The Rooster is Mad

Road Runner has been banished from the coop. We have put him in the little coop that we used for the sick roosters last fall and winter (thoroughly sanitized of course). As you can imagine, he is not pleased!

“Harrumph!” said the rooster

There are two excellent reasons for this move.

First, the time for moving the chicks from the brooder to the coop is upon us. They have definitely outgrown the brooder box.

In fact, they’ve had a couple of sleepovers with Eager, Pecky, and Caboose the past few of nights. They still spend the day in their brooder box. When I come home at night, they get to comingle with the hens. While there will be some pecking by the hens, the integration of the chicks should go much smoother without the rooster wanting to kill them.

Second, he has been a bully to the three hens he was hatched with last year. He has tyrannized Eager to the point she is eternally broody (thus laying no eggs) and has to be forcibly dragged out of the nest box. He has been so aggressive with Pecky and Caboose that both their backs and part of their wings have been stripped of feathers from his excessive attention. I tried chicken saddles on the girls, which worked really well for awhile – until they learned how to slip out of them.

I expect him to keep him separated for a few months. After the chicks are full grown and the hens are completely healed, I will start the process of re-introducing him to the flock. By then, flock dynamics will have shifted and a new pecking order established without him. He will be the newcomer who has to find his new place in the flock.

That said, human logic and chicken behavior do not always synch. We’ll have to see how it plays out in the end. For the time being though, his new nickname is Grumpy Butt.

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