Saturday, August 29, 2015
Chicken Adventures - My Problem is the Roosters
I am pretty much totally convinced that the problem with the flock is because of the two roosters. Things are going down hill fast now even though it looked pretty good the first couple of days.
Really I think the problem is that 7 of the 13 hens I have are too young to lay yet leaving the other 6 hens to take the brunt of these rooster's attentions. I am suppose to get another four hens but the guy hasn't called me back and even if I do I maybe in the same boat if the new hens turn out to not quite be laying yet like the other seven.
This morning the old black hen was back up and looking perky. Within a few hours she was once again in the corner acting dead and this time her head was bleeding. I checked under her and felt around and as far as I could tell she seemed fine but I isolated her in the big dog crate with some food and water. Now every time I go to check on her she seems a little more alert and has been up eating and drinking.
The roosters keep going to her cage and looking in. My guess is the two brutes almost killed her.
The five remaining egg laying age hens still out are not happy. The roosters are literally keeping them prisoner inside the coop. The hens have taken refuge on the nesting shelf I built for them and rarely come down off of it. I tried taking each one out into the main barn but the roosters were driving them back in as fast as I could take them out. At one point my mother said one of the roosters made to charge at me but I never saw or felt anything if I had well then there would be only one rooster to deal with.
My plan now is to wait until the chickens roost and see if Rocky goes in with them tonight or not. Either way I am going to remove the roosters and leave the hens locked up for a day or so while I decide on the next course of action. I have a feeling if all the hens were laying this wouldn't be an issue but since there are only six sexually active hens it is a problem.
The roosters totally ignore the other seven hens. I mean completely ignore them like they are empty air. The only time they even acknowledge their presence is if one tries to eat something one oft he roosters wants.
Also even Bullwinkle has basically stopped being even remotely gentleman-like and is now acting more and more like Rocky.
So my decision is to cull one of the roosters or both. If only one which one? Rocky is the largest but also the least mean to hens now. He is less attentive and caring in his way but has no qualms about leaving the hens alone occasionally. Bullwinkle will not leave the hens period and is the one really keeping them prisoner. However Bullwinkle also was the one that seemed most protective and gentlemanly at first and will still attempt to court the hens from time to time.
The last consideration is that Rocky is a Barred Rock rooster and I have four Barred Rock hens I wanted to see if they would go broody somewhere down the line and maybe hatch out Barred Rocks. If I off Rocky and not Bullwinkle then I would just get mutts.
Ahhh decisions decisions.
Which one goes Rocky? Bullwinkle? or Both?
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!