Rooster human interactions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by arlinc, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. arlinc

    arlinc Out Of The Brooder

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    hey everyone!
    I recently got 2 chickens from a freind. 1 rooster and 1 hen, they are white leghorns and I'm guessing about 2 years old. The rooster has been very friendly - lets me pick him up carry him and eats out of my hand. Just yesterday he started acting mean towards us and pecked me several times. Does this sound normal? Maybe the hen is going to start leaying soon? Any ideas are appreciated!
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    At two years old the hen is not at her prime laying ability. So she might produce a couple of eggs a week. As for the rooster, he's being a rooster. He'll start stalking you and attacking from behind. If you are not up for this kind of behavior, he needs to be culled. Yes, there are things you can do, but he'll never be trust worthy.

    Now if you meant two months old, the pullet will start laying at about 4-5 months. And the cockerel will continue to be mean no matter what you do. He might settle down after a year or so in that he might not attack so quickly. But he will continue to flog you when he thinks you are not looking.

    And welcome to BYC!
     
  3. Mathew544

    Mathew544 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hens start laying between 18 - 22 weeks old. You might want to ask your friend how old they are. At two years old she may be past her laying days. As for the rooster, chickens follow a pecking order. They test this order by pecking at each other, pulling feathers, etc. The strongest, most aggressive chicken wins. So if he is getting aggressive with you, then humanely get aggressive with him, show him who is boss and he might learn that you are dominant. However, some roosters are just overly aggressive and you can't fix it. But since he was nice and now is getting fiesty I think he may just be testing you. The leghorn breed is known to be more aggressive than other breeds so that might be part of it. But every bird is different!
     
  4. arlinc

    arlinc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Santa Rosa, California
    hello "theoldchick" !
    thanks for your input - I may end up getting rid of the rooster. I'll give it a few weeks. Good point "mathew544" I will try to find out the exact age of these 2.
    Can either of you recommend a different rooster breed that would be less aggressive?
    thanks
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  5. Fireandice123

    Fireandice123 New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2013
    Sammamish, Washington
    Hi arlinc. Good luck with your rooster, and welcome to BYC! I'm a newbie too. [​IMG]

    As for a breed recommendation, Cochin, Sussex, Wyandotte, Brahma, and Orpington. But it mostly depends on the rooster's characteristics and whether previous owners have take care of him well. A roo that has been mishandled is waaaaay more likely to be aggressive than one that has been taken care of well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I just have to say, a 2 year old hen is definitely not past laying! Good heavens, I've had birds laying at 7 years old.

    True, the first 18 months are the most productive, and the number of eggs decreased from there, but don't tell this poor person that 2 year old hen won't lay, please!
     
  7. arlinc

    arlinc Out Of The Brooder

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    Is there a way to find out how old these 2 are? other than talking to the original owners
     
  8. Mathew544

    Mathew544 Out Of The Brooder

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    For the hens, if they look like mature birds but are not laying at all, and in good health, then they are probably several years old. Leghorns are the most popular egg laying breed worldwide and are bred to reach maturity quickly and lay lots of eggs. This also means that they stop laying sooner than some other breeds that are slower to develop. There are physical signs that a hen will no longer lay as well. You can inspect the vent (search BYC for how to do this). I'm not sure how you could tell the age of the rooster? Also be aware that hens will not lay as much or at all during cold weather, less light, illness or when they are molting. Do you have any pics of your birds? I hope that helps!
     
  9. arlinc

    arlinc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2013
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  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    From what I see in your avatar either both are hens or at least the rooster is no more than 6 months old. I am looking in part as spur development to estimate age, I do not see well developed hackle feathers or sickle feathers on tail. Pic of tail is needed. Comb size is not always a reliable indicator of sex.
     

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