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Rooster issue

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by thumperabn, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. thumperabn

    thumperabn Hatching

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have a small flock of buff orpingtons(3). They started as layers only but became my daughters pets.
    We had 3 that made it after some start up problems. In the summer we were trying to add to the laying girls.
    Ended up with 3 roosters. We kept the least masculine of the three( a Rhode Island Red). He was kind of laid back and seemed intimidated some what by the girls. When he tried to mount one the rest would run him off. There was a point when they would make him sleep outside the coop at night. Our biggest girl would sit in the doorway and block him out.
    Now fast forward to a few weeks ago, they were free ranging on a Saturday, like most weekends. We lost one to what I think was a Cooper's hawk. The rooster had the other 2 girls backed into some cover and was keeping them in I guess to protect them. At that point we knew he had earned his spot in the flock or so we thought.
    Well now it seems that the tables have turned. He is now larger than the girls and is keeping them out of the coop at night. Kind of an issue as the temps are dropping. I put them in(by hand) and he "herded" them into the corner and was aggressively mounting them.
    Is there anything I can do to help them work more together(the girls are 2 yrs old, the roo just around 5months) or do I need to replace the rooster...?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Buff Orps are known for being "bully-able," and his breed is often on the aggressive side. Also, that's not many hens for a rooster. Personally, I'd get rid of him, and maybe try to find a Buff Orp cock bird.
  3. You have already selected for the least masculine of the three roosters what more do you expect?

    Dominance or the pecking order is not static. As you have seen the tables can turn on any chicken. Your rooster is caught up in his first big rush of hormones, and any rooster that you replace him with may prove to be a bigger problem. Besides that you are taking a huge gamble by introducing a bird that may be infected with who knows what chicken ailment. But flockwatcher has a point about keeping a mature rooster instead of impetuous teenage roosters. A mature cock bird would likely not display as much of the behavior you find offensive but a young one will.

    Keep the bird you have but keep a watch on your hens. You my need to separate the hens and rooster from time to time, especially if one or more of your hens go to setting. But remember boys will be boys and that what ever steps you take or however badly you desire it, chicken society will never resemble a 1950s high school prom. As your 5 months old rooster matures he will likely mellow. And since you seem to desire more eggs, why not add about 8 or 10 more buff orpington hen chicks to your flock. As
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014

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