I cringe at saying this, but when your NN cockerels finally decide they're ready to start mating they'll be just as bad as your NHs in the way they handle the girls at first. In my experience they're typically the most "frisky" first thing in the morning and at dusk. Before I butchered most of my NN cockerels it would get so bad that all of the girls would find a way to perch somewhere on my body as I was the "safe zone" and none of the boys would pursue them once they were with me. My husband came outside one day to find pullets covering my legs, shoulders, arms and head.... All seven of my girls! And the boys just stood watch about 3 feet away, waiting for the first pullet to find her way back to the ground so they could pounce.
It takes a while for those randy boys to develop charm and charisma. If possible, I would highly recommend separating boys and girls as soon as the chase begins...or at least cull as many of the ones you know you won't be keeping to cut down on the number of attacks.
I was watching them all this evening, and I spoke too soon. The NN cockerels are starting to bug the pullets, and Apoc tried to mount Buffy right in front of me - as best I could tell, his technique wasn't all that bad, minus courtship, of course (grabbed some head feathers and climbed on top, no injuries to her) - she was just completely uninterested, squawked, and ran out from under him. Puppy also seemed to be hiding a lot. They are only 10 weeks old (as of tomorrow) - could this be learned behavior from the NHs? (Sweetie was actually ok - maybe she tasted too bad to everyone!)
Regardless, I really have to get that coop done to house the pullets soon... (sigh)
Once you decide which cockerels to keep, how do you find it the best way to reintegrate them with the ladies? I'd like one flock cockerel/rooster with the girls all the time (protection when ranging, etc.), but will I need to house the others separately? (I'm beginning to get coop-building fatigue...)
- Ant Farm