When will he say enough is enough?

MarkJr

Yard Bird Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
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Elkton, OR
Got a very young Delaware cockerel (DOB 5/25) for my flock 3 weeks ago. Let them free range and the only time he had real issues was during roost time. I rearranged and added 7’ of roost and that alleviated most of the squabbles. As long as he gets to his spot, and not a different random spot.... he doesn’t get his butt kicked. (Did I mention I used the ‘sink or swim’ method?)

Fast forward to last couple days. He’s finally wrestled one pullet into submission. He will chase her for a LONG ways and finally seal the deal. Most of the time she runs to flock mates, and they kick his butt. If he isn’t paying attention, they will kick his butt when he’s eating. Drinking.... trying to nap or plain old just because. My pullets are CRANKY!!! They allow him on the fringes of the group, but have him so hen pecked that he runs if they start toward him.

The 3 remaining pullets (DOB 6/5) from under my broody also get the cranky pullets attention. But it’s just a peck or two and they move off. No chase or anything. I think if it weren’t for the young pullets, they’d be tons more aggressive toward the cockerel.

When will he say enough is enough and fight back??? It’s to the point I’m rooting for the cockerel!
 

MarkJr

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Jun 15, 2020
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I will add that the pullet he wrestled to submission was not one of the three young ones. He tries to hang out with them, but is at that awkward stage that he wants their company..... but wants other things elsewhere. So he stays with the laying pullets I guess inching his way up the order.
 

Sapphire Sebright

Free Ranging
Jun 22, 2019
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A chicken coop in Maine.
How old are the pullets, and how old is the cockerel? The younger the cockerel is in comparison to the pullets, the longer it will likely take for him to find a spot.
My laying hens -- granted, they're going on four years -- will still not hesitate for a moment to give my bantam rooster a harsh peck if they try mating without permission, or fail to escape fast enough after copulation.
Good luck to your little guy -- he's trying his darned hardest, I'll bet!
 

MarkJr

Yard Bird Enthusiast
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He’s 5/25 and the ten laying pullets were 2/29 so 12 or so weeks difference.

He’s a Delaware.... and fluffy size is almost as big as my sapphires and dominant coppers. Weight though.... he’s about 2/3 as heavy as they are.
 

Weeg

Songster
Jul 1, 2020
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Small town in Washington
I bet the age is the problem. I your worried about him getting hurt, you could separate him but so they could still see each other through the fence. This will give them time to get to know each other, and he can hav item to get bigger and stronger before adding to the flock. Maybe something like putting a dog play pen in the coop so they can see but not fight. Maybe something that looks like this, smaller even for just one rooster.
Image 8-3-20 at 9.47 AM.jpeg
 

linsybird

Songster
Jun 28, 2018
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Oklahoma
I did the same “sink or swim” thing with my new rooster. It took a few days for them not to attack him if he got too close. After about a week, all but my top hen had basically accepted him. It took about a month for her to accept him and give up her position as the flock leader. There was some trouble when he had (what I’m guessing was) a hormone burst, but he’s calmed down now.

The rooster was 3.5 months, four of my pullets were about 8 months, and five pullets were 3.5 months.
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
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My laying hens -- granted, they're going on four years -- will still not hesitate for a moment to give my bantam rooster a harsh peck if they try mating without permission, or fail to escape fast enough after copulation.
Wow really? I have two OEG Bantam roosters with standard and bantam girls. While they aren't big enough to actually breed the layers they do try and no one has ever pecked at them for it.

Though for those using the "sink or swim" method beware of Mareks. If you have latent Mareks in the flock extreme social stress, especially during integration, can literally be a killer.
 

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