To keep or not to keep handsome Cream Legbar Cockerel--any takers?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Toetwo, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    I've been surfing cream legbar posts to find an appropriate place to post this long-winded question: I ordered four (auto sexed ahem) cream legbar females from My Pet Chicken. They arrived. TWO were cockerels. One cockerel died of natural causes within a day or two. The other, six months old and named Little Big Man, is outside as I type, crowing up a storm. He's handsome as can be but, relative to my three year old RI Red (Big Red) he is quite aggressive with my hens.

    Meantime, Big Red died this past month of cancer and the pecking order is in a kerfuffle. The older hens--perhaps in my imagination--miss Big Red. And this little guy is randy and obnoxious. I could deal with that but my three year old Dominique (Ping) is now terrified of the cockerel. Always very social with the other hens, she has separated herself entirely from the flock, spending all her time alone. She molted last month and it's taken a while for her feathers to come back in. A bit of weight loss. So from the top of the pecking order, she is at the bottom. Then two days ago, while out in the rain because avoiding the others, she came running over to me and I noticed a wound on her back. I have separated her from the rest of the flock. She is quite content now. Eating and hanging out in the dog cage, occasionally poking her head out of the screened in porch to see the day. When I put her outside two days ago, Little Big Man charged her. I intervened. When I found her, she was shaking like a leaf. NO signs of interest in rejoining the flock. I, on the other hand, am not thrilled with a chicken so very nearly living in the house with us. She's cute but she's not that cute. Winter is here. Holiday travels and I am entirely heart sick about what to do.

    All to say, I'm thinking Little Big Man is not right for us. His two sisters are sweet and beautiful--not that I can get anywhere near them because of him. I live in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. I had hoped to hatch some eggs from him and the two girls but now am not sure I can make it through to spring. I feel a responsibility to the boy but more so to my girls. But how rehome him? And/or how get Ping back in with the rest of the flock without ending up with a dead chicken?

    Continuing a long run of bad luck with some wonderful chickens. . . .

    ToeJam

    Below photos of the beautiful pullets and Little Big Man.

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  2. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you could build a small pen for him and keep him away from the girls until he's a little less hormonal and possessive.
     
  3. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll do that in a nano second if he won't go the opposite direction and go bezerk because he doesn't have his gals near him. Will he be okay just in sight of the hens? We have a set up that he'd have a small coop and a big run all to himself, while the gals free range and have a coop of their own. At least until the snow flies....

    I must admit I'd rather have him feel lonely than Ping.

    Thanks!!

    Toe
     
  4. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He would probably adjust. Hope it works out. He is definitely a handsome boy!
     
  5. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That'd probably work out pretty well. If the free range encompasses the area around his run, he can work on his social skills. I don't know how big the mesh is in the big run, but he shouldn't be able to get his beak or claws through it.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    He'll probably be very unhappy at first. I learned long ago I can live with an animal's unhappiness. Just like a child's. I'm doing what is best for them and myself, and they just need to get over it. He'll throw a fit for the first few days. So what, I've seen better fits thrown, trust me. After a few days he'll settle down. Sounds like the hens will be happier also. I would not have a rooster that would not let me around a hen, but that's just me. With him separate, you can get your barred girl back in the flock. A while down the road you can decide if you want to get the cockerel back with the ladies, or maybe just put a few ladies in with him.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Agrees..... segregate the cockerel, get the pullets and hens back into a harmonious as possible flock.
    If the boy straightens out-great!
    If he doesn't-you don't want to reproduce him as aggression can be hereditary, invite him to dinner.
     
  8. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He is dapper and I am hoping he will settle down.
     
  9. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yipes! Yes, I will be sure. Our previous roo was so nice, relatively. I could pick up him easily. This one I can't get near and don't trust. Which I suppose is a good way to be until he shapes up. I will separate him out. Might end up keeping is sisters in with him so he doesn't get too ******--and agree about the breeding of aggression. He might be a cream legbar but why perpetuate bad attitude?
    THANK YOU ALL!
    Toejam
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  10. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: Little Big Man has big attitude. He's gone from attacking Ping to attacking (read aggressive mating and pecking at neck until it is raw and bloody) Panda, our consistent leader hen and brooder. (Oddly, I saw her mounting one of the Legbar pullets the other day. What's with that? Is that why Little Big Man is on her so aggressively?) I have her separated so the other hens don't attack her. I know, he should be the one kept apart. . . .

    I want to try to rehome him, though it sounds like no one will want to breed him due to aggression. I am a vegetarian so the idea of a soup pot holds little appeal. If anyone knows anyone in the Jaffrey, NH area who wants a handsome Cream Legbar, please do tell! He is not aggressive to people. Is he really aggressive or just a cock doing his job?

    Thanks,

    Toe

    P.S. He lost a lot of his comb to frostbite this past winter. Used to be quite floppy about!
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