VERY submissive roo

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mommissan, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My only roo is a sweetheart. He's VERY docile and gentle- to a fault. The last two days he's been pecked by the girls and is now hiding in a nest box from them. I isolated him today in a cage in the run. He wouldn't eat unless he was separated from them. When I put him back in the coop tonight with the girls, my little EE just kept at him, pulling his hackles out. He just cowers and hides more. He's been with the flock all his life and has always been picked on by the other roos (which have all since been stewed) I figured the hens would at least respect him if he was the last guy left? [​IMG]

    The rainy/snowy drab days have kept the flock from using the run. They just sit in the coop and sulk. I know the coop is seriously undersized for them (9 chickens in 23 sq. ft.). Is this causing the start of aggression? Anyone ever have a roo that was at the bottom of the pecking order?
     
  2. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You already know they are over crowded which is a major reason for aggression. If you have one or hens in-particular who are doing most of the pecking, consider "pinless peepers". If you think your Roo is submissive, I have a house chicken who is a rooster.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A house rooster.... hmmm. DH was pretty worried when he saw me going out to the run with a cardboard box. The last time I rescued an animal, we had an indoor pet snowshoe hare for 3 years.

    They've settled down for the night. I gave them all a bowl of softened dry dog food as a treat and they seem to be happy now, including him. I'm planning to build a much bigger coop in the spring. I never expected that my roo would be the one to get picked on. If my EE or any other continues to pick she/they will get peepers. Thanks.
     
  4. TroutsChicks

    TroutsChicks Fluffy Stuffins

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    I have a roo like that he's a golden laced wydannotte/ Rhode island red mix I named barbossa. he's a super sweet boy, he don't fight anyone back and loves his wattles and comb rubbed. But my welsummer roo "jack" hates him...even though they where raised together. If the girls are picking on him he will try to run and hide its sad...but he's so sweet I just love him!!!
     
  5. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awe.... poor Barbossa. You can't help but love such a sweet bird. I thought if my Buff was the only roo left, he'd become dominant. I guess the girls didn't think so.
     
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    He is like any other chicken to the hens.He has to fight for his place in the flock. When I added Jack the roo to my flock he was around 1. I had 2 RSL hens that were 2 and dominated the 5 EE hens that were a wee over 1 year old. There was some MASSIVE fighting that went on with the hens attacking Jack the roo.He fought back and FINALLY won his place as head chicken. The RSL hens accepted their knock down,and while dominated by the roo they were still pecking at the EE's.

    Your roo has to fight for his top notch.That is the only way he will stop bing hen pecked. Not sure what you can do to encourage him.Maybe one on one. Me, I just put Jack in and the girls attacked him,and then he fought back.Not overly aggresive,just fought enough to show he was now the boss.There was some blood though,and it was hard to just stand and watch. I stayed to make sure no one took some really nasty pecks.

    Poor guy. I just picture this witchy woman ranting at a skinny little dude hour after hour. Do you have levels in the coop? I added straw bales at different angels and roosts so they can hop all over to get away from each other in the small shed.
     
  7. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He spent today in a cage in the run again. It was 13 degrees so he just bedded down in the straw and hung out. The girls left him alone and only occasionally visited him to steal his private supply of warm mash. When I put him back in the coop, they went right back to pounding on him. I caught 2 girls standing on him plucking hackle feathers out. Then he hid in a nest box again. Well, I couldn't stand it anymore. I brought him in the basement and he perked right up. My daughter sat with him and fed him a slice of wet bread. Since he was brought in, he's stood on his own the longest in two days. Is this going to continue? Is time away from his flock going to alienate him more? Should I expect him to be even more brutalized tomorrow when I put him out?
     
  8. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    I think you're going about this all wrong. By separating your roo, you're just strengthening the us versus him mentality.

    First, separate the aggressive hens and put them in their own cage away from him and the rest of the girls. Look for the "ringleaders" -- they'll be the ones leading the charge. You'll be keeping them in there an entire week or more.

    Keep them separated all week and let him form bonds with the less aggressive hens. Then, reintroduce the aggressive ones one at a time and one per week. Let the flock get used to their new pecking order before adding the next one.

    Good luck! And yes -- get some more space! Some of those dog kennel panels will increase the space without the work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  9. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Oh my god, you're right! Tomorrow bullies going in the box, instead of my boy. He'll need some time to recover tonight. A fresh start tomorrow!
     
  10. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Here we go again. I`m gonna tell you how this works, so listen. Older hens, or even pullets, will resent younger intruders, whether male or female. The ONLY way for mommissan`s boy to take charge of that bunch and live in peace, is for him to mature, grow up, become a cock instead of a cockeral. THEN he will do exactly like Mattemma`s rooster did and dominate. After he is mature he will treat the ladies with respect, but will not submit to them. Seems like I have to explain this fact at least a couple times a week. Pen the little bugger by himself til he matures. Ya`ll have a Merry Christmas.........Pop
     

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