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Hi everyone~

I have some questions about our 5 month old RIR rooster- he doesn't seem to have
any "rooster-ish" qualities about him. About 5 or 6 years ago, we had a rooster
that was a real gentleman- he shared his "favors" among everyone equally, gave
the hens the choicest bits of food, was constantly alert and guarding the flock,
and made sure they were all tucked in at night. He was actually killed
protecting his flock from a bobcat. This youngster that we have now shows no
interest in sex, just eating and preening. When we throw food out for them, he
launches himself into the group like a football player after a loose ball, then
he grabs the best bits for himself and runs off with it. In the evening, when
they are free-ranging, all he is interested in is grabbing any food they turn up
and preening himself. He also grabs tail feathers from the hens and eats them.
Will he grow into a gentleman like the rooster we had before? Or do we just have
a selfish, self-centered rooster? Is there some nutritional deficiency that
causes him to eat tail feathers, or does he just have a tail feather fetish?
Besides table scraps and some free-ranging, we feed them organic laying pellets.

Thanks!
Mari

Tags: roosters

Views: 785

Replies to This Discussion

He is young, and not old enough to start mating yet, I'd bet. Give him a couple more months. As for the feather eating, I think this can be a sign of protein deficiency. Check your feed and make sure it's got good protein content. I think most people suggest 16% or higher. If it's not, you can feed scrambled eggs, and that is supposed to help. BUT it could be he's just getting a mouthful of tail feathers when he tries to grab hens to mate.
Thanks, Rachel~ I just don't remember our previous rooster acting like this, even when he was young, but maybe that's just my bad memory! We are mostly vegetarian and so our flock doesn't get many protein scraps so I'll check the protein content on the feed, as you suggest. He just seems to be doing what he's doing out of mean-ness! I hope that's not true and that he will grow into being a better rooster. Thanks so much for your reply.
Glad to be able to weigh in!! lol I hope he mellows out!! I know that a lot of people talk about roosters being rough when they first start out, but I got lucky with my roo. He's been a gentleman from day one. I wonder sometimes, if his gentleman ways are due in some part to the fact that my hens were older than he was when I put them together.

Mari Mann said:
Thanks, Rachel~ I just don't remember our previous rooster acting like this, even when he was young, but maybe that's just my bad memory! We are mostly vegetarian and so our flock doesn't get many protein scraps so I'll check the protein content on the feed, as you suggest. He just seems to be doing what he's doing out of mean-ness! I hope that's not true and that he will grow into being a better rooster. Thanks so much for your reply.

Hey Mari!

Don't feel left out, our Red is the same way, lol. Not as bad as our Barred Rocks (bullies the two of them!) I'm sure that he'll learn the gentlemanly behavior when the hens have had enough too, lol

Thanks, Erin. Here's an update on our roo (I wrote the original post above back in Sept of last year) He did start doing his rooster-ly business after another month or two, but then a few months later he began to attack me! He has gotten so bad that my husband, who the roo does not attack, has to let the girls out to free-range while I watch them and makes the roo stay in the fenced yard. He's a beautiful rooster and a great crow-er but he's definitely transferred his bullying from the ladies to me. :(
You're not part of his flock. Your another "roosters". Your husband can deal because he's male and bigger, lol. Its a dominance thing I think. Go enforce your dominance! As mean as it sounds, pluck a tail feather, you show him you're dominant, he'll likely stop :)

You might find this article helpful. It explains how to deal with aggressive Roosters. They really do consider you another rooster, and roosters have a "pecking order" too. This article explains how to create a higherarchy in which YOU are the top rooster.http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=4810 It's worked for me to keep my rooster docile around my kids and our other animals.

 

ETA Sorry! wrong link given... I've fixed it.

Thanks, Rachel. I did go and read the article and will try the recommendations given. With my husband standing by though!
Same issue here.  After walking around with a tennis racket for protection - and yes - you are supposed to be their friend - but gee whiz - I got sick of the punctures from his spurs.  The vet said I could carefully trim his spurs - I did that too - but they grow back.  I gave Gary away to a good home after a year of hugs and flogging.

Mari Mann said:
Thanks, Erin. Here's an update on our roo (I wrote the original post above back in Sept of last year) He did start doing his rooster-ly business after another month or two, but then a few months later he began to attack me! He has gotten so bad that my husband, who the roo does not attack, has to let the girls out to free-range while I watch them and makes the roo stay in the fenced yard. He's a beautiful rooster and a great crow-er but he's definitely transferred his bullying from the ladies to me. :(

I've had only one out of about 6 roos that was a sweetheart, I think part of it is luck of the draw. First roo was a jerk and flogged everyone, even if you tried to defend yourself he'd come back swinging.

 

the one really amazing Roo I had was a BB red, he was sooo sweet!! never flogged anyone, and I could handle him alot.  just was the sweetest thing ever, and very nice to his girls.

I have a young rooster he was hatched here by one of my broody hens in July 2011. I named him the Little Peeper because he was very vocal, now he is very aggressive I carry a long rake handle with me. He likes to charge me when I open the door in the morning. He rushes out to get the scrapes and won't share, he is now trying to crow it really sound very strange. The little white banty hen who hatched him now get a pecking from him every day, thank goodness she is much faster then he is and much smaller. When do they mature ?       Thank you   Ellen

Ellen, I know you so wanted a little hen when peeper was hatched!    The Bantam 's mature the fastest in my experience, mature enough to be laying in 4 months, crowing, and roosters ready to show off their flogging skills.  I have a little Campine hen that has yet in 9 months to lay an egg.  She just goes where she wants to go and preferes staying with turkeys. The Australorp's took well over 6 months to mature to egg laying.  One rooster was a devil of a meanie who had to go - the other one is the best rooster I have ever owned. 

How long does it take for a turkey to mature to lay an egg?

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