Rooster problems

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tigerlilymomma, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. tigerlilymomma

    tigerlilymomma In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2012
    I got my first set of baby chicks back in June and they are now 18 weeks old. I ordered 10 hens and one cockerel, but in the end one was mis-sexed and I now have a flock of nine ladies and two roos free ranging in my backyard. At first it seemed to be working out, but a couple of weeks ago I started having problems. One started crowing (NBD, we live on 20 acres), and soon after that the smaller of the two roosters stopped going into the coop at night. I'd go outside and find him hiding under the woodpile. From what I can tell he's the weaker of the two roosters, so I'm assuming that the bigger one is keeping him out somehow.

    This past weekend the whole family was in the backyard. The chickens were free ranging with us out there, just like they have done ever since they were a few weeks old. My 3-year-old ran down the sidewalk, close to where the bigger rooster was foraging. He chased her down and attacked her. Then later, my husband was with my daughter on the other side of the yard. The rooster seemed to kind of zero in on my daughter from across the yard, then flew over and started attacking her. We confined him to the run after that.

    Yesterday I was closing up the coop for the night and the bigger rooster attacked one of my hens. He didn't peck her, but grabbed her by the neck and started sort of swinging her around. I thought he was going to kill her, so I ran in and shooed at him which made him drop her and start attacking me. At this point every time I look at him I hear "Sic 'em on a chicken" by the Zac Brown Band in my head and start thinking it's time for a home made chicken pot pie.

    I have several questions. One, am I thinking about this issue realistically, or am I approaching it from an inexperienced "city" mindset that expects keeping livestock to be sunshine and harmony all the time? In other words, is this the way a rooster is supposed to act? Secondly, the aggressive rooster is noticeably bigger, has a bigger, redder comb and wattles, and overall seems like a healthier bird than my smaller rooster. The small rooster doesn't really crow, doesn't harass the ladies, and has never attacked anyone. Would this change if the larger, more virile rooster were to suddenly fall into my crock pot? Would the larger rooster be likely to father healthier chicks?

    I'm torn. I've grown very fond of my hens and hate the thought of keeping an overly aggressive rooster around them. On the other side of the coin I'm not sure if the smaller rooster will be good for the flock either, if the larger one is removed. Advice?
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    With a three year old in your household, I would make soup out of both roosters, and I would do it.... like yesterday.

    Some will tell you that all can be fixed, but really, a rooster that has attacked, has given you his warning. Many many roosters have ruined chickens for children. Children especially 3 year old children, will be meeting the rooster face to face and you are risking your child's eyesight, or scaring on the face..... for a rooster.

    I strongly recommend people not to have roosters if they have children under the age of 5. Their quick movements can alarm roosters, and roosters do not see a child as a threat that is too big for them. Some roosters do not see smaller women as a threat to big for them, and some do not see any humans as a threat they can't whip. Most roosters once they attack, continue in that mode. If you do much research on here, there are contrary opinions, but I have read several posts, where the pet became a nightmare, probably as he had no fear of humans.

    There is the question that if you got rid of the aggressive roo, what about the second roo. He could stay meek and mild, or he could to turn aggressive.

    In my honest opinion, roosters of any temperment do not mix well with young children. In a heart beat your child will be older and bigger, and there will be plenty of time to have a roo if that is what you want. Hens are perfectly happy without a roo, and a lot of times, MORE happy with out a mean roo.

    I do have a roo, but my children are grown. He has never shown any inclination to be mean, but he is not a pet, and still, I do not trust him around my 2 year old grandson. When my dgs is here, Captain is locked up.

    1 person likes this.
  3. Island Roo

    Island Roo Songster

    Feb 14, 2012
    Duncan, BC
    Wow - great response Mrs K.
    If I had a rooster like that big one - he'd be dinner for sure.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    No animal is allowed to attack a human. I don't care if it's a kid, adult, male or female. Yes, you do have to be respectful of intact male livestock, but they don't attack or they're culled.

    Other than that, basically what Mrs. K said. Your home is for you and your family first. It may take a few tries to find a good rooster but they are out there. I've had 7 in the last 10 years and only 2 had to be culled for attacking.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You don't want to breed an aggressive roo because he might pass on that aggression in his genetics, and if he has attacked you and children, then he needs to be culled.

    I was so traumatized by a roo years ago that I didn't have chickens for a couple years. He attacked me and drew blood on my youngest child. We culled him.

    Don't keep a mean roo. We now have 9 roosters and they are all sweet little bantams. Not all banty roos are sweet, but if you just keep searching you will find the perfect roo. I'd wait until your kids are older for sure as someone else said!!!!

    Roos are very dangerous around small children.

    I have learned when a roo is going to turn mean on me- they prance around behind me and try to sneak up on me. Once they do that they are gone from our home.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  6. tigerlilymomma

    tigerlilymomma In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2012
    Thanks everyone for all of the replies and advice. I talked to my husband and we agree that culling the rooster is what we need to do. Looks like it is going to happen this weekend, and in the meantime he is staying locked in the run. Hopefully the smaller roo works out. He likes to hop up in my lap to eat strawberry tops, so I think we might be good. :)
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Here is my advice for keeping a roo nice:

    Don't coddle him, cuddle with him, or treat him like a baby. Offer him treats FIRST before you give them to the hens. Let him take the credit for it, as he will then call his hens over.

    If I don't have any treats with me and I'm sitting in the run, if one of the roos comes up to me, I offer him a short (2 inch) blade of grass and try to do the tidbitting call to him (high pitched bawk bawk). He will either walk away if intimidated or come over to investigate. The net effect is, that I offered to be his friend and give him a snack.

    This is what roos have done to me in the past- offer me a tiny piece of stick or leaf...anything they can find...and they do the tidbitting call to try to make friends with me. They do this to other roos as well, not just hens.
  8. Island Roo

    Island Roo Songster

    Feb 14, 2012
    Duncan, BC
    Now, that's interesting!
    I gonna try that.
    Thanks rooster whisperer.
  9. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    I'd cull like stated. Don't be afraid to go through roos. I have lost count of roos but I have a somewhat quiet one now who is at least respectful of me. I culled one that was too loud for too long. One that was a little too rought with the girls. Though when they are teens I think the feather pulling is part of the I'm the man thing. I culled one that was trying to spur my daughter (she's 14). This one is starting to crow more and more. If he breaks the 5:30 am barrier again he'll be soup. He normally doesn't crow til 6:30 but last week we had a 3:30 and a 4:30.

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