They will be 5 months old on the 3rd. Yes, I'm sure! I saw them right after they hatched out while they were under my broody hen! That was July 3rd. When one of my Wyandottes went broody, I bought fertile eggs from a local breeder. I put them under my broody hen and she sat on them for 21 days. She was an awesome mother! :) I'm going out now to give them some treats, will bring my cell phone and take some more pictures. BRB!
4 1/2 month old Rooster thats trying to be a daddy! - Page 2
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Typical mating behavior between mature consenting adults.
The rooster dances for a specific hen. He lowers one wing and sort of circles her. This signals his intent.
The hen squats. This gets her body onto the ground so the rooster’s weight goes into the ground through her entire body and not just her legs. That way she can support a much heavier rooster without hurting her legs.
The rooster hops on and grabs the back of her head. The head grab helps him get in the right position to hit the target and helps him to keep his balance, but its major purpose is to tell the hen to raise her tail out of the way to expose the target. A mating will not be successful if she does not raise her tail and expose the target. The head grab is necessary.
The rooster touches vents and hops off. This may be over in the blink of an eye or it may take a few seconds. But when this is over the rooster’s part is done.
The hen then stands up, fluffs up, and shakes. This fluffy shake gets the sperm into a special container inside the hen near where the egg starts its internal journey through her internal egg making factory.
With five month olds you are not dealing with consenting adults. You are dealing with adolescents that have no control over their hormones. The cockerels normally mature earlier than the pullets and are being driven mad by their hormones. The pullets have no idea what is going on so they certainly are not going to cooperate.
At that age most of this is not about sex either. The mating ritual is about dominance. The one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or by force. It’s not about pecking order either, but total flock dominance. The cockerel’s hormones are screaming at it to dominate the pullets but the pullets are not ready for that. It takes both to do their part, pullets as well as cockerel.
To do his job as flock master, the cockerel has to be the dominant chicken. How can he keep peace in his flock if he can’t break up a fight without the others beating the crap out of him? What good does it do to warn of danger if no one listens? How can he fertilize the eggs if they don’t cooperate? A cockerel is usually bigger and stronger than the pullets. If they don’t cooperate willingly he is going to force them. That’s part of his job, to be the dominant chicken.
Part of being the dominant chicken is that he has to act like a mature adult. He needs to dance for the ladies, find them food, watch for danger, keep peace on his flock, and do all the things a mature rooster does to take care of his flock. He also has to have enough self-confidence to win the hens over by his personality. It takes a while for most cockerels to get their hormones under control enough to be able to do this.
Normally the pullets and cockerel will mature enough to play their part in the flock. For the pullets that is often about the time they start to lay, though some take a few months longer. I’ve had a cockerel do that at five months but that is really rare. I’ve had some that took a full calendar year to win over all the ladies. Normally around seven months a cockerel will mature enough to start getting his hormones under control and act like a flock master should. Normally the pullets are ready to accept him at this time but more mature hens may hold out a little longer. It’s going to vary with each flock, depending on the personality of the individual hens and rooster.
Until the cockerel and the pullets mature enough to fulfil their duties in the flock and learn proper technique, it can get pretty rough. Normally neither the cockerel nor the pullets are harmed during his maturing process but since force is involved injury is always possible. The big problem for a lot of people is that it is just hard to watch, especially if they don’t understand the dynamics of what is going on.
You may hear that disaster is assured unless you get more pullets. Some people believe that a magic ratio of hens to rooster will solve all these types of problems, ten to one is often quoted. It doesn’t work that way. Many breeders keep one rooster with one or two hens throughout the breeding season without any problems. One secret though is that they use roosters and hens, not cockerels and pullets. That makes a big difference. You can have the same problems with very small hen to rooster ratios as you do with very large hen to rooster ratios.
Many people confuse pullets and cockerels with hens and roosters. Adolescents are not mature adults. They are not going to act like mature adults. But eventually adolescents mature, some faster than others. Eventually your small flock should become quite peaceful, but “eventually” is not now.
You have been getting good advice but something I did not see mentioned. One of your mature hens is the current flock leader. That cockerel will eventually become flock leader. Sometimes that transition from a lead hen to a lead rooster is pretty peaceful but sometimes the hen does not want to give up her dominant position. I’ve seen that transition go extremely smoothly but last summer it was not smooth. When my maturing cockerel decided he was ready to take over, the lead hen would not accept him as flock master. For two days he chased her a lot, forcefully mating her and sometimes just pecking her, normally around the head. No blood was drawn so I just let them go. After two days she finally accepted his dominance and they became best of buddies.
The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Anything else is personal preference. Some people would not dream of having a flock without a rooster, others are quite happy without one. I recommend that you keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. That’s not because you are guaranteed problems with more roosters, just that some problems are more likely if you have more roosters. For some people the correct number of roosters is zero. I don’t know if you are one of those or not.
Everything I’ve read indicates things are going pretty normally with your unique flock and things should eventually settle down. That could be in another month or it might be more than six months away. Each chicken has its own personality and each flock has its own dynamics. I wish you luck!
Edited by Ridgerunner - 11/29/15 at 8:29am
They will be 5 months old on the 3rd. Yes, I'm sure! I saw them right after they hatched out while they were under my broody hen! That was July 3rd. When one of my Wyandottes went broody, I bought fertile eggs from a local breeder. I put them under my broody hen and she sat on them for 21 days. She was an awesome mother! I'm going out now to give them some treats, will bring my cell phone and take some more pictures. BRB!
Last week I mentioned that my pullets were 5 months old. Later, when I looked at the calendar and did some calculations, I saw that my birds were closer to 7 months. Time flies by so fast; this is why I asked about being sure of the age.
Thank you Ridgerunner for all that information! That's extremely helpful! I wish the cockerel would do a little dance, but he just tries to sneak up to the hens and they've gotten pretty quick with giving him the look! LOL! The poor pullet just tries to get away from him and into the bushes! But when he's behaving himself, she will go out and hang out with him.
He has a lot of work ahead of him to get the older hens to let him take over. :) I only want a rooster to help protect the girls as we do have hawks around here. I had to leave them all locked up in their pen for a few days to finally get the little hawk that was hunting them. He's to young to know how to defend them yet, (Or so I think he isl) And because Roosters are so pretty! More eye candy for the backyard. LOL!
Junebuggena, his breeder said that his father was a splash Brahma and Orpington, and she thinks there's another breed in there somewhere. The only difference between him and my cockerel is that he had a couple big grey markings on his sides. When I showed a picture of them to the breeder, she said she never had one that looked like this pullet. Non of hers have beards or is speckled like she is. She has another rooster, but I don't remember what breed she said he was. He was mostly black with some brown. Guess I'll have to go back over there and look at all her chickens again! LOL! She has 10 chickens. I only could see the two roosters and a couple hens. She had a Buff Orpington hen that had a few chicks she was raising.
Those Spangled Russian Orloffs sure look pretty! My pullet does look a lot like them!