Establishing a Homestead

Is a Rooster Crowing Around the Clock a Sign of Aggression?

In December, especially the last several weeks of December, one of our two roosters began crowing around the clock all day and all night. It just about drove me nuts. I couldn’t sleep for the racket, and worried that neighbors were going to complain. We had purchased English Sussex Chicks, 15 hens and one rooster, mid Summer this past year. Our biggest mistake in this endeavor was electing to adopt a free chick with our order. The chick turned out to be a rooster. Flash forward 5 months and this rooster became a crowing around the clock nightmare leading me to write this blog post with the title: Is a rooster crowing around the clock a sign of aggression?

Little Man (aka Wife Beater)

Our plan, from the very beginning was to raise these chicks till they were big enough to have some wits about them, then transfer them to my parents place till we found some land. The coyotes where we live, especially at my parents, are really bad. In order for them to have their best chance at survival, we wanted them to be mature, ideally moving them when the rooster started crowing. This was planned ahead of time in advance, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now I’m not so sure this was the best decision. I guess time will tell. Currently, it is causing us unneeded stress and frustration due to unforeseen circumstances. My husband just lost his job of over 17 years last month and things have been extremely frustrating and challenging. Thankfully, he has found a new job which he begins soon, but it means major changes for us. Everything is up in the air, and I don’t know what the future looks like now as far as our plans for a homestead. I’ll leave the reasons for why we made this leap to get a flock of dual purpose chickens for future blog posts. So back to the crowing around the clock rooster. The crowing was beyond ridiculous. I had started thinking about finding it a home as quickly as possible. I am a light sleeper, and we have half an acre. So that tells you how close in proximity this rooster was to our house. I was getting maybe 2-3 hours of sleep on top of the stress of my husband losing his job and juggling changes and decisions in the middle of the holidays. I had named the rooster Little Man, because he was so small, I actually suspected he might be a bantam. Rick, up until me naming him, had called him Wormy. Then last Tuesday, Little Man earned the name Wife Beater, and was quickly dealt with. Let me just say, I absolutely love animals and take no joy in making the decision to end a life. My animals are like family. But he almost killed one of my sweet laying hens Millie. In fact, I think had we not have just happened to go outside Tuesday evening, for no particular reason when we did, I feel certain Millie would have died. And when we first caught sight of her, we thought she was dead. We found her head first shoved down into the dirt, unmoving with blood every where. Over half of the skin on the back of her neck was gone down to the muscle. Huge open wound. She couldn’t stand up and it was obvious besides her visible injuries, she was traumatized and terrified. Some of the new hens had been pecking at her since the rooster attacked her. I don’t know how long she had endured this horrific attack, but I’d say a while because their was dried blood in addition to fresh. After getting her up and carrying her back to the house, I witnessed the rooster trying to attack several more hens in quite an overly aggressive way. The attack was his ultimate demise. And I don’t feel bad about it. He was swiftly culled and is now in the freezer. I wish I had thought to take pictures at the time to show the severity of Millie’s injuries, but I was more concerned about treating her. After administering first aid, I kept her in the house for 3 days to heal before letting her rejoin the flock. She seems to be recovering and healing well. And now I wonder, if all of the excessive crowing day and night was a sign of aggression? If you have had experience with this and know please leave a comment and let me know. We had a rooster we named Raven with our laying flock and he had to be culled because he was overly aggressive to us. We put up with Raven for over 2 months being attacked literally every time we went outside until we said enough was enough. It became clear he was too dangerous to keep and I couldn’t see giving a violent rooster away to hurt someone else. He crowed around the clock as well, but not quite as much as Little Man. He injured both of us multiple times and looking back on it, we were fortunate he didn’t injure one of us permanently. Yes, 2020 has been full of crash course learning experiences. My husband is working on our mobile chicken coop at my parents, and hopefully it will be done soon. Figuring out how to catch and move sixteen chickens is our next big planned adventure. As a side note I’ll add that we researched to figure out what breed of chicken Little Man was. It turns out he was a Silver Spangled Hamburg, and when I looked it up on the hatchery website, it lists their disposition as “poor”. I would fully agree to that statement.

Silver Spangled Hamburg Rooster

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