Sigh. As a horse breeder, I’m pretty used to hormones and hormonal animals. I’ve developed patience, and learned to accept there are just days when nature gets the best of all of us, and my creatures act in not-so-pretty ways.
But these chickens are stressing me out.
I introduced some new roosters into my flock so I could breed my cuckoo maran and not dilute her blood, and add maran blood to some of my mixed breed chickens. Since all the chicks I bred so far are full siblings, I need new blood to continue breeding for weight and egg producing ability without breeding full siblings.
Enter my new black copper maran roosters.
Leedle isn’t happy. Which is an understatement.
The new roosters are in the “Hello crate”, which are crates I built to introduce new chickens to each other. I expected some crowing and some bravado, but when Leedle brutally massacred 4 of my 6 week old chicks, I knew this wasn’t going to work. When he bloodied himself trying to attack another rooster through the Hello crate, I knew it really wasn’t going to work. Sometimes homesteading isn’t pretty. Death is a regular occurrence, however much we try.
Leedle is pretty gentle, not friendly, but not aggressive. More bark than bite, historically, and there are other, juvenile, roosters in the coop. So this was a shock.
I’ve started adding to the coop. We found some fencing we can add as a permanent structure to separate out these roosters. I’ll judge whether we will actually keep the new roosters after seeing them with hens only. For right now, we are allowing Leedle to stay, since I want to see how he will act when only surrounded by hens. My goal is to keep everyone as happy as possible.
Until next time!
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.