which way should I separate the problem roo - w/hens, or alone?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by patandchickens, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    So I have 9 speckled sussex and 1 campine. Two of the sussexes are male. All in the same pen at present.

    "Pants" is our Mister Rooster; the ladies like him, he is securely dominant over the other guy, and for a variety of reasons he is the one I want to keep to breed from.

    "Itchy" is the auxilliary Plan B, kept only because if something happened to Pants I would like to at least have *something* male to breed from. He is a ragingly hormonal moronic nuisance. He spends 101% of his time and energy skulking around avoiding Pants and trying to hop aboard any passing hen. The hens LOATHE him.

    They're about 9 months old now, and up til this point everyone has gotten along pretty well. They have 15 sq ft per chicken indoors, and til recently had a good sized outdoor run. However the run was temporary and has had to be 'decommissioned' while I work on constructing a permanent, roofed replacement. So everyone is stuck indoors for at least the next month, tho they still have as much total room as most peoples' chickens here.

    But Pants and Itchy are gettin' into it with each other more often now, and Itchy is *really* driving the hens 'round the bend with his constant and highly inept attentions. There's starting to be a lot of pecks and bite marks on combs, and they all seem more unsettled and unhappy than they should be. So I think it is time that I *need* to separate Itchy.

    I had been planning on dividing the ~7x20 pen into two ~7x10 units, each side getting one roo and four hens. But now I am concerned that if four poor innocent hens are shut up in a smaller space with a sex-crazed Itchy no longer restrained by the iron rule of Pants, they may become extremely miserable extremely fast.

    The other option is to put Itchy alone by himself in a 4x6 pen across the aisle. There is no way to avoid him being able to see the hens and Pants, but at least he couldn't *get* to them.

    The one way seems harsh on the hens; the other seems kinda harsh on Itchy.

    What would you do?

    I really think I oughta do something pretty soon now before a real fight breaks out or the hens get too stressed.

    Thanks for all input,

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Hmm, yes, I see your dilemma, Pat. One observation I want to make, from experience, is that when there are two or more roosters in the flock, the second on the totem pole seem more driven to grab the poor women, quick so as not to be caught in the act by #1 Man. When you separate one rooster with several hens and no competition, he soon calms down a bit. I saw this when I still had Hawkeye, and Maverick (no longer mine) and Suede were becoming hormonal. My poor Buff Orp, Ginger, was hiding under the coop so they couldn't get to her. Mav would try to grab her before Hawkeye saw him, and Suede was right on his trail, ready to knock Mav off to get at Ginger (they all liked blondes, obviously, LOL).
    I think your boy may be fine on his own, but if you give him two or three girls of his own till you make other arrangements, it could work out better than you think. Of course, Itchy could make a liar out of me, too! After all, he's a hormonal teen with a brain the size of a walnut, LOL.

    EDITED TO ADD: Guess I should finish the story. When I separated out Suede with his own ladies, Maverick calmed down and backed off the girls alot. He then only had Hawkeye as competition.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  3. davidb

    davidb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2008
    north east Georgia
    I also agree, put him with some hens he will calm down after awhile

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