Here is a quick video on the New Years Chicks (8 wks) compared to the 4 wk old chicks born at the end of January. I moved them to the big chicken coop today, separated them from the 8 week old chickens with chicken wire stapled down the middle. The 8 week old chickens can still get outside, but I just wanted them to stay away form my little biddies as they seem to try to establish their pecking order with the little guys. I think it is bullying, lol, my husband says it is nature…tomatoes-tomawtoes. I am acting as mother hen and protecting them!
At first, I was scared to get roosters b/c you hear all the bad sides, “They attack you,” ” super territorial”, etc. Well, in order to get baby chicks, and to have a complete circle of sustainability, I had to suck it up. So, we got a rooster with a batch of hens and they grew up together just fine. Eventually, when he got to be about 6 months old, he was territorial. He started to attempt to spar me or my husband when we would go feed or get eggs….so here is a quick tip on how to squash this bad behavior:
Grab him by the feet and hold him upside down until he stops squirming. This is a dominance show of force. After hanging there all embarrassed for a minute he will chill out. Be consistent too!
After doing this once, he would leave us alone for a while until he forgot who was boss again. Periodically we would have to go through this and still do, but it helped me not be scared of him..he probably could smell it! lol! Something that did not help was my kids began to get “attacked” by this guy, so they started going outside to his pen (before he was totally free range) where he and his ladies lived with their nerf swords and the top of a big waterer as a shield. This made him more mad! He really did not like new things, like if I was holding a drink in my hand he took it as a threat. But I would go out with them and snatch him up and let them hold him upside down. He stopped messing with them eventually. Why do I keep him around, you may ask? Because he fought a hawk and a skunk to protect his hens…and that is just fine in my book. He may be aggressive but he does his job. Here this stud it below! He just started getting his tail feathers back after his fight with the hawk.
Roo had some little roos (ok lots of little roos) in our first 2 hatches last year, so we decided to keep one. He gets chased by Roo some days when he is on his bad side, but it only took one sparring match to settle that hierarchy! I was scared to have two because of the fighting, but it was squared away quickly 🙂 This guy’s mom was a Rhode Island Red hen so he was the prettiest of all of the roosters we hatched. I had to keep him! i am pretty sure he is the father of our new red chicks we hatched this last month.
Word of advice: Don’t try to keep two roosters in the same pen. Our style works b/c they have 3 acres to run around on. So my younger roo can get away from Daddy Roo. Also, at least 6 hens per rooster. We have 9 right now for both roosters and it works, but just be mindful with this ratio!