Update: Rooster with issues

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Eggthusiast, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Eggthusiast

    Eggthusiast Out Of The Brooder

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    Arrived home from a meeting last night only to have my wife greet me with: "We've got to do something about that rooster!"

    She and my son had been outside watching them in their penned run area and observed him attacking pullet after pullet.

    "He pulled a whole clump of feathers from one of the comets. Sean wanted to get in there and hit him with the tennis racket. I told him we would deal with it some other way. But, if we don't do something, he's going to kill one of those pullets."

    Well, I doubt that. But, when I weighed patience against upset wife and son, I decided I needed to do something. So, this morning, I caught him and put him in the fenced-off corner with the three, year-old hens. I exited the coop and observed through the window for a minute. Right away, he started pacing the fence, looking for a way to get back with the pullets. The dominant hen immediately hopped from the roost to let him know who ruled that corner of the coop. From bully to henpecked roo ... Ah, the reversals of fortune!
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Are you sure he wasn't trying to mate them?

    They will grab their head, neck, feathers and get a good hold of the hen so they can mount them.

    That is why hens looked tattered and roosters have to be sorted out for a while to give them a break after the peak of hatching season is over.
     
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    He is just being a rooster and his hormones are raging!!.......young pullets get it just like the older hens...the rooster is just wanting to mate....I always take my rooster out for the summers to give the hens a break and add new pullets to the flock..rooster won't go back in til Fall...
     
  4. tommijo

    tommijo Out Of The Brooder

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    How do you separate them if the free range in the day and are penned up at night. Do leave the rooster in all day or put them in a tractor.
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Some people let the chickens free range at different times in the day. hens go out in the morning, roosters go out later in the afternoon. You can also use a tractor. It is really up to you and what your situation is and what you have on hand.
     
  6. Eggthusiast

    Eggthusiast Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2008
    >>"Are you sure he wasn't trying to mate them?

    They will grab their head, neck, feathers and get a good hold of the hen so they can mount them.

    That is why hens looked tattered and roosters have to be sorted out for a while to give them a break after the peak of hatching season is over."<<

    I'm not sure whether to attribute the cockerel's "attacks" to simple aggression or inept mating attempts. Either way, we don't want to let him injure the pullets. As for gaining experience in mating, he can practice with the older hens of which at least one has shown an interest in him. (At this point, he only has eyes for the pullets.) I hope he calms down and it works out because I would like to keep him. But, if he doesn't, I will be out voted and he will have to go.

    >>"How do you separate them if the free range in the day and are penned up at night. Do leave the rooster in all day or put them in a tractor."<<

    When we first bought pullets in the spring of 07, I fashioned a wire "chicken tractor" that we moved about during the summer. As fall approached, I began letting the hens out to free range in the yard. When I saw they didn't wander far from the security of the tractor, I became more comfortable letting them wander at will.

    In the fall, I built a 10X12 foot henhouse. When we received the chicks this spring, I installed wire inside to segregate the chicks from the hens. The chicks have access through the chicken door to the fenced run. The hens use the regular door and continue foraging in the yard. They always return to the henhouse to lay eggs and, when I'm outside, they follow me like puppies.

    In August, when the pullets reach 19 or 20 weeks in age, I'll remove the fence inside the henhouse and merge the flock. That's the plan, anyway.
     
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    A good rooster mates more than a bunny rabbit does. A rooster will keep at pullets until they learn to submit. My Mosby is ridiculous in the number of times in a day.
     
  8. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Oh... i guess i got some good ones then [​IMG]
     
  9. Eggthusiast

    Eggthusiast Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2008
    >> A rooster will keep at pullets until they learn to submit. <<

    Thank you for that perspective. We've been looking at the situation in the wrong way, namely, that the inexperience of the cockerel was the problem when it could just as validly be argued that the inexperience of the pullets was the problem. I guess it's just the immaturity of both.

    Anyway, I took pity on the poor fellow and put him back with the pullets on Wednesday evening. Debbie, my wife, was contrite.

    "I think we traumatized him," she said.

    I arched an eyebrow, put on my best I-told-you-so face and allowed her to hog the guilt.
     
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hahaha! Aren't you generous!?!
     

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