Two Roosters in small flock, what to do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by laurie9503, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. laurie9503

    laurie9503 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2011
    I adopted an abused Welsummer Rooster this summer to my little six hen flock. The girls were only about 4 months when the big Rooster arrived. They were terrified of him at first, but now the BIG Welsummer is a good protector. He jumps daily on the 3 more mature hens. The three hens just started laying a week ago. So, the 4 hens I got first should all be laying by now. But one is not, her name is Star (rhode island red). I think Star might be a rooster. Today I watched Star stretch her neck up and make a cocka cocka cocka sound about three times. It sounded like she/he was trying to crow. Also, upon further investigation, I saw a very small starting of what looks like spurs on the upper ankles, just tiny little bumps...hardly able to see them at this point. I think Star is a rooster.

    So, here's my question. The Welsummer Rooster (Hemlock) is a powerful rooster. He's an excellent herder, protector and food finder for the hens. The hens now look to him for "advice". But, don't mess with him because he'll come at you with both barrells. He's attacked me once when I was following the flock around with a camera. And he attacked my hubby several times. That's because he tries to herd them with a big stick and Hemlock doesn't know him. Not to make excuses, but I'm worried that once my Rhodie starts actually crowing, that the Wellsummer will kick his arse.

    Is that a possibility? And also, is two roosters in a little flock in a little henhouse with winter coming on too much?Here's the other thing...Hemlock, the Wellsummer, is a foster from a rescue group. They said they would take him back if he didn't work out. I was snooping around on backyard chicken forum and noticed posts about Wellsummer Roosters. Some have had aggression problems, and others like them because they are good at their jobs and look beautiful. I'm not sure what to think.
    Here's a picture of the wellsummer
    [​IMG]


    This is the Rhodie, Star, but before the comb came. So, about one month ago. There's now a comb and waddle to speak of. But the Rhodie is much smaller than the Wellsummer.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  2. Farm_Maven

    Farm_Maven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    a profile shot would make it easier, but i think that's a pullet. At least it looks like one from that angle.
     
  3. TexasToucan

    TexasToucan Out Of The Brooder

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    I would give it more time before you make your decision. I agree that from that picture your RI looks like a pullet. RI hens do develop fairly large combs. Could you post a better picture, one from the side? You would be looking for pointy hackle and saddle feathers. If your RI does turn out to be a boy, even if the roosters never fight, they will probably overmate your 6 hens. If you develop a problem, then at that time you will need to decide which rooster to keep. I have a Welsummer rooster, and so far he hasn't shown any aggression, so yours might be a keeper. Only time will tell.
     
  4. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That looks like a pullet. RIR cockerels have huge combs by that age. And I have had a little Dutch bantam hen that crowed. She was in a pen with a roo and two other hens, and right before she started laying she started crowing. It was much softer than the roo's crow, but definitely a crow. I think she was feeling "hormonal" and because the roo's sexual behavior consisted of crowing, she emulated it until she figured out the whole egg laying thing. Once she started laying she quit crowing and has never done it again.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    You have a RIR pullet. That's solved, but you still have a problem. Start working on the Welsummer right now. Adjust his attitude or his aggressiveness will probably escalate. Herd him, stalk him, force him to the ground and hold him there until he stops struggling, carry him around - do all that you can to assure him that you are bigger, stronger, and dominant.
     
  6. laurie9503

    laurie9503 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2011
    thanks everyone....i'll take a picture of the rhodie (at his/her current age) and post. In the meantime, I hope you're right that she's feeling hormonal before starting to lay. It is time for her to lay afterall. As for the Welsummer...I've been picking him up several times a day. He looks at me often with that "look" and I feel he's considering whether to challenge me, but he doesn't. So, if he does attack me, should I grab him and take him to the ground at that point, or wait until he's not so pumped. I don't get many visitors and I'm afraid that unfamiliar people will get the treatment. When he chases the hens, I pick him up, walk him around, and put him outside of the run so he can't get at them. He has to walk the perimeter which he doesn't like. and after he calms down, I give him a cup of food, which he does like.
     
  7. branston

    branston Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Wellsummer roo who is also aggressive, however, someone told me when he comes at you to pop him on the head a couple of times, like a fast tap and obviously not too hard. It's tricky but I did it but he still came at me so I started growling like a chicken, only louder and clapped my hands in his face......he ran and I chased him around my yard growling and clapping like a lunatic for a good 5 minutes! He hasn't tried to go at me since then, just eyes me from a distance! He's a magnificant roo as is yours and they are just doing what they should be doing.....protecting the hens. Sounds to me like you're doing a great job with him!
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If he attacks, gives you the "eye and sidestep", pecks the ground and flares his hackles react immediately and force him to the ground if possible or at least pursue him. Convince him that you are BOSS and will not tolerate such behavior. Understand that even if he acknowledges your superiority he may still challenge/attack others. [​IMG]
     

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