Rooster hiding

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenfarmerj, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. chickenfarmerj

    chickenfarmerj Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2009
    I have 8 roosters and 32 hens, they are 2 years old. They all grew up together and everything has been just fine. One rooster in particular has always been what we called the king of the coop, his name is butterscotch. About a week ago we saw 3 roosters on top of butterscotch fighting him and we intervened quickly. We picked up butterscotch and examined him and saw that he had a spur missing otherwise he was ok. Well for this last week now he hides under the nesting boxes and runs away from the other roosters, his whole demeanor has changed. We had put the 3 roosters that attacked him into a temporary fenced section in the coop for now, but even with the other 4 roosters out if a rooster barely walks towards him, he runs and hides. We have sat in the coop with all the roosters out and about trying to retrain and supervise.

    These are our permanent feather babies, nobody gets culled or given away here. We would just appreciate if anyone has any experience or ideas on how to get this coop family back together again.

    We had wondered if chickens can have the herb licorice, does anyone know if this is safe to give a chicken. Because we thought maybe it might calm the testosterone down in the roosters while we are approaching Spring if this has anything to do with the season what is happening.

    Has anyone had a rooster hide and be fearful? I just didn't think roosters behaved like this.

    I don't know whether to leave them to work this one out as I don't want butterscotch to be killed by the other roosters or his eye pecked out, as I have read this is possible. We have thought that if we attempt this we will stay in the coop supervising during these times to see if they can work it out.

    Any advise would be appreciated and anyone who has had similar experiences.
    Thanks
     
  2. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Poor fella. Just keep doing what you are doing and perhaps things will eventually change. If not, you may have to rehome one of the aggressors. Chicken are the most amazing pets that can be compared to kids in the sense that they are so darn cute, but they can be so mean. It's hard to stand by and watch them getting picked on, and as humans we want to intervene. If you didn't jump in there could have very well been a death, so I don't blame you at all.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I doubt you will be able to stop the fighting; it's a rooster's nature to try to become the dominant one. You will probably have to keep some of them penned separately. You have a pretty high rooster to hen ratio, meaning, probably too many roosters.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2011
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    When a dominant rooster loses rank, all the roosters are aware of that fact and will take advantage of the situation. You can bet that his hormonal levels and testosterone levels are all messed up at the present time. There is very little likelihood that he can safely rejoin the flock. This is just normal chicken dynamics. The strong or smart (in this case since it took 3 to depose him) get to pass on their genes. With that many roosters involved someone will always be looking for a way to advance in rank.
     
  5. chickenfarmerj

    chickenfarmerj Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Thank you for all your replies. We are going to keep trying like we are doing. We are bringing one rooster out of the temp. fenced area at a time, giving them time to get back along and then we will go on to the next. We are taking it slow and so far we have one of the roosters back over into the main coop with Butterscotch and everything is going good, the typical rooster spats but that is fine, Butterscotch is staying out of the corner. Eventually we will be attempting to bring out the next rooster with close supervision. We plan on getting a bunch of hens as well so that the ratio is more balanced.
    Thanks again
     

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