Rooster Getting Meaner?

Kelly Klumpp

Chirping
Oct 23, 2020
50
77
98
Virginia
Backstory ( in case this has anything to do with his behaviors) yada yada yada:

When we started chicken raising, we purchased 8 little chicks from a local owner. We raised them up indoors, then acclimated them outdoors. It was summer, so although they were young, they were doing well outdoors. We had quite a bit of land, so we chose to free-range them, reasoning that because of our landscape, if a hawk were to come, they could hide easily and quickly. But, sadly, we forgot about land predators. Our neighbors far down the road let their dog off chain and the dog came down and killed most of them in one go, breaking their necks and taking 2 of the chicks. After that, and some incident regarding the chick's healths when they were quite small, we were left with 3 chicks. We learned our lesson, and penned them up. But they escaped, not being used to life without rampant freedom, and one day, the dog came again and we were down to 0 chickens. But plot twist, to our surprise, the neighbor drove to our house and returned one of our chicks- all torn up and bloody, missing feathers all over. The chick's tail was torn out, and there were patches of wounds on its back. The neighbor apologized, and we tended to the lone chick's wound. During that time, our family was also moving, and it almost seemed like bad timing that we were left with only one chicken, at such an awkward age and all alone. After moving, we started looking for chickens its age so it could have companions. Although he was a rooster, he NEVER crowed and never exhibited typical rooster behaviors like challenging us for territory, and he was quite docile to all of us, even to my youngest child who was 8.


The Problem (and question):

The day we got hens for him, and let them meet was one of his happiest days I think. He immediately started running around them, doing a mating dance which was the first time we had ever seen him do it, and within the next week, he was proudly crowing. by this time I should also mention, his tail was pretty grown. But after getting hens, he began to start aggressive behaviors. Whenever he would see us, he would do the mating dance and if we walked away, he would run at us. and not in the friendly way. He began even jumping at my youngest with his feet up and feathers ruffled. He developed a hatred to my youngest and now if he even sees my youngest child we will try to pick a fight.

His behavior towards the hens began to change as well. Before, he would do the mating dance before attempting to mate, but now he jumps them aggressively. He bullies them quite harshly sometimes, and although I recognize a lot of his behavior is simply rooster type behavior, why did he start becoming more aggressive from being quite tame and nice? is this because of something we did? can we change his behavior and teach him not to jump my son, or his hens?

At the end of the day, if he injures any of my children, our decision will most likely be to get rid of him. This is hard, however; considering all that he's been through and survived. I like to think of him as the first founding rooster of our flock, and would truly hate to see him leave. He has injuries that live with him today, (like a semi-twisted leg which makes him unable to roost properly) and a part of me feels seriously emotionally attached to him.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,341
42,782
1,156
southern Michigan
So sorry you are dealing with this, after nursing him so diligently. How old is he now? He's last year's chick, right?
This can be a combination of problems, being raised alone, no adult hens or roosters to help socialize him properly, and no respect for humans, who should be outside of his social order.
I seriously doubt that he will be safe with your children, ever, and for that alone he needs to be gone. He can hit a face, and eyeballs; don't wait for a disaster!!!
There are some good articles here about managing roosters; @Beekissed , @chantychooks, and @Shadrach come to mind. For your next cockerels, not this guy!
If you try to rehome him, do it with full disclosure, at least, and no children.
His behavior is likely to get worse, not better.
Mary
 

Kelly Klumpp

Chirping
Oct 23, 2020
50
77
98
Virginia
Not all rooster's are mean when they have hen's. But if he hurt's your children, he could do some very expensive damage to them, including putting an eye out and blinding them.
his wing was quite damaged during his accident as a young chick, so he cannot fly properly either. The most he can get to is the knee and even then its difficult for him
but I am still worried if he ever manages to fly higher, you are very right
 

Kelly Klumpp

Chirping
Oct 23, 2020
50
77
98
Virginia
So sorry you are dealing with this, after nursing him so diligently. How old is he now? He's last year's chick, right?
This can be a combination of problems, being raised alone, no adult hens or roosters to help socialize him properly, and no respect for humans, who should be outside of his social order.
I seriously doubt that he will be safe with your children, ever, and for that alone he needs to be gone. He can hit a face, and eyeballs; don't wait for a disaster!!!
There are some good articles here about managing roosters; @Beekissed , @chantychooks, and @Shadrach come to mind. For your next cockerels, not this guy!
If you try to rehome him, do it with full disclosure, at least, and no children.
His behavior is likely to get worse, not better.
Mary
all that is quite true. the only reason he is not already off of the property is because of his inability to fly higher then the knee. I really will try everything I can to see if I can correct his behavior. If not, he will probably be gone by next year at most. thank you for the references I can review. Yes, he is last year's chick. Got him around April - June 2020.
 

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