Will they ever accept the new pecking order??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lady_Cluck, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here’s the story:

    Once upon a time, in Lady Cluck’s barn, there was a happy flock of chickens lead by a really great rooster. Everyone got along great, many thanks to the rooster.

    Fast forward to the present.

    Last fall, the great rooster stepped down – he’s old now and much prefers napping on the sunniest perch in the run, snuggling in a warm nest box, and eating warm oatmeal during the cold winter days than keeping the flock in line. The flock pretty much ignores him, and he them. So, one of the bigger and younger RIR roosters stepped up and gladly took the top spot.

    Most of the hens accept this. The younger ones have no problem with it. But the older hens, especially the former top hen that enjoyed near seven years of queendom in the reign of the old rooster, will NOT accept the new guy. They won't even leave their perches.

    Especially this one older hen. She refuses to come down from the rafters (where she flies in escape) because, of course, the new top rooster chases her with amorous intentions. The only time she will come down is in the morning and evening when I do chores. Then, she will come down, stand at my feet, and eat in a similar fashion to a ravenous Labrador puppy...she eats so fast I think she’ll choke. If I walk away, the new rooster runs over and she squawks and flies right back in the rafters.

    I’ve tried locking the new top rooster in a separate pen to make the hens happy. He hates it and goes bonkers; making a ruckus that can be heard for miles. I’ve tried putting the reluctant hens, especially the rafter-queen, in a bottomless extra large rabbit cage so they can enjoy the dirt, sunshine, and still be in the company of the other birds in the run...but the rooster just stands there and stares at them. For hours. It’s almost like what he can’t have, he wants even more! And then they go bonkers. (Other than this, he’s a good rooster...so far.) I've even tried putting food and water in the rafters for the hens...but that's just a pain as the water freezes and the sparrows just eat it all anyway.

    At first, I thought, "I’ll give it a week; they’ll get used to the new order of things and everyone will get along soon." (At least that has always worked in the past whenever the flock order is in limbo.) That was four months ago!!!! In 20 years of raising chickens, I’ve never seen such STUBBORN BIRDS!!!!!

    Arrrrghghgh! [​IMG]

    Will they ever get along?!?!?!!? Somebody else please just tell me they have had a similar problem and I won't feel as crazy!!

    As it stands now, the rooster is going to wind up with a new home (if I can find one), and soon, I think. I’m sorry to say that, but the old hens have seniority! And I'm running out of patience.

    Rant over. Thank you in advance! [​IMG]
     
  2. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seems to me the problem is a 7 yr old hen.


    ...JP
     
  3. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    after dealing with a mean roo, he was aweful to the girls, even ripping part of ones comb, he went to freezer camp and i replaced the br demon with a brahma, they are still adjusting somewhat, he is a much gentler roo... is it possible that roo is just a bit on the aggressive side? do you have other roos? my inclination would be to rehome him...
     
  4. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do have other roos...and this one isn't mean or aggressive. He is a typical young rooster with raging hormones, though; he's about a year old.

    And yeah, JP, you are right. I put her in a separate pen. I told her she can think of it as a retirement home. :p

    As for the rooster, he still might wind up with another home.

    Thank you!
     
  5. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    maybe you could give her a hen friend so she doesn't get lonely?
     
  6. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there any reason you couldn't put the old rooster and the older hens together in a separate coop/run? I personally would never put 7yr. old hens with that young of a rooster.
     
  7. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This sounds like a great idea to me.


    ...JP
     
  8. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Illinois
    Quote:This sounds like a great idea to me.


    ...JP

    That's a great idea, thank you. I might have to do a little construction work, but this is the best solution I have. Thank you. :)
     
  9. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    I agree with chook-a-holic ... those old girls have been there and done that. [​IMG] Good luck [​IMG]
     

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