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Rooster Fight and other Behavior (Aggression problem?)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by malndobe, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. malndobe

    malndobe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two Roosters in a 35x35 pen, Jubi and Muttly. Muttly is almost 6 months old, Jubi is 7 months. Muttly has been the dominant one up until recently, but there has been some posturing and yesterday I went out to discover them in the middle of a fight, with Jubi kicking the crap out of Muttly. I separated them for now, Muttly needs a few days to heal up and in the meantime I am going to look for a few more hens to add to their pen, add some more hiding spots, and see if I can reintroduce them. If not I can set up another pen, Muttly isn't going anywhere for sure, and I'd rather not get rid of Jubi either. I only have 4 hens in with them though, I had 13 pullets that were supposed to be going in there also and predators got all of them, so I realize I will need some more.

    My real question though is Jubi's behavior towards the hens. There has been a fair amount of breeding going on the last few months, which as the hens started to molt and stop laying has dropped off. But I've been seeing Jubi exhibit some of the same behaviors towards the hens that he and Muttly were towards each other prior to this fight. Dancing sideways in front of them, blocking their way, dropping his wings, etc. Is he just trying to impress on them that he's now the dominant rooster in the flock, or is this a precursor to him attacking one of them? The male/male issue I don't have a problem with, it would be nice if they got along but ... But if he starts going after the girls he will get a fast trip into my freezer.

    Also, I have a number of chicks that are about 2 weeks old right now. If I keep the boys separated for a few months while these chicks grow up, what are the chances of me being able to reintroduce them once there are plenty of girls? Or is it a case of once separated they aren't going to get along in the future?
     
  2. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seperating Mutt & Jubi was not the correct thing to do because whatever they were settling will have to restart from the beginning again when you reintro Jubi.
    Dancing & dragging wings is TCB (typical chicken behavior) and has different meanings whether it's directed at the hens, other roosters or your leg.
    Your biggest concern right now is getting the 2 roosters & 4 hens to work together as a flock. If you seperate anybody, you should isolate the 2 roosters as a pair until they get along, then intro the hens to them. When you do, intro the hens into the rooster pen; if you put the roosters into the hen's pen the roos will restart the territorial fighting for the new pen, whereas if you intro the hens where the roosters already have their order estlablished it will go smoother.
    Then the baby chicks can be intro'ed sometime in the future.
     
  3. malndobe

    malndobe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't really have a choice, Jubi was doing a lot of damage to Muttly. If I'd left them together I think he could have potentially killed him. I watched them for a minute or two to see if they would sort it out and settle but Jubi wasn't letting up, although Muttly had no interest in continuing to fight and was just trying to get away. Muttly's entire head, neck and down his back was covered in blood not to mention anything he got near, he got pinned in a nest box and one point and there is blood splatter all over in there now. They can still see each other, they just can't physically interact right now, Muttly needs some time to heal.

    Quote: OK. I've had chickens for years but these are my first Roosters, it adds a whole new dynamic. They don't do those behaviors to me, just each other. We had a nasty rooster when I was a kid, that won't fly here.

    Quote: Thanks for the reintroduction info, I can separate the hens from Jubi for now, reintroduce Jubi and Muttly, and then put the hens back after that.
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens are strange, I've had free range roosters that try to kill each other but when I pen them together without hens they act like if there's no hens to impress what's the point in fighting and the next day they are rolling in a hole taking a dirt bath together. But sometimes they just won't get along no matter how badly we want them too and 1 has to leave. Good luck & hope it goes well.
     
  5. malndobe

    malndobe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I realized after I did some reading I didn't have enough hens in there in the first place, although I've seen other people with 2-3 roosters and 5-6 hens in one pen without issue. I think they were just lucky.

    If I have to build another pen I've got the space :)
     
  6. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "They say" 10-1 is the magic number but that's only the average amount of hens that the average rooster can service to keep acceptable limits of fertile eggs. Even if you had 100 hens your 2 roosters might seek each other out to fight.
    Since you have ther space you can solve all your problems by building another pen and letting each rooster have his own flock. You know that's what you really want to do. ;)
     

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