To cull or not to cull? Black Australorp Roo

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by siroiszoo, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Waller, TX
    I have 13 Buff Orps (2 Roos) & 13 Black Australorps (3 roos), all will be 5 months old at the end of November. While I've been out stringing fishing lines to keep the hawks out of my hen yard, I've noticed one of the Black Australorps is getting rough with the hens; all of the hens.

    My guess is that he's trying to learn to breed and the hens are too young for it. I've watched for hours and none of the other roos are showing this behavior. And a number of my hens are losing the neck feathers in great quantity. I miss having roosters that are gentlemen with their hens. It seems every since I started ordering from hatcheries, I've gotten the roughest roos ever. I've always raised mixed breeds culled from friends & neighbors or gotten egg layer breeds from the local feed stores. (Maybe I should figure out where their birds are coming from and order from their hatcheries. Maybe it's in the genetic pool my hatchery is producing?????) ANYWAY:

    Which option would you guys choose:

    1) Leave him alone, he'll grow out of it.

    2) Put the sex crazed roo in with my 5 year old hens (I've caged their roos getting them ready for the freezer because I want my Orps & Australorps to replace my old flock. AND, they were too rough with the hens. I've been dealing with naked hens for almost 2 years).

    3) Cull him (put him next to the other roosters.)

    4) Give him a jail sentence and release him when the hens are old enough to appreciate his efforts.

    I won't rehome him in my area; too much rooster fighting goes on in these parts. So that would not be an option.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:I agree with your assessment. Part of the problem is his youth and part is the pullets are not ready to receive his affections. Teenagers can be clumsy but many outgrow it. I don't know your ultimate goals or how you will select the roosters you plan to keep for your flock. If this rooster has some qualities you want in your flock, I'd suggest isolating him until the ladies are mature enough to not resist, but as you probably know that could easily be two or three months away. If you are only keeping one or two Australorp roosters and he other two appear to be as acceptable, I'd put him with the older boys. I've had this situation where the young roosters chase the too young pullets, but the pullets don't get injured. I'm not sure if it is because the roosters are not that rough or because the pullets have room to get away. Maybe a combination.

    1. I would not leave him alone. I think there is too much chance he will injure a pullet.

    2. You can try putting him in with the older hens, but I think the older hens will not accept this young rooster. I don't think he is mature enough to establish dominance so they will resist his advances. It could get bloody.

    3. My choice. I would probably remove him permanently and depend on the other two roosters.

    4. I'd only jail him for a while if he had some truly outstanding qualities the other two don't have.

    I usually defend young roosters since they are clumsy teenagers only doing what is natural and often part of the problem is the immature pullets. Since you have other options, I see no reason to favor this one.

    Good luck!
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Chances are good that if you cull this roo, another one will step up to the plate and do the same dang thing. They have to learn sometime from somewhere.
    My girls all survived the boys first clumsey attempts at mating, with most of their feathers intact.
    So I'd go with option one.
  4. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Waller, TX
    Thanks Ridgerunner.

    I've been watching for a few days now trying to decide which of the three may make better roos. He is the most aesthetical in appearance but at 5 months, nothing really jumps out.

    I went with Australorps & Orpingtons for several reasons. I wanted a more friendly bird; and yet, still lay a decent number of eggs. I also wanted something that would dress out nicer when I become overrun with roos from the spring hatchlings.

    I think I will cage him with the roos and hope another bird won't step up to replace his behavior as gritstar suggests. I have five roos total in that flock and so far it's only the one Australorp behaving badly. And out of all the roos, one of the Buff Orps seems the most docile.

    After all, isn't 5 roos a bit much for 21 hens? If not, I may need to hold on to him a bit longer to see if he won't work it out.

    I've caged my older roos cause one is plain billigerent at 3 years old (while pretty, his behavior keeps him on the chopping block) and the other (red star roo) was going to be replace by my new roos. The red star has been a pretty good roo but I'm not sure I can combine the old roo with the new roos without a degree of disaster. After I get my hen yard 'hawk proofed', I plan on blending the old flock with the new flock since free-ranging is out of the question.

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