Rooster fights - some insight please

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kizanne, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    I have two flocks right now and two coops and two runs.

    The one roo is an English Orphington and about 10 months old. He is the roo for my established layer flock.

    The other roo is a black broiler and about 7 months old. he is the roo for my mixed meaty pen and has some younger red laced wyandottes including some younger roos.

    I let them free range every evening and usually I let them out at the same time. One roo heads toward the house/front yard with his hens (though they don't follow the Orph much).

    The BB (black broiler) usually heads to the side /backyard and his girls stick close to him. The O (orphington roo) has in the past been more agressive, mostly hunting down his favorite red broiler and mating her even though she runs away from him.

    Neither rooster has really shown much agression toward each other. At one point I had put the BB in the pen with the O and layers cause I knew I was going to keep him and was trying to clean out the broiler pen for the Blue Red Laced Wyandottes as they moved out of the tractor and got bigger. The BB just stayed inside all day and the girls occasionally would pick on him.

    Well last night I came out to close the coop doors and run as I do after each evening of ranging. BB was in the layer pen and him and O were going at it. At first it was kind of funny, They would bend over stare at each other neck feathers completely on end and then one would jump over the other they would spin around for the next staring contest and then the other would jump over the first. I know that roos have pecking order and such so I wasn't too worried and went in to get hubby cause honestly it was kind of funny since they were just jumping and nobody was getting hurt. When we came out though it had moved into the run outside and the O was runnning into a corner leaving his back to the other roo and even had his rump in the air. BB was still jumping on him and plucking a few feathers and maybe hitting with his beak. O switched corners with our distraction of coming back out. BB followed and still jumped on him. At this point it seemed that BB was the winner and might actually hurt O if left to continue. So against I'm sure any common sense my hubby grabbed BB and put him back in his coop with his girls. BB did not try to hurt hubby. O did not seem hurt.

    So here are a few questions:
    Does this sound normal? If left alone would BB normally have stopped before causing bad damage? Was O submitting or totally defeated.

    Don't know why BB was in the wrong coop he hasn't shown any interest in those girls. Sometimes though the young ones BLRW go in that coop during free range but they aren't really BB's girls/boys either. They are kinda a second flock that lives in his coop. The boys haven't started much roo behavior yet and the girls aren't laying yet though they should be close.

    Do you think he's trying to take over that coop/flock or do you think O jumped one of BB's girls (which has happened before) and BB had enough.

    BB's girls love him. O's girls tolerate him. O just isn't popular with the ladies.
  2. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2012
    Abilene, Texas
    My Coop
    I would say that their age is probably the main cause. Most roos will tolerate other roos pretty good when they are younger, but as they get older they begin to get more possessive of their hens and their domain. It does seem that O had given in to BB. Normally when one roo yields to another roo, they will turn tail and run and hide under something. Since O had no place to go, he was fair game for BB. BB was trying to hurt him and would have continue to go after him had you not interviened. Now that the issue of dominance has been settled between them, If all things hold true, BB will now be your dominate rooster and O will probably never challenge him again. Since they are young still, another challenge may occur down the road though.
  3. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Well it seems you are right. I let them out to range and went to the store with nothing but my internet obsessed 14 year old to keep an ear out for them. I came home and everyone was back in their own coop nobody looked upset or beaten up so I can only assume that they got along while I was gone.

    I'd pay $5 to know exactly what happened last night. But I give thanks that neither rooster tried to hurt my hubby. I like both of them and would hate to send them to freezer camp.

    I'm using the Orph to make easter egger babies and mixed breed chickies for laying a colorful basket of eggs. And I've been hatching out the broiler crosses for my next batch of homemade meaties. Plus he is just such a good rooster I don't think I'll be killing him even after I'm done with this batch. I keep telling hubbby I'm only keeping him for the meaty babies but we are just about filled up with babies now so...... Guess I'll have to go into sex link chick sales cause I'm pretty sure even though he is a hybrid him over my doms will be sex linked. I'll know more in about 4 - 6 weeks as I'm hatching them out now and I'll keep track of who turns out a boy and who turns out a girl.

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