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Rooster rehab

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NellaBean, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I had a very very hormonal Rhode Island Red cockerel........who was driving everyone crazy. He was chasing the hens down and tackling them to mate, then the 2 head roosters would come and knock him off the girl who was screaming........so he would chase another one.....and tackle it...........and then the other roosters would chase him down to knock him off........over and over and over....

    I wanted to get rid of him, but couldn't find anyone to take him. So I moved him into a "private pen" during the day. It was 16x24, butted up against my garage and the baby pen and connected to the main coop. I would just put him out there during the day and then back in the main coop at night.

    He stayed in this private pen for a month or two........I had some young pullets in the 'baby pen' for a few weeks and he would keep them company during the day through the fence, clucking at them and pacing the fenceline.

    Finally I decided to just throw everyone together, him, the young pullets and the entire "big flock". My big flock normally "free ranges" in my 1/2 acre yard, and consists of 2 roosters and 14 hens, 4 pullets (16 weeks). So I added back my big RIR roo and the additional 11 young pullets (12 weeks).....and so far so good. I don't know if it was the time in isolation or just him getting older and growing out of the hormonal stage, but he is no longer chasing the girls down and will help protect the new young pullets since they are "buddies". I expect he may take over that "flock" when they get a bit older.


    I did keep in the same coop at night, but wouldn't let him in until all the others were up roosting...he would simply get in the coop and hop up on a roost next to the others for bedtime, and I would pull him out first thing in the morning. Because he was never "away" from the flock, there was no real "reintegration" period once he was let loose again. He has always been the bottom rooster on the totem pole, and continues to be that.

    Now, for the real question..........this Rooster is probably about 7 months old. Is it more likely that the time away made him calm down a bit or just that he is growing out of the hormonal stage?

  2. ella

    ella Songster

    I would guess it mostly has to do with the time of year. Decreasing light and colder temps tend to cool tempers.

    One of my 4 year old roosters (his name is Pumpkin) who had lived peacefully with his father and brother over the winter last year flipped out in March and tried to kill them. He was in an all out war with them, it was crazy! So he went into a seperate pen with 2 girls for the summer. I re-introduced him in November and he and his father and brother are getting along fine. I expect I'll have to seperate him again next spring, but what can you do? [​IMG]

    That same father and brother were at each others throats 2 years ago, but have lived together as buddies- even sleeping next to each other- since Pumpkin took over top roo position. So relationships do change over time. But it's a good idea to have a bachelor pen ready for when you need it.

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