Rooster Help and Egg Help Needed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hokiechick, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Hokiechick

    Hokiechick Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 27, 2011
    I sort of have two issues I'm hoping someone can help with.

    The first issue is that my rooster is starting to act sort of aggressive towards me, my husband, and the kids. I can understand him being protective of the hens- he's good about that. Yesterday though, I went into the coop and let all the chickens out, and they ran to the front yard. My rooster came back around to the back side of the house where I was, ran at me, and proceeded to peck at the ground turnining sideways and staring at me all aggressively. I tried to walk past him and he actually moved into my path. I'm not really sure what to do about him. I've heard different ideas, from kicking him out of the way to picking him up. The thing is, I'm pregnant and we have four little ones already, so if he can't straighten up, I don't want to keep him around. It's not worth it to me. Before we do that though, my husband wants to try to make him less aggressive. He's a Rhode Island Red, about 5 months old.

    My second issue is with one of my hens. I'm not sure which one is doing it, but she's laying what I call "jello eggs"...there is no hard shell, just a really soft smooshy one. Someone said maybe she has a calcium and vitamin D deficiency, but she's eating the same things all my other hens are eating- layer rations, table scraps, oyster shells, and has plenty of fresh water. This is the third egg of hers that I have found like this. The rest of my hens are the same age and are laying normal eggs.

    And...they will not lay in the nest boxes at all. They lay in the corner BESIDE the nest boxes or under the roost. The lame thing is that it is darker in the nest boxes than anywhere else in the coop. *sigh*
  2. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2010
    SW PA
    Rooster problem: I had a RIR roo. He was my grandsons favorite as a chick. We had to get rid of him because it got to the point where we couldn't even feed them without being attacked. Rooster reform didn't work. We have a new roo who is very nice and takes good care of the girls. There are nice roos out there.

    I can't help with the egg problem. I also have 1 hen who lays in the run.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Rooster reform is often not effective at all or only to a point. Many keep them anyway, but with young children around, I would definitely not even try, especially as those are some very aggressive moves. The world is full of excess roos, many of whom are very sweet and still good flock protectors; I feel sure you can find a nice one. You might try a "wanted to buy" ad here, or look through the roosters being offered on here, usually either free or pretty darn cheap. Craigs list and local swaps and auctions will have them, too, but if you do that, be sure to quarantine.
  4. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Kicking and picking up roosters doesn't make sense to me. They dispute by charging and pecking. So It would make more sense to the rooster if you imitated that.

    You could try charging at him when he charges you. Like a "how dare you I'm not afraid of you" challenge charge. even 'peck' him with a stick or you finger, then if he backs of keep blocking his way, maybe push him to the ground and 'peck'. I always wondered why people didn't take the rooster away from the hens for a little while when they are aggressive like a dominant roo would keep a lower ranked roo away. Maybe next time he's aggro, charge, grab him and put him in a crate in the pen, or even chase him out of the run. Your dominant because you got rid of him to do as you like with the hens....

    Have you tried moving the eggs (or a fake egg) into the nest boxes as a hint?

    Calcium needs can be different with every individual. Her body may not be as efficient at absorbing it. Perhaps some vitamins in the water will help? They need at least 20min direct sunlight a day to produce enough vitamin d to process calcium, do they get this where they are kept?

    How old are they all? She just might be finishing laying earlier than the others, again, depends on the individual!
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    From my experience with a rooster that does the same thing the OP mentioned - if you charge at him, you're gonna get flogged. I've taken to picking him up, sitting down with him and placing him upside down on my lap. Of course with a mean one, you have to be careful how you pick them up, so they don't nail you in the face. I grab the tail with one hand, then get under his chest with the other. He hates being upside down and I stare in his eye letting him know I'm in charge. The hens all come over to check out what's going on. So far, it's working - he's giving me lots of space.

    RIR's are known to be an aggressive breed though, so it's possible any attempt may not work with him. If not, get yourself a nice boy.

    As for the hens, do you have fake eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes? How long have they been laying? Sometimes it takes a while for them to get used to the boxes. And the soft eggs, as long as you have oyster shell out, it should resolve itself. They are common in new layers.
  6. Hokiechick

    Hokiechick Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 27, 2011
    Thank you all for your advice.

    I will talk to my husband about what to do with the rooster. He's good about protecting the hens, but my instinct says he isn't a good fit for us- if it were just me and my husband, that would be different, but since we have little bitty ones around, I just don't trust him. He's chased my five year olds and attacked my son's little 4-wheeler he was riding way across the yard- nowhere near the other chickens.

    All of my birds are around 5 months old...they were hatched in mid and late January. [​IMG]

    I did try the golf ball thing but they didn't seem interested. I'm going to block off the area where they have been laying and see if they will pick a nest box instead. I'm sure some of these issues are due to them being pretty new at laying. The soft shell thing is a bit crazy! I suppose I can add some vitamins to the water to see if that will help. Maybe she just has more nutritional needs than my others. [​IMG]

    Thanks again!
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I agree, it's not worth it with little ones around. My rooster that has attacked me (and he only attacks me - he's fine with my kids, husband, strangers, etc) is on his way out. I'm growing out his replacement as we speak.

    Keep a golf ball in the nest. In chicken lingo, it's "Hey, someone laid here, this must be a safe place for me to lay". When you collect the eggs from the other spots, mess up the "nest". They'll get the hang of the boxes. I've had first eggs in the run, under the roost, under the feeder (guess she couldn't stop eating long enough) - and they all made it to the nesting boxes.
  8. johnnyg07

    johnnyg07 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 3, 2011
    north haven ct
    I Vote treat the family to some fresh chicken parm ...then see who is in control haha..i say it but still havnt been able 2 do it 2 my roos [​IMG]
  9. SilkieCreekFarm

    SilkieCreekFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2010
    Quote:Yes it is true RIR are known to be aggressive. I have RIR hens & roo but he has not attacked me yet. Hope he doesn't either! Someone once told me that roos will attack due to color clothing now I don't know this to be true or not. I did experiment when it came to feeding time wearing the same color clothes and was not charged. It could be I just got lucky with a pretty nice roo.

    Egg deficiency is from lack of vitamin D & Calcium. Vitamin D comes from cod liver oil and sunlight. Try giving your flock 8+ hours of sunlight. The oyster shell is good for calcium deficiency, for faster results you could try agricultural limestone (not dolomitic limestone, which is detrimental to egg production and hatchability).

    Last but not least I purchased a great book "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickiens (from Tractor Supply Co.) and has helped me alot.

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