Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


He’s a beautiful rooster.
He’s a nice rooster. To me.
I’m not afraid of him.
He has never attacked me, stalked me, threatened me, watched me the way Mean Rooster did.
He’s gorgeous….and makes for gorgeous photos.
He spends a lot of time on the porch….
….often in the company of the crooked little hen.
He looks real comfy there, doesn’t he?
I spend a lot of time chasing him off the porch and trying to keep him off, but Dookie and Boomer need to come and go from the porch and Dr. Jekyll and the crooked little hen take advantage and sneak back up.
Gentlemanly as he is to me, he’s not really a nice rooster. He’s also Mr. Hyde.
He’s mean to the other roosters. He’s a mistake in a batch of (we hoped) sexed chicks from the spring. I originally thought he was a male Golden Comet, but I believe he’s a White Leghorn now that he’s grown. He’s the one I called Refund. Mean Rooster ran him around the yard and put him in his place back then. Here he is in his younger days, shortly after his chicken yard graduation.
He had yet to grow into his wattle and comb back then, but Mr. Hyde plotted and planned and bided his time while Mean Rooster ruled the roost with his steely beak. And when Mean Rooster was gone, Mr. Hyde took over.

Most of the time, I let the roosters settle their own business. Chickens have a pecking order and I feel it’s best in most cases to leave them alone to conduct their affairs according to their nature. I watch them, when I can. Of course, I can’t watch them all the time. But….
Several weeks ago, not long after Mean Rooster died, I was sitting on the porch and had my camera in my hand. I saw Mr. Hyde chasing one of the red roosters. I take photos and video all the time–you never know what’s going to happen with animals. Sometimes it turns out cute and I use it. More often than not, it turns out to be nothing and it never sees the light of day. I shot this video from the porch in a sort of random mode at the time. I just happened to be there and Mr. Hyde just happened to be chasing another rooster. You’ll notice that in the first half of the video, I’m recording from the porch. Around the middle of the video, you’ll see I’ve moved down to the gate of the goat yard. By that point, I was getting worried about the red rooster and was deciding whether or not to intervene. In the last section of the video, I’ve gone through the gate and followed Mr. Hyde and the red rooster into the goat pen. The red rooster was trying to hide under an old table the goats climb on while Mr. Hyde was pecking him to death. I hesitated for a few more seconds, flashbacking to Mean Rooster, considering whether or not intervening in the middle of one rooster establishing his dominance over another rooster was going to result in an attack on me and whether or not I needed to find a broom or rake before intervening. Eventually I decided to go ahead and I kicked Mr. Hyde away from the red rooster with my boot. He didn’t turn any of his aggression on me at all. With me, he’s Dr. Jekyll all the way.

WARNING: This is a video of real roosters acting like real roosters. They aren’t nice to each other. You may not want to watch.

I discovered that the red rooster had been bleeding when I looked down at my jeans after I’d carried him to the chicken yard.
For his safety, I shut him up in the chicken yard for the rest of that day.
He recovered just fine, by the way, though I believe if I hadn’t rescued him, Mr. Hyde would have killed him. I would have just found the red rooster under that little table and would have had no idea what happened to him. I haven’t seen Mr. Hyde go after him again, and I figure it was just part of settling the new pecking order post-Mean Rooster. But, the entire incident has left me wondering ever since……
Did Mr. Hyde kill Mean Rooster?


  1. Goldenval says:

    You could take that to the bank, I’m sure. We had to separate the roosters from the hens….only leaving one rooster with the hens or they would fight and their fights are awful! They mean business! It has nothing much to do with the personality of each one, its just nature… one rooster (the Alpha) wants ALL the chickens. Mr. Hyde probably caught that other rooster making eyes at one of his hens. If you leave them together, Mr. Hyde will eventually kill him.

  2. Becky says:

    PPPHHH!!! I think your right!!

  3. ticka1 says:

    I think you might be on to something there.

  4. Johanna says:

    Possibly he did get Mean Rooster. You may have a problem on your hands with him. My Egglebert was blinded in one eye by a mean rooster. Ever since, he’s been quite aggressive. I keep him around to look out for the hens because that’s what he does best, but I always have to carry a broom when I’m around them. I hope that your roosters have settled their differences, but I’d keep a close eye on them.

  5. Sheila Z says:

    That’s why I like to make soup out of the excess roosters. No point in letting them kill each other and waste the meat. Tough rooster makes great tasting broth and the meat is OK if it’s pressure cooked.

    Hyde looks more like a Delaware or possibly a Colombian Rock to me. A Leghorn rooster would be pure white and not as big as a Rhode Island Red rooster. Refund is a good name. I like it. I hope he was an extra that was tossed in the box and not one they made you pay for.

  6. NorthCountryGirl says:

    That’s the first thing that went through my mind as I watched the video. I’d keep an eye on Mr. Hyde.

