Rooster Questions

wconstantine

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
56
0
41
Hampton, New York
We recently rescued a Partridge Cochin Rooster. We don't know much about him except that he lived with other Roosters all Winter and is fairly beat up.



I figure he is around a year, maybe a little less and is in his first season of sexual maturity - he cannot stop helping himself to our hens and if they don't submit he -- err, umm, takes it by force. I can say that I do love watching his little one legged dance number and sound effects as he tries to woo the ladies.

My questions:

Given the fact of how sexually active he is would you agree he is in his first year?

He doesn't really seem to know how to Rooster - he isn't very protective. For example, a hawk can fly above and he doesn't sound an alarm. If our cats walk by he doesn't even charge at them ... Will this iron out as he gets older? We live in an area where wildlife is abundant and have 16 wooded acres where predators lurk. I'm just fearful that if danger was present he'd run away instead of stand his ground.

Are some roosters just not protective?

Is he maybe a little bit more docile because he spent all winter being beaten up by other roosters? Will it clear up since he has a flock of his own?

Is protection and so forth hardwired into being a Rooster or it Rooing learned?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,231
19,964
857
Southeast Louisiana
Not every rooster on the planet has exactly the same personality, instincts, vitality, or behaviors. Each is an individual. Some have a lot lower sex drive from the get-go. Some never lose it. Most slow down as they age but at different rates and levels.

Also, mating is not all about sex. It is also about dominance. The one on the bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, whether by choice or force. In a flock without a dominant rooster I’ve seen the dominant hen mount another hen, including touching vents, to show her dominance.

It’s pretty normal for a rooster to lead his hens to safety instead of positioning himself between them and danger when things get hectic. Most dominant roosters will go check things out and all that. Some will charge a danger and give up their life to protect the flock. But not all roosters immediately fling themselves at what you perceive as a potential danger. If that cat has not posed a danger in the past, the chickens can come to accept it as belonging around and just ignore it.

Many people have this romantic notion that all roosters are just looking for an opportunity to give their lives to protect the flock and will make a huge difference in the safety of the flock. You may get a rooster somewhat like that but what much more often occurs is that the rooster is more about an early warning system than a huge boost in flock security. Very few roosters will go up against a dog, fox, coyote, or much of any significant predator. If they did, the most you could hope for is a few seconds for the rest to get away.

Another part of this is that the rooster needs to be dominant to do the warning part of this. If the hens don’t pay any attention to him and ignore his warnings, what good does it do to give a warning? One way he establishes dominance over a hard-headed hen is to force her to mate even against her will. Both hens and roosters have to do their part for the flock to work the way it should.

Still another element is that the rooster has to have the personality and self-confidence to establish dominance over the rest of the flock. I don’t know how long you’ve had him. It sounds like he was not the dominant rooster where he came from. That may mean he doesn’t have the personality to be a good flock master. He may just need time to establish his dominance. Or maybe he needs to get a little older. It’s really hard to say, especially over the internet.

Probably not the response you were hoping for and probably not a lot of help. I do wish you luck. I live out in the middle of not much with predators all around but my biggest threat is not the foxes and coyotes but comes from people dropping their dogs off in the country for the good life. Sometimes they avoid being eaten by the coyotes long enough to find my chickens. When they do, they are usually pretty hungry.
 

wconstantine

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
56
0
41
Hampton, New York
Not every rooster on the planet has exactly the same personality, instincts, vitality, or behaviors. Each is an individual. Some have a lot lower sex drive from the get-go. Some never lose it. Most slow down as they age but at different rates and levels.

Also, mating is not all about sex. It is also about dominance. The one on the bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, whether by choice or force. In a flock without a dominant rooster I’ve seen the dominant hen mount another hen, including touching vents, to show her dominance.

It’s pretty normal for a rooster to lead his hens to safety instead of positioning himself between them and danger when things get hectic. Most dominant roosters will go check things out and all that. Some will charge a danger and give up their life to protect the flock. But not all roosters immediately fling themselves at what you perceive as a potential danger. If that cat has not posed a danger in the past, the chickens can come to accept it as belonging around and just ignore it.

Many people have this romantic notion that all roosters are just looking for an opportunity to give their lives to protect the flock and will make a huge difference in the safety of the flock. You may get a rooster somewhat like that but what much more often occurs is that the rooster is more about an early warning system than a huge boost in flock security. Very few roosters will go up against a dog, fox, coyote, or much of any significant predator. If they did, the most you could hope for is a few seconds for the rest to get away.

Another part of this is that the rooster needs to be dominant to do the warning part of this. If the hens don’t pay any attention to him and ignore his warnings, what good does it do to give a warning? One way he establishes dominance over a hard-headed hen is to force her to mate even against her will. Both hens and roosters have to do their part for the flock to work the way it should.

Still another element is that the rooster has to have the personality and self-confidence to establish dominance over the rest of the flock. I don’t know how long you’ve had him. It sounds like he was not the dominant rooster where he came from. That may mean he doesn’t have the personality to be a good flock master. He may just need time to establish his dominance. Or maybe he needs to get a little older. It’s really hard to say, especially over the internet.

