4 month old cockerel humping momma hen :/

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dankope, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. dankope

    dankope New Egg

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    May 15, 2014
    We rescued a mother hen and her 7 chicks about 4 months ago. We are pretty sure that we have 5 pullets and 3 cockerels in the batch, along with the momma. Went out today and witnessed the largest cockerel chasing and mounting the mother.

    They are free-range on 1 acre during the day, and sleep in their coop at night. Should I remove the cockerels to make sure they don't breed with the mother / sisters? We don't intend to hatch any chicks anyway, so does it even matter?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. loftkeeper

    loftkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2013
    no
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    My first question would be "Do you have any other chickens?"

    Being that you do not intend to hatch any chicks going forward, it really doesn't matter in the chicken world if one of the chicks (who is now not a 'chick' - he is a cockerel) is attempting to mate his Momma. At 4 months old his hormones are just starting to kick in, so I would expect to see a lot more of that sort of behaviour going forward.

    Your main issue will be the fact that you have not one but three cockerels on hand, and from what I understand (unless you have other non-related pullets/hens in your flock) you only have 5 pullets? Your ratios are way out of whack, and that is going to lead to huge issues within your flock going forward.

    The recommendation is that for every cockerel/rooster you keep, you should have around 8 to 10 hens on board. Less than that can lead to aggression and fighting (sometimes to the death) of the cockerels as they vie for the attention of the few females that are available.

    It also places great pressure on your hens as they are mounted over and over again, which can lead to injuries and severe feather loss. I myself had 1 rooster and only 5 hens up until recently, and all the girls have bare backs (and have to wear saddles) due to his constant mounting. It's not that he is rough with them, but there is simply not enough girls to cater to him and they were being over-mated. We just bought in 3 new girls recently, so things may improve going forward.

    My thoughts are that if these are the only birds you keep, you either need to get a heap more pullets/hens OR you need to remove two cockerels from your flock. You can rehome them, despatch of them for food purposes, or set them up in a separate 'cockerel pen' on their own where they can't access the hens.

    When it comes to selecting the rooster which you want to remain with the hens, pick one which is not aggressive towards them, and who is starting to show positive signs such as calling the girls over for food, breaking up squabbles within the flock, gentle mating advances towards the hens and non aggression to humans.

    Good luck!

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  4. dankope

    dankope New Egg

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    May 15, 2014
    Awesome information. Thank you!

    These are the only birds we have currently. 6 females (including momma) and 3 cockerels. I will work on separating the cockerels until we get more pullets.
     

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