Time to eat the roo?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Thecowboysgirl, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Thecowboysgirl

    Thecowboysgirl Out Of The Brooder

    30
    0
    32
    Apr 29, 2011
    Hi guys. I have one barred rock rooster. Had 3 BO hens (down to two now due to hawk attack) 3 RIRs, 1 red star, and 4 RIR pullets who are not full grown and are seperated from the flock at this point. There are also three chicks in with my adult flock that were raised by one of my BO's. Flock accepted them wonderfully, I reintroduced broody with her babies at about 5 weeks.

    I'll try to not make this too confusing: about a month ago I noticed the three lighter hens (2 BO's and the red star) were all bare backed from him. (At that time the broody & chicks were still seperate). The reds don't show any signs of wear and tear. So I seperated the lighter hens from him because they were even looking a little bloody. I was letting them free range outside of the pasture where he keeps his other wives. Well, we lost one of the Buffs to a hawk. We also lost one of the chicks early on to the hawk, but then I put a tarp over their run and no more. No hawk attacks inside pasture where the roo is. After we lost that Buff, I put the remaining ones in the covered run but the red star just went crazy having her freedom taken away and starting beating on the one remaining buff, who is small and timid.

    Finally I put the red star back with the roo despite she hadn't quite healed yet but she was going out of her mind. Now he's ripped her feathers out again. This roo also comes after me on a regular basis. Only reason he's still alive is I think he is protecting the rest of the flock from the hawk. That is their only predator problem as they are inside a sturdy fence with hotwire and ground predators can't get in.

    Hubby says no way in hell are we buying saddles for the hens so I am thinking maybe eat this roo and try to find a nicer one who will not batter his wives? There are roos out there who don't rip up the hens when breeding, right?

    I find my BO hens to be much more mild than the reds. Would I have better luck with a BO rooster? Any other breeds that might be kinder to me and the other ladies? We admittedly did not handle this one as he was growing up and we could maybe have prevented his nastiness toward people but I can't have him hurting the hens.

    Am I way off base to want to dispatch my roo? Is it a crapshoot which roo will beat the wives?
     
  2. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    9,801
    327
    376
    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    well, i had similar issues when i first got chickens, my BR roo i tolerated till he started going after the grand daughter- for the sake of your hens, send him on his way, there is too much stress on the hens to tolerate a mean roo, there are lots of good roos out there- i'd suggest a cochin, favorolle or EE, my EE roo is gentle on the girls and never strips their backs.... you will also see a change in the hens when you have a gentle roo
     
  3. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    7,131
    676
    371
    Sep 4, 2009
    Minnesota
    You will see this with a lot of roos who are very active breeders. I wouldn't rush to get rid of him if he is doing his job and otherwise treating the girls well. If he is keeping the hawks at bay, you have a good watch roo there. What might work well, and I have done this as well as many many others, use hen aprons. They are simple and work great. I had a few bare backed girls from overbreeding and from my dog attacking one that he pulled her back feathers out before I got to him. The apron protects their backs perfectly. It won't help him pulling feathers from their heads though, but the feathers do grow back when they go through their molt.
    If you don't want to make your own aprons, you can get them on here from a few sources. Check the "Everything else for sale" section toward the bottom of the index page.
    Good luck.
     
  4. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    7,131
    676
    371
    Sep 4, 2009
    Minnesota
    I got some from lovemychix in Iowa. They worked great and looked great too. Just needed to add though, the girls may flip out for a little while, but they settle down within the day.
     
  5. scottishgal

    scottishgal Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Jun 30, 2010
    if the roo is aggressive toward you then you need to get a tamer one. I had to replace mine due to an injury and simply raised up one of the roo chicks with the flock while they healed their backs. I caught him daily and held him for a couple months and the girls picked on him when he started to try to dominate them. Now I just pet his back at night on the roost and the girls are letting him do his rooster thing , but he is nice to them. I also take a dog nail trimmer and buff down his nails about once a month with a towel draped loosely over his head to keep him calm. He leaves me and my kids alone and is allowed to free range all around us with no trouble . [​IMG]
     
  6. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    7,131
    676
    371
    Sep 4, 2009
    Minnesota
    I didn't catch that part about hubby not wanting the aprons, but WHY? Even if you get another roo, the damage is still there, cover it up to protect them better. You can take it off after they grow their feathers back.

    I would say a nice calm breed, in my experience is either a Buckeye or a Wyandotte, maybe even a Cochin. Look for one from a breeder who is calm or comes from calm stock.
    Good luck.
     
