rooster doesn't like ameracauna pullets

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lalaland, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    3,628
    471
    281
    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    I have a precocious 16 week old rooster, who does all the roosterly things (dances, calls hens to tidbits, watches the sky, etc). His 16 flock mates include other roosters, and two pullet ameracaunas with muffs and beards. He has taken a dislike to them, and will run them off- giving a full chase which usually ends up out of sight with some squawking from the pullet.

    He is not mating them.

    I am trying to select two roos from the 8 that are in the youngster group - he is a top contender except for this behavior.

    anyone with experience with roosters disliking a breed? will he continue to run them off? will it get worse?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,837
    9,520
    766
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Sometimes you have to wonder about young roosters. His behavior may or may not improve. Generally when something goes amuck in their little pea brains it stays that way. For me simply because of the uncertainty of his future behavior he would be eliminated from the selection process.
     
  3. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    3,628
    471
    281
    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    I was really afraid that might your answer! I might have to postpone culling til the other roosters mature a bit more - I am not seeing a lot of rooster behavior out of most of them yet. Or maybe Buster is keeping everyone aware of his dominance.
    thanks!
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,401
    172
    143
    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    You sure he's not trying to mate them? Maybe she simply wants none of that yet and runs when he approaches and he follows in hot pursuit. What exactly is all the squawking about when they get out of sight? Could be he's like a punk teenage boy that just discovered girls but doesn't know how to court them yet. Give him some time to refine his technique and learn some manners before you give him the axe, if you like him so much.
    But meanwhile they are knocking the other chickens over and making them squawk each other & bounce off the walls and creating chaos & stress on the whole flock. Maybe you need to boot Buster for a week or so and see if peace returns to your flock. But if you boot Buster, the new head roo & his junta may not like the bearded ladys either. The beards may be the ones that need booted to prevent chicken drama and to maintain peace. Sometimes it's better to maintain peace & harmony in my flocks by booting the underdog instead of the bully if it's an estlablished, productive flock.
    As flock manager it's up to you to keep abreast of the situation and do what's needed to maintain peace & harmony in your flock.

    And yes, chickens will bully a chicken that looks different than they do. If you think humans are prejudiced, chickens will quickly form a lynch mob over looks, color and size. If it gets better, worse or unchanged depends on the personalities of the rest of the flock.
     
  5. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    3,628
    471
    281
    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    i was kind of figuring that he wouldn't try to mate pullets that weren't at point of lay - as these bearded and muffed girls aren't ready yet. I do know what you mean about different= being picked on in the chicken flock. thanks
     
  6. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,401
    172
    143
    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    I culled a full grown rapist rooster last month because he kept trying to mate bittys and 2 month old pullets that wasn't even fully feathered yet.
     
  7. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,156
    52
    218
    Jun 21, 2009
    Jacksonville
    I have to agree. If your rooster is so aggressive he may hurt your pullets. Soon your pullets will be bare backed and then his nails can slice through their thin skins and then your chickens will really have problems. He is almost too old to cull and your other roosters will mature. If you do not want to do the deed. I can understand but of the 8 roosters I have had over the years only one was super aggressive.

    Caroline
     
  8. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    381
    56
    136
    Mar 13, 2013
    Kentucky
    My Coop
    It sounds to me... like he's being a normal juvenile rooster. I also had 8 cockerals to choose from and at 16 weeks, they just don't know what they're doing yet. They're not mature and the most dominant cockeral is as the prior poster wrote, strutting around, trying to stay on top of the cockeral pecking order and has not learned yet how to impress the ladies. The exact same thing happened with my pullets and cockerals. And one of the pullets was the favorite and she looked different than the others (she's the only buff orpington, the rest are dark colors). There was loads of squawking going on from all the pullets as the more senior cockerals chased them but did not mate with them.

    One suggestion I received at about the same point where you are, which I did, was to separate the 8 cockerals from the pullets into their own bachelor pad. If you can do this, it's not too hard to erect a temporary fence and give them their own area away from the pullets. This will let you observe them and will let everyone mature a few weeks more in relative peace. You can watch how the cockerals behave and further figure out which will be your keeper roosters. I started culling my extra cockerals for the dinner table at 18 weeks. When I was down to the final 2 that were my keeper cockerals that were to be my roosters, I let them all back together. It's been smooth ever since. The cockerals are now 24 weeks old and the pullets are 22 weeks old. I have one main cockeral who does all the roosterly things, the other does not. The main cockeral mates with several of the pullets but not all of them. He seems to know when they're actually ready to lay. The one pullet I mentioned earlier, the buff orpington, that he seemed to pick on that looks different from the others I was telling you about? The primary cockeral spent 1 and 1/2 hours with her showing her where to lay her first egg in the coop. He stayed with her the whole time while she laid it. Once the egg was laid, she did her little egg song while he pranced and strutted around like a proud father. So, the fact that he chased her earlier when he was younger and she was younger and she didn't want to be dominated and he didn't know how to impress her and he wasn't ready and she wasn't ready... it all worked out as they both grew up and matured.

    I honestly think what you're seeing is fairly normal. And you're right, the other cockerals can't/wont exert themselves when the primary cockeral is clearly already in charge. If you take out this one cockeral, odds are, another one will take his place and may very well act similarly. Maybe try the bachelor pad idea. Or, you could put all BUT the 2 cockerals you're thinking about keeping in your bachelor pad and leave the 2 keeper cockerals with the pullets and see how that goes. I'm sure you can think of the pros and cons of these different approaches.

    Hope this helps,
    Guppy
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  9. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    3,628
    471
    281
    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    Guppy,
    I appreciate your thinking! I had hauled up a small coop and run to put up closer to the main coop, thinking I might have to separate a few of the young roos (it was a few acres away) .

    If I put the 6 roos (candidates for freezer camp) in there, will I be able to let both the bachelors and the main flock of 9 adult hens, 9 pullets and two young roos free range at the same time as the bachelors? Or would I need to keep the bachelors in their run when the main flock is out?
     
  10. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,401
    172
    143
    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama

    Letting your rejects free range with your keepers defeats the purpose of separating them in the first place.
    The roo & hens in my main layer flock are special and my scumbag rejects arn't even allowed to look at them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by