select one that is NOT human aggressive.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The second time he flogs someone. He's long overdue for a dinner invitation imo.

    And I agree, he's pretty enough, but honestly-- he's a hatchery barred rock rooster, folks give them away in the spring when mis-sexed roosters make themselves known. He's very easy to replace with an identical rooster, but better behaved.

    I firmly believe temperament is inherited, so I would not hatch any of his chicks.

    I would cull him, pick which rooster you want to replace him and add him to the flock. I think it's better to make all changes at once, it's less stressful on the flock than several changes. Your older hens might make his life unpleasant for a while, but he'll just have to step up and prove himself to them.

    My current line of roosters have never challenged me, period. I don't free range, but they are still great at alerting the hens to anything amiss, things like hawks in the sky or my dogs approaching the fence, they alert the hens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  4. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I firmly believe temperament is inherited, so I would not hatch any of his chicks

    I did read that...but wouldn't that aggressive gene only be a concern if I were to keep the cockerels? I would only keep the pullets...the cockerels would become dinner around 17-18 weeks old.

    I would cull him, pick which rooster you want to replace him and add him to the flock. I think it's better to make all changes at once, it's less stressful on the flock than several changes. Your older hens might make his life unpleasant for a while, but he'll just have to step up and prove himself to them.

    There is a woman who lives near me that has some roosters...but they are much younger than mine. She's got a beautiful Easter Egger cockerel about 17 weeks old. She said I could have him. She also has 9 other breeds, but the cockerels are going to be about the same age or younger. I saw the EE at the local feed store last weekend...she brought him as well as his brother to a chicken swap they had there. I fell in LOVE with them. Very docile boys, and GORGEOUS coloring! Even though he's much younger than my girls, he's not much smaller than they are, so I think it would work out. The woman told me pretty much the same...to remove Zeus and add the new guy all in one day, that way it's less stressful...PLUS the girls like to have a guy around (even if he still needs to prove himself.)
     
  5. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My grandpa once told me a story of an old tom turkey that did the same thing to him as a boy (many years ago). So one day he took a stick with him, and when the tom came at him he turned around and hit him right in the face with it. Hit him hard enough to knock him out, and he was a grown Tom turkey. After that incident the old bird never gave my grandpa any more trouble.

    With most species of animals I have found that you must be gentle as possible, BUT as firm as necessary. So he may need to get knocked out before he'll behave.

    Just a thought.. And funny story. Good Luck and even if you do "Invite him" for dinner, I believe you've lost nothing.
     
  6. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I gave a little bantam roo three strikes after the first aggression, since I figured that I could have been the one to cause an aggressive reaction and I wanted to be sure that there wasn't an injury or other factor involved. There wasn't, so Eggward is no more. In the future I don't think that three strikes will be needed, but I'll still allow for the possibility that there might be a health issue before taking action.
     
  7. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    That's a good point there Chemguy. I hadn't ever really thought about a chicken being grumpy when he's not feeling good, is sick, or injured but I guess chickens like humans have their good and bad days.
     
  8. Avlana

    Avlana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, he'd be dinner if he were my roo. I don't tolerate human aggressive domestic animals. Especially if they continue to do it and going after my children or other family members for that matter. And I wouldn't want any of his offspring. I'd say cull him.
     
  9. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I think it's time for him to be dinner. Especially since I have a new roo available as a replacement. I still don't get why I can't hatch his offspring if I plan on only keeping the girls, especially since his line would end at that point. Any cockerels hatched would stay alive until big enough to eat. I have no qualms culling a rooster, but I couldn't cull any chicks of the male persuasion. I'd feel too much like a chicken farm that throws the boys in a grinder alive. I'd allow the boys to grow up happy. Then I'd eat 'em. Zeus had three flockmates that were cockerels. The first one to show aggression did so at age 17 weeks. He was my first to process, which happened two days later after he attacked me in the coop. The other two cockerels never showed aggression, but they were culled a week later. I knew realistically I should only have one roo, and I chose Zeus. At the point when I removed the other three cockerels from the flock, Zeus was the more docile of the three. He didn't start showing aggression till he was 7 months old, shortly after the girls started to lay.

    So, what ya'll are saying is that it's a bad idea to keep his offspring, even if they are pullets?
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I wouldn't want to chance bad tempered hens, myself. It's not common but we do get several threads here about hens attacking, not just roosters. I guess it's your choice.
     

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