Probably not the response you were hoping for and probably not a lot of help. I do wish you luck. I live out in the middle of not much with predators all around but my biggest threat is not the foxes and coyotes but comes from people dropping their dogs off in the country for the good life. Sometimes they avoid being eaten by the coyotes long enough to find my chickens. When they do, they are usually pretty hungry.
I wasn't looking for a particular answer - just people's experiences regarding this matter. Your answer was candid - minus fluff - and I appreciated your feedback and the reply was helpful. We have only had him since this past Saturday - we rescued 7 hens about a month before. The hens are going into their second year and there is a HHIC (head hen in charge) that has mounted the other hens. They all squat for me, but I'm no Rooster ... haha

I really think he is about a year - maybe less. So, I'm hoping the bullying he suffered by other roosters passes and he regains his esteem. I can say that initially the HHIC - didn't tolerate him at all (I still don't know if he has mated with her yet), but she lets him to his thing to the other hens (within reason). In the beginning, he would avoid her at all cost - simply run away anytime she walked near him. Sometimes she would charge and him and try and jump on him. The third day, for example, she pulled at his tail feathers to get out of the coop and when he didn't she went in and pecked at him. On his way out the door she tried jumping on his back ... but he got away. There have been a couple of squabbles since then between them - but, he has attempted to mount her and hold her still. But, to no avail, at least to my knowledge.

The mere fact that he is attempting where he previously avoided tells me his confidence is growing ...

I'm not certain what to expect of the rooster - just everything I've read says they are highly aggressive and protective. He is calmer - maybe that is the breed of a Partridge Cochin ... I don't know much, but I'm learning.

Always open to insight.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,231
19,964
857
Southeast Louisiana
With what you just posted it does sound like he is still pretty young, maybe not even a year old. I had one that did not flip the dominance on an older dominant hen until he was 11 months old. But he finally took charge.
 

TheMoodyHere

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
20
0
24
Last fall I got 2 new roosters for my flock. I had roosters already but they were game bantums and I wanted a couple full size roosters for my large hens. One is a Buckeye and one a Buff Orpington. The first day both got bullied by everyone, nothing to serious but they definetly were not big in charge roosters. After a few days they started mating and force mating as your is. I can't tell you exactly how long it took but they eventually became leaders.... well the Buckeye did anyway. The Orpington is a sissy lol. But after researching the breeds I found that Orpingtons are a bit timid, so that explains alot.
I suggest researching the breed and seeing if he is likely to be what you want, it may help answer your questions about his personality.
My chickens are exposed to ducks, dogs of all sizes, people and goats so it can take a lot for something to trigger your rooster. I live near a pond and geese fly over our propety all day long so my roosters don't react to a large bird flying over head. They did sound the arlam and lead the ladies to saftey when a cat stalked them through the property fence, but I have no outside cats for them to be accustomed to.
 

wconstantine

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
56
0
41
Hampton, New York
Last fall I got 2 new roosters for my flock. I had roosters already but they were game bantums and I wanted a couple full size roosters for my large hens. One is a Buckeye and one a Buff Orpington. The first day both got bullied by everyone, nothing to serious but they definetly were not big in charge roosters. After a few days they started mating and force mating as your is. I can't tell you exactly how long it took but they eventually became leaders.... well the Buckeye did anyway. The Orpington is a sissy lol. But after researching the breeds I found that Orpingtons are a bit timid, so that explains alot.
 I suggest researching the breed and seeing if he is likely to be what you want, it may help answer your questions about his personality.
My chickens are exposed to ducks, dogs of all sizes, people and goats so it can take a lot for something to trigger your rooster. I live near a pond and geese fly over our propety all day long so my roosters don't react to a large bird flying over head. They did sound the arlam and lead the ladies to saftey when a cat stalked them through the property fence, but I have no outside cats for them to be accustomed to.


That makes sense too! I am glad you both mentioned about multiple Roos living together as two out of the 9 pullets we bought seem to be Roos. Since they are only 7 weeks the Partridge Cochin should acclimate to them (fingers crossed). That would be 3 Roos to 14 hens. It's not the normal ratio of 1/10, but I hope it works. If not we could swap one roo for a hen.
 

bellasooky

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 26, 2013
19
0
22
I would like some advice on getting a rooster my flock is 6 to 7 months old and not all laying yet :/c is it better to get one now or later and chick or grown up
 

wconstantine

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
56
0
41
Hampton, New York
I have a rooster that I rescued probably at the cusp of a year old. I have 9- 10 week olds, but I also have 7 adult hens. He leaves the young ones alone.

I would say as long as the rooster is about the same size age ... Go for it. Should acclimate nicely. My rooster has ...
 

roostersandhens

Flap Your Wings!
7 Years
Jan 9, 2013
16,528
621
406
Saving Battery Hens at Happy Hen Chicken Rescue in
My Coop
My Coop
My roosters won't sound an alarm inless hawks fly lower then usual or land on the ground. Boo my roosters do gaurd the hens, but only when there is real danger. He is a very pretty boy, b te in't a 100% accreate way to tell the age of a grown chicken:( But he seems like he could be about a year, me less as you said, but keep in mind this is not 100% accreate. He will never really leave the hens alone, my boys never do. 2 of my roosters got in a fight this weekend and Oreo (who is my smaller rooster) has a comb and waddles all scabbed (was bloody) like your boy.
Good Luck!
 

wconstantine

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
56
0
41
Hampton, New York
In the past few days, I have been doing a ton of reading on all things poultry! Haha. I think he just needs to settle in fully and get the girls to all respect his position.

My 10 weekers are in a group of their own and don't listen if he Bawks, Crows, etc. I wonder if he knows there are two roosters growing up under his beak ...
 
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