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Yet another rooster dilemma

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by asinnamon, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. asinnamon

    asinnamon Out Of The Brooder

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    Seems like a lot of folks out there with rooster issues, lol! Last April we got 12 birds of which 3 turned out to be roosters. In the magical land of my mind they would all be sweet boys when they grew up. Not so in reality. All three have come after my daughter, myself and my MIL with beaks and spurs. All three are mean to the hens at night when going into the coop. About half of the ladies are featherless on their backs, no broken skin. All three boys do mate with the ladies. We haven't had any major fights yet.

    Would you all agree we need to cull the roosters? All the roosters? Do we leave one alive? Which one? We have an Auracana, Silver Laced Wyandotte and a Buff Orpington.

    Thx!
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Any rooster who attacks people, ESPECIALLY your child, needs to be invited to dinner ASAP. If not in your crock pot, find someone close who would love to have them. Many cockrels are good with their flock-mates and ignore/respect humans. They are worth having! I have zero tolerance for bad behavior, and have a peaceful flock and a fun time out there with the birds. That's the only way, IMO. Mary
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Get rid of all. Then revisit how they were raised if future roosters desired. The how they were raised involved how you and your family interacts with the roosters as that can be a factor along with genetics that promotes aggressiveness towards humans. The issue with aggression towards hens needs to explored further as some of what you describe is not a problematic for short-term while the physical damage is.

    If replacement needed, then get an established fully adult rooster from a source skilled with keeping of roosters. Such a party will likely have little or no problems with aggressive roosters usually because their roosters do not exhibit such behavior.
     
  4. asinnamon

    asinnamon Out Of The Brooder

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    We hand raised these guys from 1 day old. Infact, the BO was so sweet we named him Cuddles and my daughter carried him all over the place w/o issue. They are all hatchery birds. Are there breeds that are generally less aggressive? How would I find a breeder that specializes in roosters?

    Did we do something wrong to make these guys mean?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  5. Eldergoddess

    Eldergoddess Out Of The Brooder

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    Here in town we have a locally owned feed store that takes unwanted chickens (boys and girls both) and will sell them to people who want them (that is where my boy went off too).

    If you don't want them to end up in the pot. See if someone would be willing to take them. Or you can craigslist them. But honestly our neighbors who also have chickens had three boys, one went off to their friends stew pot. The other one (the really mean one) got shot and buried (he wasn't worth the effort of cleaning so he became tree food) after he attacked a child, and the other one (the nice one) is still alive.

    If they are all 3 a problem get rid of them, you don't need your hens naked and stressed out. Your hen to cock ratio is off and needs to be evened up a bit. Your hens will lay better once they don't have 3 boys beating on them, and you'll feel better about your chickens when you don't have to carry a big stick around and watch behind your back for a surprise attack. Pick the nicest out of the 3 if you still want a boy around (though he really isn't needed unless you want baby chickens) and get rid of the other two.

    Personally I don't keep problem animals, either they shape up or they go. I have found they are more stress then they are worth.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would get rid of 2 of them and then see how the remaining 1 behaves........taking the competition out of the picture can change it dramatically.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Roosters that have competition will mate the hens more than if you only have one rooster. I would get rid of two and keep your Buff Orpington.

    My current Buff Orpington rooster thinks of his girls before himself, warns for hawks, gives away the yummy snacks, the hens like him and feel safe with him, and he is very smart. Also likes to be picked up and held.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Breeds you have are not noteworthy for being human aggressive although those of hatchery origin are a product of selection for hatching egg production which on the male side means a successful male likes to mate a lot under pressure from lots of competition from other males in the same pen. The hatchery selection could thus promote a more competitive spirit which can be hard on hens.


    A part of what got you into current troubles with these guys involves the handling of the birds. The close contact setup so species boundaries where likely blurred a bit. As the natural programming for dominance kicked in the cockerels saw you as someone they could dominate so they tried and apparently you provided the responses that indicated you are a rival. Those responses are often subtle but to the roosters eyes look somewhat like fighting or recoiling from a threat the rooster produces. Even when you act submissive by recoiling your not being submissive enough so the attack is on. You can handle birds a lot which I do with many but their are some rules of chicken etiquette to follow to prevent problems.

    Another possibility is the roosters learned to be aggressive as it resulted in more food faster where it then evolved into full aggression.


    Breaking them of such habits seems not to be practical for most parties until they have had more experience with chickens, hence my suggestion getting rid ot these guys by eating or giving to parties willing to either tolerate or correct.


    For a calmer rooster, check locally for breeders and speak with them. They may provide a currently good natured mature rooster and provide insight on how to keep him that way. It does not appear you are trying to breed for sustaining or developing a particular type of chicken, so breed choice should not be restrictive along those lines.
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a theory that roosters raised with flock mates, and no older roosters or hens tend to become aggressive. They grow faster than the pullets, get bigger than the pullets, become interested in sex, and no older bird to control that. Rooster chicks raised with older birds in the flock learn their manners. Over handling your chicks can lead to aggression, as stated above, they lose their fear and respect of humans. This forum is full of threads where the sweetest pet turned into a nightmare.

    I agree with all the above, let them all go. Perhaps do as AArt suggests, and if so, I would pick the BO too, unless that one is more mean. If you have a child, these roosters can ruin the whole chicken experience. Many people hate chickens all their lives as they were attacked when small. So if there is the least doubt, cull them all as you wish, inviting them to dinner, giving them to someone else to have to dinner, or just removing them.

    If you want a rooster, and really the hens will be fine without, if you don't. There are a lot of people around you, that ten to one, right now have a well behaved rooster in their flock. They really don't need that extra, but hey, he really is a great bird with people and hens, and they have not gotten around to culling it. That is the bird you want. These people have probably had chickens for several years. Ask around for a local poultry club or contact your local extension office, or ask at the feed store for possible names of people that have chickens near you.

    Mrs K
     
  10. asinnamon

    asinnamon Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you everyone for the great advice! I am not really all that interested in breeding, tho it would be fun to have little chicks running around. That being said, I do want a rooster around for flock protection come spring time.

    Its hard to say which guy to keep around. Perhaps none.

    So to prevent this in the future, how do we respond to the rooster? Like when they do that little dance?
     

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