? about our rooster

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We have a Barred Rock rooster for about four months.. My question is this, he was pretty passive for a couple months with the hens( just trying to fit in), now he is showing some aggressiveness with them and here is where the problem lies. He has seemed to pick out the dominate hen and one other and has cast them as outsiders, he literally fought with both of them and even bloodied one up alot. Both of thes hens are now so scared they run even if he moves, is this normal or is he out of control? My husband said he's getting his pecking order staightened out, it seems alittle mean to me, I mean he really goes after these two with a vengence. Will this end if they submit to his athority? My daughter is pretty upset at the rooster for hurting her "girls", she want to chop his head off if he keeps it up. I've tried to explain that we need him if we are to try and raise chicks. I'm open to all help, I've already asked a good friend and she'd never heard of the hens being so scared and staying way off from the rest.

Blessings, Kelle

-- Kelle in MT. (kvent1729@aol.com), January 29, 2001


Kelle in my experience the pecking order takes some time. It depends alot on how submissive the hens are. If you are having problems with the dominate hen and her second, it may just be a power struggle. I would give it a little time. That is if he is not hurting them seriously. If it doesn't seem to work itself out shortly, i would get rid of the rooster. Rooster's can have different personalities, much like people. If he is showing alot of aggression and will not back down even if the hens do, i would replace him straight away. Not matter what do not tolerate aggression toward you, always show him that while he may lead the flock, you are his boss.

-- Shau Marie in WI (shau@centurytel.net), January 30, 2001.

Hi Kellie, We have a Chicken Farm. WE found out the barred rocks were the most aggressive Roosters. We had to kill them. One went after our neighbor and attacked me. We ended up hatching our own Roosters from our fertile eggs. We also ordered pullets and ended up with 2 Araucana and 1 Rhode Rooster. So far there fine. Our white leghorn we hatched had to show them who was boss.Iworried about the kids when we had the barred. That's why they went into the stew pot. Well God Bless Priscilla

-- PRISCILLA (Mtasheacres@aol.com), January 30, 2001.

Been down this road many times! Only sucessful solution is soup! I have had various breeds and some roosters are gentle and some are like "Darth Vader" a black australorp that attacked everyone, including inside a car and on a tractor. His last attack was on me as I was 2 feet from the barn rifle. He was tough, but passable soup! I don't think it is breed-specific, as I have had good and bad from several breeds. GL!

-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), February 01, 2001.

We have raised Barred Rocks for about 5 years. I have never had any problems with aggressive roosters. A neighbor of ours has, though. I think the problems come when you put a younger rooster in with older hens. There seems to be some instinct for the young rooster to try to form a flock with the like-wise younger hens, and eliminate any older hens who don't submit to him. I have always had a couple of roosters with my hens, from the beginning. Each year when we add hens, we add a couple young roosters too. There has never been any serious aggression,just some "cockiness", as I believe the older roosters keep the younger ones in line from the beginning, and likewise teach them not to mess with the older hens. To cope with your immediate problem, you might have to separate him from those older hens who won't submit to him being the boss. And I have seen some pretty bossy hens, who just never will give in to those younger roosters. Good luck, and if you are planning to breed from now on, try to always keep a couple roosters with the hens, and you probably won't have future problems. We think Barred Rocks are a great breed - healthy, hearty, and good producers.

-- Becky in NJ (muellers84@yahoo.com), February 03, 2001.

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