  7. JOJO says:

    :snowman: :woof: :snowman:
    It sounds to me as though you may have found the culprit that did in Mean Rooster, it may be that Mr. Hyde is much more of a problem than poor Mean Rooster,–is it proper give roosters as a New Years Gift? Is there a home somewhere for wayward roosters? Just sayin—-

  8. Runningtrails says:

    Hmmmm, makes me hesitate about getting another rooster for my 19 hens. I want more fertilized eggs than I think I am getting and I want more hens too, so I was thinking about another rooster, but now I don’t know. If there are enough hens for both roosters, can you not have beta roosters?

  9. Queenbuffness says:

    :chicken: Ah Ha!! Perhaps now the case of “The Mean Rooster’s Death” is sol-ved”. Saying like Inspector Cluseau

  10. carol says:

    If this was a game of Clue, I’d say Mr Hyde on the porch with spurs.
    Thank you, Suzanne, for the warning regarding content of the video. I know it’s nature and all that but I don’t like to see things like that. Too tender-hearted or something I guess.
    I, too, would keep the roosters apart.

  11. Runningtrails says:

    I just posted a link to a great info page on rooster behaviour and training. Its in the FORUM-BARN-ANIMAL LINKS. A MUST read for snyone with roosters. Ok I think I’m ready now to get chicks with roosters in the spring. I might even try this with my current rooster.

  12. Mim says:

    It’s the quiet ones that you should watch out for….Maybe this is why Mean Rooster was the way he was…Next time I would give Mr Hyde the timeout in the chicken pen. :pawprint:

  13. Melinda says:

    I felt so sorry for the Red Rooster! I wanted to kick Mr. Hyde myself!

  14. kerri says:

    The plot thickens! Sounds like you have a good theory there.
    It’s too bad their nature makes them so aggressive. I’m so glad you decided to intervene and save Red Rooster. Hope he doesn’t come to more harm.
    Your photos are beautiful, Suzanne. Mr. Hyde/Mr. Jekyll/Refund does make a handsome subject. Life on the farm is never boring :moo:
    We have light snow here this morning and 15º. The birds are hungry!

  15. Jenny says:

    He looks just like our sex-link rooster, Roo-roo, who was also supposed to be a girl. We kept him in the goat barn when he was younger to help with the flies, but when the chickens started free-ranging, he eventually started going to the chicken coop with them at night. He also is sweet and gentle towards us humans, but will put the other rooster in his place in a hurry. In our case, it’s a good thing, though. The other rooster is a barred rock (Rocky) and looks like your mean rooster did. He is aggressive and only the fact that Roo-roo runs interference between my daughter and Rocky has kept Rocky out of the crock-pot.

  16. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    I am having a rooster dilemma of my own. I finally got a big Rhode Island Red that is a sweetheart (I had a mean rooster too – he’s gone) and a smaller bantum that both run with my hens. I went to an Amish sale and bought several new pullets and a beautiful young Buff Orpington rooster caught my eye I KNEW I didn’t need another rooster but yes, he came home with me anyway. Now I have to keep one or the other of the 2 big roosters up while the others free range or we have a knock-down-drag-out with blood. Hopefully when it warms up and I can let them out every day they will establish which of the ladies belong to whom and will get a long a little better….I hope! They are both such sweethearts to me, I love them both!

  17. Susan at Charm of the Carolines says:

    When I was a little girl, my grandmother got spurred by a rooster and carried the scar for the rest of her life. I learned my lesson then. I’m scared of roosters!


  18. CindyP says:

    Since he seems to love you so much, he probably didn’t like the way Mean Rooster treated you………he thought, he plotted, now he can be with you on the porch, you’d love him even more! 😆

    He is one beautiful rooster though. I especially like the 5th picture down………..

  19. B. Ruth says:

    I told you so Suzanne….Mr. Hyde did not necessarily kill Mean Rooster aka incarnate “sweet cheeks”…remember when he passed and you found him, just a lump of mean roo …You would have seen signs of Rooster dominion (blood droplets,etc.) as you saw in your red roo just after a few minutes…if he had been killed by Mean Roo..you would have known it for sure…
    Mean Rooster is back! The incarnation is Mr. Hyde!…Since you have so many roosters, his meaness is deferred at this point to dominion of the flock….better hope he doesn’t kill all your roos and change his aggression…WATCH HIM!
    PS…I’m sorry to say that I think his love of the porch and(you) is so he can keep better vigilance over the flock…I’ts one of Mean Roos tactics….
    PS..The mystery is how did “Mean Roo” change over again,…well, sometimes meaness can cause their demise…and….maybe he just wanted a change of venue or a new feathered outfit..or both.. happens..his comb wasn’t the prettiest and Spring will be springing soon….

  20. Maria in CT says:

    I have just come across your blog – I love it.

    I only raise hens, no roosters, so I’m not sure what could have happened to your other rooster, but Mr. Hyde does not seem very nice…..

