10 Weeks Old; Aggressive Mating Behavior?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Plymrocker, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. Plymrocker

    Plymrocker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey All!! -

    We are first time chicken owners, and could use some more experiences insight, regarding the behavior of our 10 week old Easter Egger. Although we have wanted to hold out hope it's a female, you all pretty much voted it's a roo, in this earlier thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ken-owner-might-i-have-a-rooster-or-2-updated

    So to give you the context of our situation, our whole flock is just over 10 weeks old. We have 6 definite hens, one definite rooster, who we have observed must be the ALPHA Roo. That rooster is the one that crows regularly every morning, and on occasion during the day when he hears something, etc. He leads the flock and seems to be in charge.

    Then there is this Easter Egger here, 'Boston'.....
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    I will take more confirmation that it does look like a male for sure, too. (?) We're not sure we can keep roosters, and most certainly not TWO, giving us a 2/6 ratio, which I know would be harmful to the hens later, being over-mated. I was so hoping this one was a female, because it's just SUCH a cool bird. (Like a hawk...and so beautiful.) But it's behavior lately is upsetting!
    (I really don't know if I'll be able to handle seeing the hens chased around and pinned all of the time anyway. LOL. But we are considering keeping the other rooster, and was hoping this one was female. Probably not.)

    BUT.....Here is our real PROBLEM now:

    In the past few days, Boston (this Eater Egger pictured) has been attacking some of the other chickens. The first time we noticed, it was grabbing the back of our Black Australorp's neck and dragging her, while she screamed. :( We ran right out there and saved her. Since then, there has been multiple attacks by Boston that look a whole lot like attempts to mate! Biting the back of their neck, and trying to get on their back. AT 10 WEEKS OLD, ALREADY?

    Also.....Boston INSISTS on being right next to the alpha rooster (a Welsummer), in the coop. So it bites and pecks at any of the others to get it's preferred place beside the other rooster, too. It just seems.....MEAN!!

    What is happening, and how do we handle this?
    Should we just let it all happen, as this is their nature? Or do we correct this (assuming rooster's) behavior?
    Thus far, we have been handling it as we would to show the roosters that when WE are around, WE are the Alpha Rooster! To keep them from being aggressive with US, if they try to come at us aggressively, we just pick him up and hold him firm, hold his head down, etc. If we put him down and he squawks again, throwing any fit, we pick him right back up and repeat.
    But maybe, we shouldn't be correcting the behavior towards the others in the flock?

    Please advise on behavior, and confirm this is indeed a rooster.
    Thank you so much!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Boston is indeed a cockerel - apparently an early sexual developing cockerel. His behavior may very well escalate. Time to separate him from the flock and find him another purpose in life.
     
  3. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Sourland on all of it! It's how young cockerels tend to act when they're becoming sexually mature. I had two 8 week old cockerels that started that with my older pullets. Normally, it's not really something you can or would correct - they eventually settle down and it works out OR you start reducing the cockerels. You are right that two roosters won't work with your small number of hens. If you're only keeping one, I'd pick the one now and separate the other. It will only get worse and your two cockerels may even start fighting.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Good advice from both responders. You need to separate the two cockerels, and isolate Boston from the pullets. It's the only solution to what is upsetting you.

    Even with well behaved cockerels, I will pen the cockerel separate from the hens purely because he is such an annoying nuisance during this hormonal period which lasts until he is at least a year old, and probably two, when the hormones tend to settle and stabilize.

    If space is a problem, cockerels are content with very little as long as they can still watch the girls and "talk" to them through the fence. You will need to partition off an end of the coop so Boston won't be able to create problems at roosting time. The best thing is to re-home him as soon as possible.

    There is no room to hope he's a pullet. He's all boy.
     

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