We’ve had a tussle in the rooster world. It’s not been the first time, and it will certainly not be the last. A pecking order is just what it sounds like. There’s one at the top, there’s some at the bottom, there’s a bunch on the middle. There’s an order to it. You’ll see it in your flock. It happens with hens. It happens with roosters. But I have less roosters than I do hens so it’s more apparent with them. My top guy is my Barred Rock. He’s the oldest. He was here longer. He’s the boss. If another rooster is mating with one of his hens, he’ll run over and give a quick peck on the back of the head, the other rooster walks away. Or if they see him, they may just turn and walk away. Next is the Buff Orpington. He was second to arrive. He was hatched here. He knows not to mess with the Barred Rock. (He also got put in his place by my now deceased Black Copper Marans rooster and is now missing an eye) Of he sees the frizzle mating a hen he will run over and kick him with both feet. And if he chases a hen, the BO is running right behind him. The frizzle is still not excepted by most of the hens. He’s pretty low in the pecking order. The Marans cockerel is just starting to figure out he’s a man. He goes after the hens and they want no part of him. There is usually lots of screaming involved. The frizzle isn’t sure what to do but just a glance from one of the others and he turns tail and runs. Now on Saturday the frizzle decided to test his place in the pecking order. I came home to a very bloody Barred Rock rooster. I took him in the house and gave him some scrambled eggs. Put some eye drops in his swollen eyes and tries to clean the blood off his comb and spray it with disinfectant. Then I took him back out. Sunday I let the birds free range. I had to put the BR in the garden with a couple of his girls. Sunday night my boy couldn’t get on the roost by himself. And i had to reopen one eye. The frizzle just kept attacking him. He jumped over a hen on the roost to get to him. Monday I let them freerange again, thinking the space would help. I heard a commotion and found a bloody BR hiding in behind the coop. I had enough.
I cleaned out the little coop in the back. And grabbed the frizzle and out we went. I read somewhere that removing a bully from the flock for a while and then putting them back in, the flock will have to reestablish their pecking order. And hopefully the bully will be at the bottom. So I figure, what have I got to lose? After a week, I’ll put him back in. I’m hoping that will be enough time for him to lose his place and for the Barred Rock to recover. Of not, I will try it longer. If that doesn’t work, the frizzle will need robe rehomed.
He was actually very agitated in this photo and I really thought he was going to injure himself trying to get out. He has calmed down.
*One week later....he’s back in the little coop after being in the big coop for a night. I’m disappointed. He’ll stay there until he can find a new home. If it’s two or three weeks and he still hasn’t found a home, I’ll try to reintegrate him again. Maybe I just didn’t give him enough time. **He had to be rehomed.
Jan. 20/19: New roosters, same problem. My 7 month old Marans cockerel has put the run to my old Barred Rock. Now he's scared to eat and spends most of his time outside, or wherever the Marans is not. I know he hasn't eaten today. I'll try this again. Heading to move the cockerel out to the little coop now.