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young roo bullying some pullets...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LaSombra, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. LaSombra

    LaSombra Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    Washington
    OK, here's my situation now. I have three roos and 13 pullets (yes, unbalanced, I know). They're all within a couple months of age. I got the elder ones in early may as day-old chicks. All the pullets are now laying. I have two really good roos... and this third guy, Rhody (RIR), who was supposed to be a girl, is going through puberty, I guess. He's just started crowing recently and is starting to look handsome.

    The problem is, he's being a bully. Yesterday when I went to check on my flock in the morning, I noticed my blue orpington, Gilly, in the nest box. A few hours later, she was still there. I checked under her and there were no eggs. I thought she might have been getting broody and thought maybe I'd sneak an egg under her and see what happened. Several hours later, I went out there to get the flock ready for the night and she was still in there. There were now two eggs, so she layed. Then, Rhody hopped up in front of her and grabbed her by the neck feathers, attacking her (I don't believe it was sexual). I grabbed him and "pecked" him with my fingers and squacked, etc. Gilly came out of the nest and hopped up on my shoulder. Then he chased around a couple other girls... The head roo, Gallo, then flapped his wings and strutted a bit, making him calm down. When I left, I put her on the roost. I decided to go check on them a couple hours later and see if she went back to the nest, but she hadn't, so collected up those eggs.

    This morning, I went out there and Gilly was in the nest again. When I put out scratch to the flock, she came out of the nest and started foraging with the rest. Then, along comes Rhody and chases her around the run. Her instinct was to come to me and fly up on my shoulder to get away from him. He kept his eye on me and her for the rest of the time I was in there. When I left she stayed up on the roost, away from him.

    Now, though, he's in "jail." I have a big cage inside the coop and so I put him in there with some food and water. He didn't like it but... I can't have him terrorizing my girls. The other two roos are great and I'm thinking he either has to go into the stew pot or up for adoption.

    So, should I give him up or might he be going through a stage? I was hoping that I could wait it out and get more girls next spring to balance out the roos. I'm thinking, though, that maybe I should just be happy with my 2 good boys.... *sigh*

    My poor Gilly... She's such a sweet girl. I don't like her being bullied by this roo! grrr. Mommy is angry. I'm tempted to just grab him by the head and break his neck in the air like my great-grandma used to do. That might be a bit scary for the rest of the flock, though...
     
  2. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I've been into chickens for most of my life, but I never did get the hang of neck breaking. I prefer to hang them upside-down, tying the feet to an A frame I have, with some twine and slit the throat and allow them to bleed out. When they stop flapping I start plucking. The meat is cleaner that way.......less blood. I dry pluck. I am offended by the smell of scalded chickens, and I don't like that wet mess.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I currently have 13 pullets and two roosters. I don't consider that unbalanced and have no behavioral problems, other than some pullets that are laying still resist the roosters' advances. But I'll be reducing my numbers to 7 and 1 over the next month or so anyway since that fits my plans.

    Since you have two roosters that seem to be a good fit for you, I don't see a reason for you to put up with one that is showing unacceptable behaviors. You could keep him isolated for a while to see if he matures acceptably, but I'm afraid you may have trouble reintegrating him with the other two if you go that route. I admit I'd take the easier route and enjoy some chicken broth and stew. With two roosters and 13 pullets, I'd think you could easily get another 7 to 10 pullets next spring anyway and raise some more roosters if you want even larger numbers.
     
  4. LaSombra

    LaSombra Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    Washington
    Maybe Gilly is becoming broody... I just went out there and she's in the nest again. I reached under her to check for eggs. There were no eggs, but she started settling down on my hand as if it were chicks or eggs, then tucked her head under her wing. She's such a cutie. Maybe it's just her way of keeping warm since it's been pretty darn cold here the last couple days (20'F). I wouldn't think december would be a normal time to become broody, but then, I'm new to chickens.

    Anyway, Rhody is still in "jail." I don't want to take him out...
     
  5. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I call my jail, 'Deathrow', and I have 2 inmates now, but one will be getting a pardon. I am feeding them mostly cracked corn to clean them out. After that........chicken/oyster/sausage gumbo.
     
  6. ajr

    ajr Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2009
    Oklahoma
    I had a similar problem recently and I have many more roosters than that. I have a very large young rooster who was doing the same thing, bullying all my pullets and when getting, uh, well you know, he would step all over their poor little heads, very rough. I thought I was going to have to get rid of him, but he seems to have calmed down and learned how to do things properly. I hope things work out for you. My roos bad behavior lasted maybe two weeks before he calmed down.
     
  7. LaSombra

    LaSombra Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    Washington
    I think I might adopt him out anyway, even if he does shape up. I just needed him to act this way so I can be reminded of my imbalance in the flock. My other two guys are so much nicer. Pikachu (my buff wyandotte) is big and clumsy... and eats a LOT, but he's nice. Gallo is the perfect rooster. Only thing is that he tries flogging my boys when they're in the coop. That's understandable, though, as my middle child, Nathan, likes to try picking all of the girls up. Gallo probably is just trying to protect his flock from the big, bad boys. He never even thinks to flog me and I don't free-range.
     
  8. ajr

    ajr Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2009
    Oklahoma
    Hey, if you figure out a good way to adopt out roosters please let me know. I don't free-range either because we have too many predators here, and since I let my girls hatch out a few every year, I have way too many roosters. Though they seem to get along since they were raised together, It still seems like too much for my hens. I'm not a true chicken farmer, as there is no way I could kill any of my flock for food. The thought just horrifies me!!
    Good luck!
     
  9. LaSombra

    LaSombra Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    Washington
    Quote:The roos that I've adopted out this year have been to local people that I've been lucky enough to find. I did find a home for the RIR and took him there yesterday. I know have a more harmonious flock.
     

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