When do roosters "mature"?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hoping4better, May 8, 2011.

  1. hoping4better

    hoping4better Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2010
    Middle Tennessee
    The neighbor (a few houses down) apparently has a rooster. We found him this morning terrorizing our flock. He is a little phoenix apparently a few years old as he has a 2 and half inch spur (my 6 month olds don't even have spurs, just nubs). So, he's half the weight of the smallest of my three roosters, but not one of them had the where-with-all to show him the door. I ended up chasing him off. Then, surprisingly one of the roosters went to 'forage' at the fence-line where the rooster was trying to come back. No aggression at all, he had decided to peck grass about 40 feet from the flock, so I think MAYBE he had figured his size would keep the other one away? Then the other rooster picked a fight and mine was more than happy to oblige. I was hoping that due to my roosters size he could show him it was time to leave. After a relatively eventless fight they started bleeding and I put a stop to it. I put the other rooster in the shed and treated all the wounds with iodine. - NOTE - I DO NOT want violence, but I DO want my roosters to defend the flock! I would never condone a cock fight for pleasure, I was hoping that the two would develop a natural order and the larger (my rooster) would be capable of keeping the smaller one away.

    I knew there was a house about a quarter to half mile away and figured he had come from there. Apparently, though he belongs to a house just a few houses away. They had a hen too, but it got eaten by a stray dog. Think he was simply looking for more females?

    Anyway, we've had several dog attacks lately and our three roosters have survived all three, but we have lost 5 hens in the three attacks. So, when should I expect the roosters to get some testosterone on their own and not need me to feel "safe"??
     
  2. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ireland
    Quote:I am not an expert - far from it. So maybe someone else who knows more will come on to advise you. It sounds like this little rooster is just lonely and wants company.
    I had 4 Roosters all were hatched here. When they started to get old enough to crow they also started picking fights with each other. - I didn;t tollerate any contact at all!!!! As soon as I saw any of them starting the old rooster dance I simply waded in and lifted them both by their tails and up ended them. You have to hold all the tail feathers or your roo will get inadvertantly plucked and fall and you will hurt him. - So if you do this please make sure you have a really good hold of him. Once I upended I held them there until they cried and flapped and got scared. They soon got the message that fighting was NOT the way foward. In the end I had to rehome them because I cannot keep Roos. - They went in pairs to different homes and all were easy to handle and got on well with eachother. They loved being lifted "right way up" and cuddled. I never let a day go by when I didn;t lift the roos in my arms and have a cuddle because that to me was really important that they would grow into good boys! Now two of them live in a kiddies petting farm for rare breed waterfowl. ( They use the Hens to hatch the waterfowl eggs and the Roos to protect them but they are also petted by loads of kids!!!)

    Your neighbor needs to get more hens because a chicken is a flock animal and I am sure your little visitor is lonely! Why don;t you try to make friends with his owner and share BYC with him so that he learns to look after and protect his birds too! After all he has as much interest in chickens as you and seems he has had a hard time as he lost the only hen he had.

    Anyhow as I said I am no expert and can only tell you my own experience with my Roo boys.
    Oesdog [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  3. hoping4better

    hoping4better Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2010
    Middle Tennessee
    @oesdog
    Thanks for the response. Apparently, according to the other owner, they used to have several chickens and "got out of it", but decided to keep the two for the kids as they were favorites and pets. So, they may decide to get another hen, I don't know.

    Interesting that your roosters started to pick fights when they started to crow. Up until today my roosters have never "fought". The dominant rooster (not the one that got in a fight today) will chase the other two around every morning to set the pecking order I suppose, but it is never violent. The barred rocks just run away for 10 minutes or so and the production red (my biggest and dominant) loses interest and starts chasing the girls, for other obvious reasons. My roosters have never really been aggressive toward each other. One has chased my son once, but that's it. He never flapped his wings or went feet up (since they don't have spurs yet), just chased him.

    Maybe my roosters are wimps?
     
  4. RedfogsFlock

    RedfogsFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2010
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    When our roosters are establishing pecking order one will go after the others until one runs. When a rooster runs from a fight or scuffle that shows the other rooster they have won. So as long as one runs no blood has to be drawn. We had a silky, RIR, Polish, and leghorn roos all together. The silky never fought anyone. The leghorn went after our polish a lot, but only because the polish fought back. Neither one of them wanted to give up being the man so to speak. BUT only them two fought, no one ever fought with anyone else even our ducks.
    Sounds like the other roo is looking for a new flock, and as long as your roo's run he will continue to pick fights until he establishes his place in your flock. If you don't want him there then I suggest talking to your neighbor. If you do keep him then you may have to keep one roo cooped a week by itself. What we did was put the polish in a coop by himself next to the coop with all the girls & made it to where they all roosted on the same sides to be near each other. Then we switched the leghorn & polish off every week taking turns in the coop alone. They did fine with each other that way. Because in the end they are flock creatures (oesdog) is correct and he will be back, he needs girls to fullfill his place. Hope it works for you.
     
  5. hoping4better

    hoping4better Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2010
    Middle Tennessee
    I did/ do expect him to be back as he showed up on his own once and the reason has not been solved. If he shows up again I hope I'm here, I'd hate for them to scuffle again. Neither one was backing down despite the blood. The neighbor now knows there is a problem, hopefully she will correct it. I wish I had an extra hen to give her, since mine are just backyard mutts there's not much $ value lost and it would protect her rooster. However, having lost 5 in the last couple weeks I just don't feel I could let one of my girls go. Maybe she'll keep him cooped and get him a new mate.

    I hope my boys get some testosterone though, I'm sure if the three of them got on board he'd think twice and find someone else's flock to pester.
     

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