Wild cockrel

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Molnut, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Molnut

    Molnut Songster

    Oct 1, 2015
    Port Angeles, WA
    I hatched my first home grown chicks this year. I had 4 broodies.
    Batch 1 has 3 pullets and 1 wild, smart and willful cockrel. He is an Easter Egger.
    Batches 2 and 3 have 4 pullets and 6 cockrel. They grew up together and will be relocated to a bachelor coop until I figure out who can be introduced in the existing two flocks. I have 100+ chickens, raised on pasture and they mostly are my pets for now. I am only 2 years in this.
    Batch 4 has 6 hatchery born, but mamma hen raised pullets (long story).

    The wild one is from Batch 1 and is now 16 weeks old.
    I had to separate him from his flock as is was rather rough on my lower ranking hen, which happens to be his mother. This was a bad mix and my hen looked seriously traumatised.
    One week ago, I decided to separate him from the flock as the hen is a good layer and a good mom. She has been improving and getting more self assured since that separation.
    He, on the other hand is nothing but troubles. He was initially in a 1600 sf netting area. He kept jumping the fence. I thought it would help to put him in a smaller, escape proof pen. It worked but he looked so sad. I put him back in the larger pen. I even brought in a broody hen yesterday. She was in the small pen for day 1 to get acclimated. He seemed happy. Came bedtime and the all shenanigan started.
    He is very smart and very afraid of me. I have never hit him or been rough with him, but have not socialized any of my new chicks either due to illness and time constraint.
    For the life of me, I could not get him to go to his cage to put him inside. He numped the fence many times. I waited the dead of night and even then, he was very alert and running away from us. He spent the night outside and was outside the enclosure of his initial flock this morning. I CANNOT catch him. I have put food and water near his pen where the broody hen is.
    I am not planning on letting him back with his flock as I don't want to impose additional unnecessary stress on my laying flock.
    What would you suggest?
    Anybody out there with a deep knowledge of roosters?
    Finally, I would be so grateful if anybody with experience and a sizeable flock (100+) would help me out on occasion with management issues. I am neither a "commercial" producer ot a backyard chicken enthusiast. It is difficult to find help for this flock size.
    I know it's quite a lenghty post, but I felt it had to be said to put your kind responses in perspective. Thank you.
  2. And you want to catch him and do what?
    He sounds syco, my inclination would be to reach out to him with my 22.
    Some roosters will mellow with age, some only get worse.
  3. Molnut

    Molnut Songster

    Oct 1, 2015
    Port Angeles, WA
    If caught, the plan would be to include him to the bachelor flock until he is big enough to go to freezer camp.
  4. chickendreams24

    chickendreams24 Crowing

    Jul 30, 2015
    Wisconsin, USA
    Do you know where he's sleeping at night? We had a couple boys go wild last year

    We have nearly 200 including this year's 75 chicks. Approximately 70-80 will be going to freezer camp.

    If he is roosting on the ground especially in the open you may be able to throw a blanket over his head and catch him. When put into dark chickens generally lay down and become compliant. My other thought would be put a dog crate or something in front of the coop door so he thinks he's going in with his old flock but he actually enters the crate which you can then close. A wire crate works best you can also do this with a hand build chicken wire enclosure.
    Molnut likes this.
  5. Can you lure or coral him inside an enclosed area?
    Once in an enclosure, a net of some kind for the final capture.
    I am supprised he runs from you at night unless it is somewhat light. Like a Full moon or outdoor lighting and he can see what is happening.
    It needs to be totally dark. And you should be able to grab him.
    When i need to handle a chicken i use a low light flashligtht and point it up to the ceiling, not directly at the bird. Then i quickly grab from below from the shadows, works every time for me.
    Are his wings clipped or can he fly?
  6. Molnut

    Molnut Songster

    Oct 1, 2015
    Port Angeles, WA
    There is a neighbor with a light about 100 yards away which allows to somewhat make out shapes. I thought their eyesight was bad at night, but this one seems to have the same eyesight as mine ( maybe MY eyesight is bad). I tried to sneak behind him on the outside of the fence, walking softly on the grass. No luck. My hand hadn't clasped on his tail that he was gone in a burst of indignant squawking.
    Right now, he is still walking along the fencing of his original coop. With daylight I can't get anywhere close enough to put any type of netting that he cannot escape before I get to him.
    As he gets hungry, I'll try to lure him into a cage next to the fence at dawn today.
    The easiest would be to let him in the enclosure, but if his "7 days quarantine" hasn't mellowed him out; it may be the same story with the low ranking hens; especially his mom.
    Lastly, as some of my explanations indicate, I have a system of 2 big coops, elevated about 2f surrounded by electrical netting that I rotate to give them access to fresh pasture. That gives them about 7000sf of outside space for 50 to 60 chickens. There are several doors to get into the coop. If he goes in I can bet that it will be total mayhem to try to catch him in the middle of all the other sleepy chickens (not to be too dramatic or anything). It worked the first time. This guy is no dummy. I'm sure he figured that one out.
    Doesn't look good for the old lady (me...just in case).
  7. Molnut

    Molnut Songster

    Oct 1, 2015
    Port Angeles, WA
    Oops almost forgot. I has the left wing somewhat clipped. I did that after one of his many escapes. Since they are on pasture, I don't want to overdo it. Obviously, I don't have to worry about that!
  8. RWise

    RWise Songster

    Dec 25, 2012
    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    Try this, near dusk when the flock is returning to the coop for the night, open the enclosure. He may go in and to roost with the flock, now close it up you then have him. (now he can go to freezer camp or a BP) I also use a fishing dip net for capture, they do not like this BTW.
    And clipping a wing will stop fight, but not jumping,,, and some can jump well.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Gotta grab them around the wings, hold his wings against his body, fast and firm...and then hold on tight!
    Grabbing tail will only leave you with a fist full of feathers. BTDT with a stray in my yard.

    Can't help you on the 100+ birds...other than say 'subtraction'.
    Curious tho, why so many.... chicken math gone awry or do you want that many birds??
  10. Kfults

    Kfults Songster

    Jun 12, 2018
    Southwest Louisiana
    I hope you catch him, or a preditor may take care of the problem for you.... :pop

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