Two roosters vs. hens questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gritsar, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    First off, my roosters have turned mean. Not towards me, towards the hens! If one of the hens does something that Zeus or Thor doesn't like, they bite the tar outta em, usually on the head or neck. Of course the hen screams like she's being killed. Is this a brahma thing or a rooster thing?
    Secondly, I've noticed a roost situation and I'm wondering if it will continue. I have 4 roosts in their pen, with the smallest, highest roost only having a 2 chicken capacity. Every night at bedtime Zeus is up there with the same hen. I'm wondering if this means she will be the top hen. So far my roosters positions in the pecking order is well defined, Zeus is first and Thor right behind him. It's harder for me to tell who is top hen, it seems to switch back and forth between three of them.
  2. jessica117

    jessica117 Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    What did you expect naming them Zeus and Thor... hehe... Just kidding! From my experience, some roos are great, other's just aren't. I have one particular cochin roo that is just horrible to the hens. I have to keep him penned separate from everybody. If he wasn't such a pretty color, he'd be gone (he's a blue partridge.) When I want to breed him, I have to just put him with the girls just long enough to do his business, then take him out. It gets tedious, putting him in everyday till they're done laying, but if I don't he tears up my hens, one in particular. Then I have other roos that are just as wonderful and calm as can be. I have one that I was able to put orphaned chicks with and he took over in the mothering department.

    I have noticed that my roos are rougher with the girls that don't want to "give it up." I have one particular hen that just doesn't want anything to do with breeding. The roos tend to pick on her more. She's second from the top in pecking order with the hens, so the breeding thing is the only thing that makes sense to me.

    I have always heard that Brahmas are one of the friendliest breeds you can get. I don't really know anything to tell you to improve their behavior. I've yet to find anything that works.

  3. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster

    May 25, 2008
    If the "mean-ness" is a rooster problem toward roosters, you can use tape or something to hobble his lower legs together with just enough length that he can walk but not jump up & spur or run really fast. When you put him down, the other chickens sense he is handicapped and generally dive at him (**You MUST stay there to supervise and make sure things don't get TOO rough on him**). Less than a minute of this will likely get a rooster humbled enough that he never bullies again.
    I'm not sure how this would work with correcting aggression toward hens. I imagine you'd be likely to need more than 1 min of hobbling because they'd probably not be as driven to attack him??? I would DEFINITELY separate the other roo while putting the hobbled roo with the hens--otherwise the other roo would take the opportunity to attack him & the hens wouldn't even be part of the interaction.
    It can take rooster that was hobbled 2-3 weeks to feel confident enough to hang out comfortably with the others again.
    BE CAREFUL WITH THIS TECHNIQUE! Even a little too much time at other chickens' mercy can be very detrimental to thrashee's self-confidence. I think it would be better to do too short of a hobbling session, if in doubt, and then do a second session if needed a couple weeks later.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Thanks y'all for your insight. I guess I should have mentioned that the chickens are only 10 1/2 weeks old. My SO says it's just an adolescent boy thing and that they are just getting used to their testosterone levels....whatever that means! [​IMG] No real damage is being done. Other than being little devils where the girls are concerned the boys are my little babies.

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