Canadianchickens

Hatching
Sep 9, 2020
2
0
9
Hi guys! I need help. I have eight chickens that were four months old when we got a rooster that was three months old. He is a silver laced Orpington and is double their size. Their breeds are black sex linked, red sex linked and blue azure. They have been bullying HIM for almost two months now! There are two or three that seem to be the worst (black sex links and one of the red sex link) but he’s afraid of all of them. We have had three instances where he was ganged up on by all or had one aggressively chase him and pull out some of his tail feathers. We have a large yard they can free range in and he has been living in the far end of their run fenced off. When they free range together he hides in one of three forests that we have deemed his hide and seek places. He’s not aggressive at all and even though we put him in the coop at night, he won’t come down off his roost until they are put in the run and closed off from coming back in. Then he returns to his end of the run. These are my first chicken/rooster flock and I’m afraid he will never join them. We’ve had to buy a second small coop so he can survive the winter. Any advice? He’s five months now and not crowing.
 

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,925
39,857
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Colorado Rockies
Lots of folks are like yourself in wondering if their young cockerel will ever grow into the role of flock leader. It's really very much like demanding an eleven year old human boy to behave as a man and take care of a family. In both cases, you are dealing with what amounts to a child.

Cockerels can have varying degrees of aggressiveness inherent in their the genes the carry, but until they get their hormones, they have no inclination to be assertive and protective. Once they do come into their hormones, generally around age six months, they still require another six months to figure out what their hormones are useful for. They can be rather unpredictable and confused between age six months and one year.

So, patience is in order. For now, I suggest you conduct a program of integrating him gradually into the flock so he can safely build self confidence. This article I wrote on how to integrate a new hen into a flock would apply as well to a young cockerel. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/

In just a few weeks of gradually exposing him to the hens and putting him back in his safe pen when it appears he's in over his head will gradually build his self confidence. By the time he comes into his hormones, he should be on solid ground.
 

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