An Update on Dots

Well, here’s a brief update on Double Dots.

His eye is, as you can see, doing much better. We are still treating his eye 3x daily with the Vetericyn spray and ointment. It’s helping. He can hold his eye open so much better. It also does not appear that the eyeball itself is damaged.

That all is the good news.

The bad news is that Dots appears to have PTSD now.

I’ve been giving him supervised visits with the coop and flock. I put in there with them and stay close. Watching.

Philip (aka Leapy) has chased him twice. Gone after him once. He’s run from him both times.

Sylvester, my usually friendly Brahma boy, went after him today in the coop and pulled a feather out.

And when Henrietta, who is usually Dots’ friend, came up to him to say “hi” he literally jumped on top of my shoulder to get away from her.

While sitting on the roost with me observing him, Lola (a sexlink hen) came up to sit next to him. He awkward and quiet.

He did not at all act like himself.

I’ve been visiting Google a lot. Looking up other sites to find out what can be done. I can accept that Philip (and perhaps Sylvester too) have wrestled control of the coop away from Dots. But I wish with all my heart that he can return to the flock when his eye heals without more clashes.

Google says that in most cases, the surrendered rooster will be okay so long as the new Main Rooster does not continue to harass him.

A little integration may help. I’m thinking that if his eye is looking any better by Friday, I may move the med came into the coop to ‘reintroduce’ him to the flock. If the boys can’t go back to something that looks like normal, we maybe have to go to Plan B.

However, after today, I worry about how timid he was with Lola and how afraid of Henrietta he was. It’s definitely PTSD.

And that concerns me, because if he cannot even talk to the girls, how can he live with them?

Also, Plan B… an unprecidented winter Freezer Camp. My DH hates culling in winter. We usually do fall or spring. There’s va good four months to go before we’d consider it again.

So if the Boys don’t find a new normal that includes Dots, we need Plan B.

But who do we send to Freezer Camp?

I like Sylvester. He is a big boy, but has a temperament not unlike Dots. He’s friendly and I can pick him up.

Philip is Pip’s only child. I like him too.

Dots is … Dots. But if he can’t reacclimate to hos ladies, should he be the one to go?

I hate making these decisions. They make my heart hurt.

8 thoughts on “An Update on Dots

  1. Cant you set up another flock/coop alongside your existing and give him some new girls? I am new to chicken keeping and only have hens, but the pecking order has meant on occasion we split our girls up for a month or so, then back together again. In our new place we are setting up lots of smaller exscape coops and hiding places and temporary runs.

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    1. I would love to that, but DH says two coops/runs are not an option. We have a lovely coop that accommodates 40-45 birds comfortably and they have a fenced in pasture to free range in. With a pond, a dirt bathing area and shade bushes.

      Our coop is actually a penned off section of a retired dairy barn. I’m only allowed this specific area.

      Otherwise, I would have had a secondary coop last summer, I think.

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      1. It’s why we had to take on our new building as the pecking order gets a bit silly sometimes and we don’t want to get rid of any of the girls. Want to get a couple of roosters soon so that should be fun. It’s not simple with chickens. Hope he finds his feet and it all works out for him. He is very lovely.

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      2. He is lovely! He’s a sweet, well mannered rooster, who we’ve been blessed to have with us for almost four years. He is the stick I use to measure the young roosters we keep. I’m allowed to keep 3 as long as there are enough hens for all them. We usually have between 40-45 hens. So the young ones have to possess Dots-like qualities. Be a gentleman to the ladies, a firm ‘papa’ to young ones, a fierce protector. And above all friendly to me and my son, who are their caretakers.

        Dots is all of those things. But he is also getting up in years. He will be four in April. I was just commenting a month ago that his crow ‘sounded like a little old man.’ I guess the younger boys thought so, too.

        The trouble with me is… I love my roosters. I love my hens, too, but my roosters are my weakness. Their bright colors and bold personalities. I don’t have a trouble sending the ones I don’t need to Freezer Camp. But I struggle to decide who I don’t need. In my heart, I need them all!

        I suppose if we hadn’t had a good one like Dots, I would feel different. Most people distrust roosters. I lavish them with affect because of him.

        The hard thing is, the young roosters I mentioned Sylvester and Philip, are also good boys. Philip is a little skittish, but a gentleman to the ladies. Sylvester let’s me pick him up and talk to him, like Dots does. I cannot fault them for the instinct to ‘try for dominance.’ Dots is old. They are young. They sense things are different somehow and act on it. I don’t fault them.

        I also know that if I want to keep Dots in power, I could call them. But then I would miss them terrible. Philip is Dot’s grandson and the son of our much missed Pip. Sylvester is just a sweet boy.

        Again… I love my roosters too much.

        If you ever get some, I hope you get nice ones so you can understand what I mean. They are special birds.

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  2. I’m glad Dots is doing better. At least physically. This is a very tricky situation for you. I wish you were allowed to have a second pen so he could live out his retirement with a couple of lady friends. That would be the best thing, even if it was only a small pen. But, alas.
    If everyone must be together, the thing is, if you keep Dots as head rooster and cull the others, what happens when you have more young roosters grow up? He’ll eventually get attacked again because he is evidently past his prime. So it will probably either have to be just Dots and no other roosters, or goodbye to Dots. 😦 Have you got any friends who would like a friendly old rooster?
    I think he would come right if he had a safe spot for a while, by himself until his injuries are better, then with one or two gentle hens, but its hard to say if he’ll fully regain his old confidence or not. If you are going to try and reintroduce him to the flock, definitely have him in a pen within the pen to keep him safe while you watch what’s going on. Just a few days of a chicken (and especially a rooster) being out of sight of the others means he has to be re-established into the pecking order. And with that sort of fearful behaviour, even hens could pick on him. *Sigh* It isn’t nice to think about all these things.

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    1. All of those things have been weighing on my heart as I watch this unfold. There has been much discussion in our household in the subject.

      I know of no one who would take s four year old rooster, even a friendly one. So reintroduce him we must. Which is why I’m doing the supervised visits.

      Our family is all in agreement that we would love for the flock to take him back with little fuss. If he could accept that Philip is(most likely, from my observation) the new head rooster and Sylvester a capable second, and could accept him as just another member of the flock, then we would all be happy.

      However, I do think you’re right about what will happen if we force the issue and cull the other Boys.

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      1. I think I’m most worried about Dots getting hurt again. If he’s so fearful, he’d probably accept a low status, but whether the other roosters, especially Philip, will leave him alone and let him be in the flock I don’t know. You can only find out by trying though.

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