My eight-month-old rooster was a right jerk to the girls tonight, seemingly out of nowhere. When the hens were heading into the coop for the night, he started laying into them: pecking at their feet as they tried to hop down into the coop, grabbing their heads and biting hard and being a total bully. They were in a complete state and refused to be in the coop with him. I put them in and took him out and held him for about 15 minutes while they settled down, ate dinner and headed onto the roosts. When I returned him to the coop they started to freak out again until I made it clear to him that he needed to shut up and go to bed. His behavior was way more aggressive than the usual herding everyone onto the roosts for the evening. The hens have never tried to run away from him before. They were out in the tractor all afternoon and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary happening. He is usually fine with them -- still needs to learn a little mating finesse but overall he's pretty gentlemanly, a good tidbitter and a vigilant guardian. Is this a touch of spring fever, or some sort of one-off domestic disturbance in their chicken society? Has anyone seen this sort of thing? Because if this turns out to be a pattern he's toast, much as I have loved him heretofore.