Roosters-will they grow out of it?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by candemaye, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. candemaye

    candemaye Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 2 Easter egger cockerels, aged almost 16 weeks. They have recently become very mean to my pullets. Chasing them and pecking. Today they attacked several times over the course of an hour ending with the near scalping of my buff Orpington. I was in the process of cleaning her up and sorting her out when I saw them penning my RIR against a fence and attacking her. I say "they" because once one starts the other joins. I've never had roosters before and am wondering if I need to deal with this now or if they'll grow out of it.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I would certainly separate them out, than decide if you want or need them. Some improve after they mature some don't. You will have to wait a few months for them to show their true nature. For now they need to be removed, either one or both. It's normal for young roosters to act obnoxious as they try to dominate the pullets, but not normal for them to draw blood.
     
  3. candemaye

    candemaye Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok here is another question. I have 3 cockerels. All the same age. The BR doesn't act like a fool so I didn't mention him. Currently there are 11 pullets all the same age as the cockerels except one old girl who is a bit over 1. Plus 6 chicks that will be added eventually (currently only a month old)

    Am I just asking for trouble anyways with that ratio of roosters to hens? 3 Roos to 17 hens. I don't have a ton of space to be making permanent batchelor pads so needing to gauge how much time and effort I should put into this current situation if this is just going to keep being a problem


    Just as a side note-these two troublemakers were supposed to be pullets. I did pick the one BR cockerel but did not bargain for 2 more. Was hoping, probably wrongly, that everyone would just love each other and be peaceful
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You will definitely have one too many roosters and potentially two. I would remove the most bullying one than go from there. Keeping all three will be too stressful for the hens and they will be quickly bare backed. So unfortunately decisions will have to be made. There's always the option of rotating roosters, but it sounds like you don't want to mess with stuff like that, so either butcher or rehome one or two.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    First of all, they are hormone fueled teenage boys at this point. And they are in the mood ALL THE TIME. Secondly, when chickens mate, it is not a gentle happening. The males grab the females by the back of the head and dig their spurs in to hold on.
    At this point, your girls are not mature enough to have the instincts to hold still and 'squat'. They are basically spending their lives having to constantly dodge those three boys. And yeah, there aren't enough girls to go around.
    They will eventually outgrow this constantly mating behavior, but they are still several months away from behaving like proper roosters. And without any mature hens around to keep them in their place and beat some manners into them, they may never learn to be gentle boys.
    Honestly, just rehome them. Then, if you really want a rooster, wait till you hens are mature. Then get a younger cockerel that will spend the first few months with your flock living in terror of the hens (that's actually a good thing), or get a mature rooster that is proven to be calm and non-human aggressive.
     
  6. candemaye

    candemaye Out Of The Brooder

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    Just out of curiosity, why don't they go after the old girl? She's a bit of a lone wolf, she sticks with the flock somewhat but I've never seen them even glance at her. Not that I want her subjected to the cockerels, I'm just curious.

    Our plan is to remove one at a time. We'll remove the biggest bully first and see how the two do, if the blood bath and attacking continues, we'll remove another. I'm hopeful my calm dude will remain calm if he ends up alone. I'm prepared to remove him though if needed. Silly question-is there such a thing as to many hens to one rooster?
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Young birds respect older birds and often don't interact with them except to run away. Your hen is currently an old lady to your roosters. After a rooster matures he may or may not mate older hens. I have a few older hens that are left alone.

    There's only a problem of too few roosters if you free range and want more look outs, or are looking to breed and hatch than all the hens might not get covered. More than likely your rooster will pick a few favorites and mostly mate them anyways.
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    They leave her alone because she is big enough and bold enough to fight back. They are scared of her.
    There is no such thing as too many hens. For a young cockerel, even 10 or 12 may not be enough. And a mature rooster can easily keep over 20 hens laying fertile eggs.
     
  9. candemaye

    candemaye Out Of The Brooder

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    Good info, thank you both very much. Hopefully we get this settled down now. They do free range and I let them up at sunrise this morning just because the girls have better luck getting away. The two aggressive boys chased them straight to the woods
     
  10. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my world the BR would get to stay around and the 2 EE's would be in the pot.
     

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