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Should I separate my Roo?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SuburbanChickFarmer, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. SuburbanChickFarmer

    SuburbanChickFarmer In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2008
    I have 1 Light Brahma roo and 9 hens, all standard size. My roo, Butch, is a big guy, haven't weighed him but I'd say around 10 pounds. He is the sweetest thing to his people but the hens I'm not so sure. He wants to mate all the time starting first thing in the morning. The girls all know there are treats waiting for them in the morning, if it's cold, warm oatmeal, if it's not cold, bread and scraps. Butch has annoyed the girls so much that they won't even come out to the pen for their morning treats and if they do, they grab a bite and RUN. I now have 4 hens with feathers missing on their backs and another that is starting to lose her feathers. Is he overmating with them and should I remove him? If I do remove him, when is it safe to return him to the pen? He is very protective of the hens and when I let them out to range, he always keeps an eye out for the hawks that frequently hang around just waiting for him to slip up, but so far he's done his job, so I don't want to get rid of him. My roo and hens are all the same age, about 7 months old. Out of 10 hens (1 roo and 1 hen are in a separate coop, they had issues!) I still get 6 - 7 eggs a day so they aren't stressed to the point of not laying. What concerns me is their lack of feathers and the cold weather. Has anyone had similar issues and how did you solve them? BTW, my hens are Dominques, Cuckoos, EEs, and Light Brahmas. In my opinion, the only hens Butch is evenly matched to are his kind, they are big girls too. They don't seem to mind him as much as the other hens. Help!
  2. pixiechic

    pixiechic Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    If Butch is stressing the girls to the point where they won't come out for treats, it's not good. We had one roo who overmated to the point of nearly killing his favorite hen over the course of just one day, and we had to segregate him immediately. We currently have another roo who just causes too much drama when he's in with the rest, so he's getting fat and lazy in permanent isolation until we figure out what to do with him.

    Do you have an easy way to separate Butch for part of the day, or to only allow him in with the girls his size?
  3. You can seperate him and I'm sure the girls will appreciate it.
    As well as butch..maybe some of the girls are going through a slight molt. It really could be several contributing factors as to why the feather loss.

    As Butch is the only rooster, you can put him back in the pen anytime you want to. It sounds like he's established his place in the flock and will have no problems readjusting whenver he is put back.
  4. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    Sounds like an excuse to get yourself some more and Bigger hens to divide the young roos enthusiasm.... (like we really need more reasons to get more hens...)[​IMG]

    He may settle town with age, or, introduce the other roo and hen back into the mix, at night, and let the two roos spend thier energy chasing each other around, Our roos spend most of thier time chasing each other. But obviously, dont let them hurt each other, thats not what I am encouraging.

    Good Luck!
  5. SuburbanChickFarmer

    SuburbanChickFarmer In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2008
    I separated the other roo and hen because Butch was beating him up and he's a little "special" now, perhaps some mild brain damage which may or may have been caused by Butch so I don't want to put him back with Butch. I could put him and his hen back with the others (the big coop) and put Butch and his 2 same kind hens in the small coop. I wouldn't want that to be permanent solution because that coop is more for regular standard chickens and those Light Brahmas are NOT normal size! If I switch the hens and roos, then want to put Butch back with the larger flock, will this cause problems because the other roo has been with them or will Butch not care? If Butch wasn't such a lover, I would do the simple thing and get rid of him but he's just too friendly, and also a good protector. How long before roos fully mature and aren't so hormonal or does that never happen?

    Thanks to everyone for all the help in solving my dilema!
  6. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    He'll probably calm down a bit in a few months. He's in his first testosterone surges now, that should start to ease a little as he gets a bit older.

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