What to do with cockerel?

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
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Battle Ground, WA
We currently have our 7(almost 8) month old cockerel named Spotted Elk inside as the girls have him at the bottom of the pecking order and refuse to let him get food from any of the feeding areas. They mainly free range but I've recently had to keep them locked up in their yard due to some work we're doing on their new coop and we don't want them getting in the way or eating something they shouldn't.

Spotted Elk is a little thin right now so he gets to be indoors until he's fat enough to go back outside. I may have to keep him indoors longer if they don't stop but I want to figure something out for him so that he can actually eat and live in peace with them.

He's liking the extra love and treats I've been giving him while he's been indoors. He even tried to sit on my shoulder when I was trying to put his fresh water in his cage. He had jumped out and flew up to my shoulder but lost his balance and fell on the floor.

Nobody really knew he was actually still in the house because he doesn't crow at all. I had to keep telling everyone to be careful when going into the laundry room where he was, as I didn't want them to startle him.


What should I do with him?
Is he destined to have to be alone forever?


He's so wimpy that he just lets them push him around and doesn't do anything about it.
 

HuffleClaw

Wrangler
Premium member
Jul 8, 2018
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I remember you saying he is a polish? Perfect for other birds to pick at the crests! They like to pick at anything "unique" or that "stands out"

@ButtonquailGirl14 makes hen-nets for polish crests. They are easy to make and a life saver. Maybe she will pop in :fl

You can also try blu-kote or pick-no-more to put on the crest..
 

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
1,560
2,093
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Battle Ground, WA
I remember you saying he is a polish? Perfect for other birds to pick at the crests! They like to pick at anything "unique" or that "stands out"

@ButtonquailGirl14 makes hen-nets for polish crests. They are easy to make and a life saver. Maybe she will pop in :fl

You can also try blu-kote or pick-no-more to put on the crest..
His crest is actually put up with a rubber band so they can't actually pull on them. I've seen that his crest has been left alone and that they've mostly been going for his tail. His tail looks terrible right now from all the pulling
 

HuffleClaw

Wrangler
Premium member
Jul 8, 2018
22,314
122,879
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Alabama
His crest is actually put up with a rubber band so they can't actually pull on them. I've seen that his crest has been left alone and that they've mostly been going for his tail. His tail looks terrible right now from all the pulling
Oh, I’m so sorry :hugs

Maybe keep him inside until he is fully mature and able to "handle" the girls and fend for himself. Sorry you are dealing with this :hugs
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Mar 15, 2010
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On the MN prairie.
How old are the hens? How many chickens do you have in what size space (in feet by feet)? Are they drawing blood? Is there room to put up a few hiding places for him? Does he have enough room to get away from the dominant hens when they pick on him? If he were mine, I'd put him out there and let them work it out. He's not going to integrate if you keep him inside. Chicken society isn't pretty, but they do understand it better than we do.
 

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
1,560
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Battle Ground, WA
How old are the hens? How many chickens do you have in what size space (in feet by feet)? Are they drawing blood? Is there room to put up a few hiding places for him? Does he have enough room to get away from the dominant hens when they pick on him? If he were mine, I'd put him out there and let them work it out. He's not going to integrate if you keep him inside. Chicken society isn't pretty, but they do understand it better than we do.
3 of the hens are 2 years old, 3 of them are 1 year, the 2 polish pullets are the same age as him, and the youngest ones are almost 5 months old. I think my dad mentioned that their space was 30 feet by 28 feet? But we're redoing their yard so it'll be larger as soon as we put up their new coop and finish redoing the fence. He has plenty of hiding places and was mostly hiding in the coop. He's had plenty of time to integrate but they still refuse to accept him.
When he and the pullets were around 3 weeks old, I let Mouse raise them around the flock and they got along nicely with him until he was 4 months old. That's when they started to keep him near the bottom of the pecking order. He only recently was demoted to bottom of the pecking order.
About a month or two ago, he did raise up in the pecking order when he started clucking to alert them about a hawk but after that, he started going back down in the pecking order.
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,271
26,570
972
On the MN prairie.
What I'm thinking is going on, is your hens are teaching him some manners. Being a cockerel at the age he is, his little chicken brain can only focus on one thing - mating. His hormone levels have spiked, and I would guess he has tried to mate some of those older girls and they're having none of it, because he's just a punk and hasn't earned his place as flock leader yet. If he were mine, I'd put him back out there, making sure there are a couple of feeders that are out of sight of those cranky old biddies, and a place where he can get out of their line of vision. From what I'm reading, what you are seeing is typical flock dynamics that will work itself out. I would remove him if they were pinning him down or in a corner, pecking at him relentlessly or drawing blood. If possible, you could also separate him with one or two of the older girls so they could possibly bond before putting them all back together again.
 

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
1,560
2,093
267
Battle Ground, WA
What I'm thinking is going on, is your hens are teaching him some manners. Being a cockerel at the age he is, his little chicken brain can only focus on one thing - mating. His hormone levels have spiked, and I would guess he has tried to mate some of those older girls and they're having none of it, because he's just a punk and hasn't earned his place as flock leader yet. If he were mine, I'd put him back out there, making sure there are a couple of feeders that are out of sight of those cranky old biddies, and a place where he can get out of their line of vision. From what I'm reading, what you are seeing is typical flock dynamics that will work itself out. I would remove him if they were pinning him down or in a corner, pecking at him relentlessly or drawing blood. If possible, you could also separate him with one or two of the older girls so they could possibly bond before putting them all back together again.
He's never attempted to mate them. He's always been scared of them which made it easier for them to keep him at the bottom of the pecking order.
 
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