  21. Barbara says:

    Aw, poor red rooster. I think you’re right. He probably would have killed the other roo. Not sure what the answer is, because you need a rooster, but this will happen no matter what one you end up keeping. It’s nature’s way of things, right?

  22. 5kathleen2 says:

    What a beautiful rooster. Seems to me you only need one rooster per farm, or they will fight to the death. I am glad Mr Hyde (aka Refund) is nice to you. He sure takes a nice picture. I couldn’t watch the video…I am a softie. :happyflower:

  23. nursemary says:

    “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”
    Rodney King, May 1, 1992

  24. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Well, they usually work it out and as long as Redroo has learned his lesson and stays the right distance from Dr Jekyll, if he keeps behaving himself, all will be well. The pecking order is established. Yeah, they’ll challenge each other from time to time, but as many chickens as you have Suzanne, you probably do need more than one roo. They serve a purpose, keep watch and sound alarms, and make sure the hens stay alert when they free range like yours. If they were penned 24/7 I’d say yeah, separate them. As it is, they’ll figure things out. You’re right though about what you said in your warning, they’re real roosters and real roosters aren’t real nice to each other.

  25. The Retired One says:

    Just like humans..a pecking order often happens, sadly!!

    Oh by the way, I posted something today (12/30) on my blog that I am sure you will be interested in, due to your fantastic photography.
    And, if any other of your readers love photography and contests, they may want to stop by too!

  26. Nancy says:

    oooo…Watch that Mr. Hyde! He just may change his mind about you in the spring!!

  27. Lisa in California says:

    I think you found the answer.

  28. Julie Harward says:


  29. debbie says:

    Don’t you have to keep one rooster per so many hens? Too many roosters, not enough hens? I don’t really know, I’ve been a townie for a long time now. Too long a time, in my opinion.

  30. Lola-Dawn says:

    I’m with Sheila Z … the extra roosters at our place were aptly named things like SOUP and STEW … there can be only one king! Notice the way your white rooster was going after the red roosters neck in the video? That’s pure domination. Were he just out to fight for the sake of fighting, he would have used his spurs. It was a great video … serious farmyard dynamics at its best!

  31. Lynn says:

    Yikes! I had no idea!

  32. Miss Becky says:

    this is normal, pecking behavior for roosters, that is why sick people bet on and hold “cock fights”. Yeah, it isn’t real pleasant stuff, but I am glad you were able to remove Red Rooster from his predator and keep him safe while he healed. all in a day on the farm, huh? :butterfly:

  33. Joanna Wilcox says:

    His comb is fairly frostbitten, rub some triple anitibiotic oinment on the comb.

  34. Liz in Wis says:

    well, I chose not to watch the rooster video but I did click on Dookies link to his before and after photo shot: He cleans up pretty nice.

  35. Ruth C says:

    I agree Chicken Noodle soup sounds like a good way to rid yourself of excess Roosters.
    Happy New Year! :hungry:

  36. Estella says:

    More than likely!

  37. lisa b says:

    I couldnt watch the video .. I am too soft hearted ! :help:

  38. Hannah says:

    Bom! Bom! BOMMMMMM!!! :devil2:

  39. Arlene says:

    Only Mother Nature knows for sure .Thanks for sharing! :snuggle:

  40. Miles says:

    He looks just like my rooster! I have no idea what kind he is. Do you know?

  41. Deserthen says:

    Awwww…poor red rooster! Our roosters (we have 9 of them) will fight to the death if we don’t keep them seperated. We do have two that live together and seem very happy, but the rest, no way! So Mr. Hyde probably did take out Mean Rooster.

    Love your blog even if I don’t comment very often.

  42. catslady says:

    The plot thickens lol. And for some darn reason I’m not able to get videos anymore (big sigh).

  43. Sheila Z says:

    According to the information I’m reading on this site


    I think you have a Sex Linked (Golden Comet) rooster. That would make sense given what you ordered and the color of your rooster as a chick and now as an adult. They are the result of mating a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Delaware hen. The resulting hens are mostly red while the rooster offspring look more like their Delaware mothers.

  44. Joycee says:

    Mean Rooster’s time had come, time to go on to the poultry yard in Heaven, his name was in the Great Book of Roosters…of that I’m sure.
    joycee at grannymountain

  45. Ruth - north CA says:

    Well, I’m convinced that Mean Rooster met his match with the calculating Mr. Hyde! I’d also watch that burgeoning attitude of the new Cock of the Walk with the occasional reminder:

    “I have a pot just YOUR size, mister!”

    It may be why he’s soooo nice to you … struts and schmoozes on your porch. Just keeping a careful eye. On the chickens and you. Calculating Mr. Hyde. Tsk, you know that name is going to stick far better than Refund … come on, he took out one roo, he owes you chicken ‘n dumplings [evil cackle].

Add Your Thoughts