1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Ugh! Stupid young rooster...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Stephine, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    101
    138
    May 30, 2016
    Sonoma
    Argh. I had hopes for this roo and I still do, but not as much now... Mixed young flock, Welsumer roo, all about 5 months old, first pullets started laying.
    Now my roo ( I have two, actually, the other was supposed to be a pullet and behaves like one except for some crowing in the morning) who has been all roo since he was tiny, crowing at 6 weeks, has started to eye me suspiciously whenever I show up and puts himself in front of his hens (and one roo) showing me his side. When I have something in my hands he doesn't like, he jumps at it. First, he knocked the grit/oystershell feeder out of my hands as I picked it up to refill. Few days later he jumped at a bag. Then gave ground predator alarm. Last time he jumped at me as I put the clean up bucket on the roost, after scraping off the poop boards. I had the egg basket (luckily still empty) in my other hand and knocked him back with that and yelled at him, which made him stop and assume his sideways pose again, eying me. I just stood until he finally lowered his head to peck at something, then I left the coop. Argh. He is making me really nervous now, when I have to reach in the coop for anything (the coop is on stilts, so the chickens are closer to my face) or bend down to look in the nest boxes...
    My hunch is, he is just nervous for some reason and I try to give him space while at the same time moving assuredly through the run, and make him get out of my way when he "blocks" my path. When he positions himself sideways I usually aim for his tail as I walk towards him and he will move for me... I started shutting them all out of the coop now when I do morning chores in there, to avoid rooster freak outs...
    The other thing that confuses me is that when I let the chickens out into their run in the morning ((i usually prepare a fresh weed "buffet" for them firat and they all race out to get to it), he will discipline any hen he can get close enough to, at least that's what it looks like. Everybody gets a good jab. I have only ever seen him do it in this situation and I wonder what is going on. Is he trying to get them to stay behind till he gives the ok? Is he trying to impress me? I have no clue.
    I sure hope he'll settle down again!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  2. Nineplus5

    Nineplus5 Out Of The Brooder

    117
    9
    35
    Aug 30, 2016
    Western Wa
    Do you need two roo?
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    27,171
    10,532
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Cockerels can be a real pain - I think we've all been there at some point or other. Re: food and pecking - it seems like he has not gotten the hang of tit-bitting for the girls, which is understandable at that age.

    RE: his aggression towards you - now that is an issue. Whilst you could try to rehabilitate him, I'm not sure its worth the effort IMO. Search for "rehabilitating roosters" or dealing with "aggressive roosters" and you should find lots of threads on the topic.

    I've found that cockerels are better treated as livestock, not pets. They should not approach you or invade your space, and must always move out of your way. If one can treat them in this way from a young age, then they can turn out to be a pleasure to have. I actually find cockerels easier to manage when i have brought them into the flock from an outside source (rather than rearing my own) - they are naturally wary of me as a stranger and I reinforce this.

    Good luck
    CT
     
  4. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    101
    138
    May 30, 2016
    Sonoma
    No, I don't want two roosters in the long run. I was keeping the brahma roo around just in case the Welsumer didn't work out - though I am still worried he might end up being too big for the smaller hens. That's why I picked a Welsumer roo for my mixed flock.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  5. Nineplus5

    Nineplus5 Out Of The Brooder

    117
    9
    35
    Aug 30, 2016
    Western Wa
    Gotcha.

    Possible roos here are a young Black Austolorp (99%) sure and a NH Red (a maybe at 50/50). Only need/want one. Nice guy wins[​IMG]
     
  6. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    101
    138
    May 30, 2016
    Sonoma
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    27,171
    10,532
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    "I noticed that he has now taken to standing up tall and flapping his wings whenever I walk by the run. Not sure what that means but it doesn't look good...."

    It is not, its a dominance behaviour. If he does it again, run him out of the place!
     
  8. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    101
    138
    May 30, 2016
    Sonoma
    Yeah, I thought so....
    This morning was better. We'll see... I just wish my other cockerel wasn't from the largest breed I have. I am afraid my smaller hens will get squished, no? What do you think about a buff brahma rooster for a mixed flock including Welsumers, production reds, barred rocks, wyandottes and speckled sussex, as well as brahmas of course? I see the advantage of bringing in an outside roo but have no idea where to find one and dread the quarantine...
     
  9. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    27,171
    10,532
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Breeds, I'm not good at - I'll let others chime in on that one. Yup, getting new birds is always a risk.

    I have, in the past, used a plant spray bottle to put cockerels in their place (the ones that you can pressurise). After a couple of squirts, they'd run for the hills if they saw me with it in my hand [​IMG]
     
  10. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    101
    138
    May 30, 2016
    Sonoma
    Ha! My son has a whole arsenal of large water guns, I might borrow one....
    I'll try the route of impressing on him that I am nothing to be defending against, by avoiding confrontation and not reacting to blustering behavior first. If that doesn't work I might try putting him in his place, I just worry that the price I'll have to pay for that is constant vigilance.
    That said, when the roo jumped at my dog over and over again the other day for trying to smell his behind, my dog, seeing that backing up and being non threatening wasn't doing the trick, pinned him to the ground and held him there for a few seconds. When I asked the dog to let the roo go, the roo got up, shook himself and walked off (nothing hurt but his pride). He hasn't come close to the dog since and the dog is completely relaxed around him...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by