Will the Beta Rooster Step up?

proudmommie31

Songster
Mar 2, 2016
150
230
152
Northern Lower MI
I have a flock of 17, 2 rooster and 15 hens, all about 5.5 months old. One rooster, the alpha, is my favorite. Hes a EE mutt looking thing, but he has beautiful tail feathers and has always been the boss. Lately though he is a bit of a butthead. Jumping on all the ladies, trying to attack both my kids. I've decided he's going to freezer camp, my 6 year old is a short guy and it's not worth losing his eyes to keep the jerk face rooster. The other rooster is a Buff Orpington. Hes gigantic and beautiful and so far incredibly gentle. He rarely crows though and is super sweet thus far to the ladies. Will he take the place of the Alpha rooster once I dispatch of him? Start taking over the duties he seems to leave to the EE, like attempting to mate or pointing out good treats? Or just being a little more protective of the hens? Right now he just goes along with the crowd, super chill and just seems to relax most of the day.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
BOs are known for being extremely laid back. It is not written in stone anywhere that he will become a good flock rooster. Buff Orpingtons IMHO are physically incapable of defending a hen flock. The breed is designed to be looked at. Like most "Heritage" chickens Buff Orpingions are not sustainable because individual hens are not productive enough to lay a full clutch of eggs quickly enough for the majority of the eggs to hatch under natural incubation, leaving the chicken keeper scratching his or her head wondering what they are doing wrong. After the 7th day of being laid hatchability begins to fall and after about the 15th day hatchability falls right off of the cliff. Any hen who can not lay 15 or 20 eggs in as many days before she sets can not replace the flock as fast as they die or become predator chow.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,977
37,553
1,096
southern Michigan
He's young, and maturing slowly, and it's just too soon to know who he will become. It's certainly fine to keep him, and see how he does.
No rooster of any breed can save the flock from dogs, or most serious predators. His job is to help alert everyone, offer treats, maybe sire some chicks, and be beautiful!
George is more interested in the game type chickens, who are more active and might fight harder. You have the boy you wanted, so enjoy!
I'm also not a huge BO fan, but that's personal preference. That's why there are so many choices!!!
Mary
 

kwhites634

Slow hands & an easy touch
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 20, 2008
33,207
33,296
962
Right here; north-central MD
I have a flock of 17, 2 rooster and 15 hens, all about 5.5 months old. One rooster, the alpha, is my favorite. Hes a EE mutt looking thing, but he has beautiful tail feathers and has always been the boss. Lately though he is a bit of a butthead. Jumping on all the ladies, trying to attack both my kids. I've decided he's going to freezer camp, my 6 year old is a short guy and it's not worth losing his eyes to keep the jerk face rooster. The other rooster is a Buff Orpington. Hes gigantic and beautiful and so far incredibly gentle. He rarely crows though and is super sweet thus far to the ladies. Will he take the place of the Alpha rooster once I dispatch of him? Start taking over the duties he seems to leave to the EE, like attempting to mate or pointing out good treats? Or just being a little more protective of the hens? Right now he just goes along with the crowd, super chill and just seems to relax most of the day.
You've just described my 1st BCM...the one in my avatar. Before he came here @ 11 months he'd been in a flock with multiple roosters & was low man on the totem pole. He was hand tame here, gently taking corn kernels from my hand and standing still to be picked up. I'd never had a non-aggressive rooster before; particularly a friendly one, & I was thoroughly enjoying it all. Then he realized the half dozen hens he was with were all his, no competition, & he became very protective, to the point of challenging me & DW. He finally started behaving himself, though, with a little "help" from me, & turned out o.k.; not overly friendly, but tolerant, 'til one evening when he didn't come back to the coop with his hens, after free ranging all day. Never saw anything of him again.
 

kwhites634

Slow hands & an easy touch
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 20, 2008
33,207
33,296
962
Right here; north-central MD
With his competition gone he absolutely should. Orphingtons are a sweet gentle breed. The ladies should love a gentlemen. ;)
My Orpington rooster is far from sweet & gentle, but he's respectful of me, and I can live with that.
HPIM0431 (1).JPG
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,282
20,112
907
Southeast Louisiana
That dominant cockerel is suppressing the Orp's instincts to be the boss. With the competition gone he will step up and take over. But maybe not immediately. Cockerels and pullets mature at different rates, he may have some growing up to do before he is ready to take over.

As you can see from the other responses breed isn't everything. Each cockerel has a lot of individuality regardless of breed. Some of any breed turn out great, some don't.

Since that EE is human aggressive I think you are making the right decision with him. That's about the age I butcher mine, if you want a suggested recipe let me know. But the other cockerel and the pullets are still fairly immature. There can be a big difference in cockerels and pullets versus roosters and hens. A mature rooster can WOW! the ladies with his magnificence and self-confidence and mature hens are prepared to be impressed. An immature cockerel usually can't manage that and immature pullets are often not ready to do their part. At some point that cockerel's hormones will probably take over and he will insist on mating the pullets, whether they want him to or not. Sometimes this is really peaceful and not bad at all, but sometimes this process is hard for the faint-of-heart to watch.

Typically the cockerel and pullets all mature and the hormones get under control. How long this takes and how bad it will be depends on the individual personalities of the cockerel and the pullets.
 

MANNA-PRO

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