  7. Thecowboysgirl

    Thecowboysgirl Out Of The Brooder

    30
    0
    32
    Apr 29, 2011
    He is quite aggressive when it comes to breeding the hens, I just assumed this is how rooster act. He will run them down, grab them by the neck, fling them down and mate them. They don't have feather problems on the necks, only the lower back where he stands on them to do the deed (and this only to the lighter ones. the RIRs are fine) Does that sort of breeding qualify him as "mean" to the hens? Or is that how they all are? Acutally, now that I think of it I can't recall seeing him mate the RIRs like that. Maybe he only acts like that with the buffs and the red star.

    When not breeding he finds food for the hens, he calls them over to eat and then keeps watch while they do. When I throw down mealworms he just offers them to his wives and won't take any until they have eaten their fill (I don't think he ever gets any)

    He has been a great dad to his chicks, he watches over them and has not gone after them.
    Are the gentler roosters still good guardians? I have no intentions of locking up my hens, and LGDs are a long way down the road.

    I have no doubt the hawk would have taken a baby rather than the grown hen if he could have, but the roo was with the babies and so we lost a layer...

    And one last question- how rare is it to find a roo who is good at keeping the hawks off them? Will they all pretty well do that or is that a special thing about this one that I shouldn't be too quick to put him in the freezer?

    Hubby thinks putting aprons on the hens is rediculous. Hard to explain why, but he wants all the livestock to just fend for themselves. He thinks I am crazy and rediculous to go to all the trouble I do keeping the goats in the barn at night so they don't get eaten or making sure they have a shed to get out of the rain in the pasture. He's like "it's a goat, it isn't going to melt" but they hate to get wet and they get chilled easily.

    As for the nastiness toward me, I am almost always wearing jeans and he hasn't hurt me, so I just deal with him. Usually I keep a broom or pitchfork handy so he doesn't come to close to me, because if I put down the food near him he will bite my hand, and if I walk to close to him he will try and spur my legs. Once in awhile he gets a real bad mood on and he will run all the way across the pasture to try and start trouble with me. My kids are teenagers and can cope, plus he doesn't trouble htem as much as me because I care for the chickens more so he has more opportunities with me. So...I can deal with his attitude if he's a keeper. Or he'll be my first try at slaughtering. Many times as he's kicked by butt I won't be too sad about it.
     
  8. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

    315
    12
    111
    Dec 1, 2010
    Shelton, Wa.
    eat him, get a new roo.... some are better lovers, some are better protectors etc....
     
  9. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    5,314
    60
    291
    Aug 12, 2009
    My roo is similar in mating,but all the hens have their feathers.Plus he has never attacked me.Watches for the hawk,but not sure if he will fight. I say go for the aprons regardless of what your dh says.You coould probably make them yourself with scrap material.

    I would not keep the roo if he hurt me or the kids. I got ours free off of craigs.He has been super nice.If it were me I would try the aprons and seeing if I could get the roo not to attack me.If things did not work out then I guess cull and get another.Overall he does not sound super bad.
     
  10. Thecowboysgirl

    Thecowboysgirl Out Of The Brooder

    30
    0
    32
    Apr 29, 2011
    Okay...so I found some chicken saddles for less than 5 bucks and it is okay with hubby. Am going to measure the two who need it tonight when I put them up for the night.

    I will give it a go with the aprons and see what happens. The buff I removed from him less than a month ago has sprouted all new back feathers that are coming in great. I think I will just leave her with my new pullets. I believe they are incubator babies and they didn't know how to do anything when I took them in (they were abandoned at a wildlife rescue place). This little buff has befriended them and is teaching them how to hunt for seeds on the ground and eat new foods etc. She taught them how to roost, they would just sleep huddled on the floor. I am not going to introduce them to the big flock till they are full sized. My adult chickens were very tolerant of the babies but I think they somehow knew those babies were of their flock. I suspect they would bully these pullets mercilously.

    Perhaps when he has four new red hens to add to his harem he'll settle down some...we'll see... If I can't get it straightened out with the hens then I supposed I will eat him and get a new one off CL

    BTW I know this roo will fight. My german shepherd was doing chores with me one night and she went too near the hens (she does not bother them, I have trained her) he went right for her with no hesitation. got on her back and spurred her and everything. He has even attacked my goats which was a little misguided. But he is brave [​IMG] If I catch a hen to do something to her or to check on her and she squawks, boy does he come running.

    So they can wear these saddles for a month or however long without having to take them off? The straps won't rub under their wings or anything?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by