I have 7 hens and 1 rooster - all about 4 months old. The rooster has started crowing lately, and he's also started harassing the hens - primarily my RIRs. He jumps them, then there is terrible squawking and struggle from the poor hen, and he usually rips out a few of the hen's feathers. She runs off as fast as she can. None of my hens are laying eggs yet.
Is this mating behavior? Is it normal to happen several times a day? (poor hens) Or is it some sort of aggression?
I think he's feeling his testosterone, but the hens aren't ready, or is this just behavior I should get used to? I mean, I'm not looking to hatch chicks, so he's "ornamental" really.
I'm so obviously new to chickens.