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Rooster Good to Us, Mean to Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dogsmum, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. dogsmum

    dogsmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Hello,

    I'm sure this has been asked before I tried to find the answer before posting but to no avail. We have a 16 week old Buff Orpington Rooster, Hank, who was raised as a chick along with 10 girls of various breeds. Hank, aka Rose, is wonderful with us. Well when he was 11 weeks old he charged me and I picked him up turned him upside down in my arms, like a baby, and while petting him nicely told him I was the boss and he had to be nice. Hank is wonderful with people, in fact, a little to scared of people he runs from them and just makes noise. However Hank is viscious with the girls. I've noticed when he gets upset or worried about something he takes it out on the girls. He grabs them by their necks and twists them and chases them all around the yard and in and out of the coop. He has only sat on one so far but mostly just terroizes them. The hens try to stay clear of him and are afraid of him. They won't go near food and water when he is there b/c they know someone will get grabbed. When we take out treats, stawberries(hanks favorite) or anything else he is not benevelot he picks them hard to chase them away and gobbles things up. I don't know what to do. Is he just trying to figure out the rooster thing and will grow up to be more nice. I don't want to give him away b/c someone may eat him. We are not going to eat any of our chickens...I don't believe that an animal is only useful to us for a while and then when we deem they are no longer serving us they should be killed. So any ideas besides soup pot would be appreciated.
     
  2. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I got my Roo for two reasons. Protect the hens & fertile eggs. Sounds like yours isn't doing his job. So why keep him your feeding him & getting nothing in return. He can effect your girls in many ways. First he can harm them Second he can slow down egg production because of stress. I want my roo to protect & help the flock find bugs & be a gentleman.
     
  3. dogsmum

    dogsmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2011
    So is your rooster nice his girls? Hank does give us warnings when he senses danger which is nice so we can go out and check on them...and i love him of course b/c I raised him by hand from day 2 but his sporadic attacks have us all on edge and yes I am afraid come late August when our girls will start laying that they won't out of fear of him. I wonder if it's something he'll grow out of as he becomes more confident in his role as rooster. It seems to me he gets nervous and things get out of control or one of the hens is somewhere scared and freaking out and it rattles him and he actually starts running around the yard like a rooster with his head still attached trying to find the perceived danger but then will grab a hen b/c he doesn't know what to do. ????
     
  4. Chido

    Chido Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2011
    El Monte
    I'm having similar issues with my 17 week old brahma cockerel. He bullies my smallest pullet, I think she's a bantam mix but that's just a guess. He pecks her when they get inside the coop at night, and gives hers the stink eye and would often chase her away when they all eat together. I spread scratch on the ground so they can eat away from each other, yet if he wants to eat from the spot she's in, he'll make her go away and even chase her a bit. He hasn't been too violent with her yet, though. No open wounds, no loss of feathers. He also would let her lay down near him when it's hot and they are looking for a cool spot. He isn't too bad I guess, but I wish he'd stop bullying her inside the coop.
     
  5. BookWorm243

    BookWorm243 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    Franklin, NC
    Honestly this is why I don't keep roosters. I don't like how they treat the hens and my hens are happier and MUCH friendlier now with out one. Some people love having a rooster in there flock but I personally don't [​IMG] My rooster did the same thing as yours, he would grab them by their necks and twists them as well, but my girls are bantams I was afraid he would brake there little necks. Not to mention he would trample them [​IMG]

    I am sorry you have to go thru this, maybe your guy will grow out of it [​IMG]
     
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    My roo is nice to his girls. He finds them bugs & calls them over to eat them I've never seen him eat the bugs. My hens will go to the coop lay their egg & start singing the egg song my roo will run to the coop & escort the girl back to the flock. Is your cockerel always chasing them ? Does he help them find food? A good roo should stand guard over his flock . Here's mine & how he looks while free ranging.[​IMG]
     
  7. dogsmum

    dogsmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2011
    It's nice to have him because we live outside of town and have fox, hawks, owls, etc. So when I'm home I let them loose in our yard but I can be in the house and whenever he does the warning call I run out. I'm also wondering we have a big Silver Laced Wyandotte, adequately named Elizabeth (after the Queen) and she is the boss of the girls. I'm wondering if we do find Hank a home will the hens pecking order become a problem b/c as of now there is no pecking between hens except Elizabeth will chase some of my little Black Australorps around? Will Elizabeth give warning calls and will they still be safe. Because Hank is very very vigilant! He takes his job very seriously just forgets that the girls are on his side!
     
  8. BookWorm243

    BookWorm243 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    Franklin, NC
    The hens will work out a new pecking order, but once it is worked out they shouldn't have any problems. My hens will let each other know if they see something they think is a threat. We have hawks that fly over ( thankfully we haven't had any problems ) and if they see one they will set out the alarm. My one girl always looks out for the new young ones we bring into the flock. We did have a cockerel who wasn't bad ( R.I.P [​IMG] ) He was sweet with us, but when we have predators it is nothing he can protect them from Fox, Dog, Bears, and many others.

    It is up to you, and what you think is best in your situation and your hens [​IMG]
     
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Tn
    You mentioned your rooster is 16 weeks old, IMO, he's probably trying to mate your hens. They are pretty clumbsy for a while, and most hens don't appreciate at roo dancing around on their back. Once evryone gets the hang of things, you wont even hear a peep from the hens when he does his business. Give him sometime, he may turn out to be the best roo ever. Good luck!
     
  10. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I have to agree I'd give him a little more time if he starts hurting the pullets I would throw him in jail for awhile. Just keep an eye on him. You could separate him now for a few days & this could straighten him up.
     

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