Adolescent roo trying to mount Head Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gryeyes, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My chickens are all young - the Head Hen is only 10 wks old. The EE rooster is 8 wks old. He has started chasing Rebecca (who is the oldest of the 8 in my flock) and will grab her neck feathers to try to mount her. He doesn't even have a fully-developed crow, yet! (Just a two-syllable, two-toned braying sound.)

    He is NOT interested in doing the same to the other pullets. He'll stop in front of 'em and posture, but they all stand up tall right back at him. Rebecca is the only recipient of his harassing behavior. And she doesn't like it at all. She's become less of the Head Hen since it started, which makes me sad. She used to boss him around, now she tries to stay away from him. Since all the chickens cluster together much of the time, she tends to go 'round the other side of the coop to be alone.

    [​IMG]

    None of them will be old enough to lay eggs until the beginning of March. I like my little baby rooster - at least I did until he started bothering Rebecca.
     
  2. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, we love 'em all. We want them to behave like whatever values we have, and want to instill those values in them....But the truth is, they're chickens. Typically, the roo is the head of the flock. Even the head hen is below him. And, when the roo grows up and becomes a GOOD roo, he looks out for his girls...alerts them to danger, gives them the best treats, etc. If it makes you feel better, you can separate him for a while; or, you can just wait a bit and let it work its way out naturally. If he was injuring the hen, I'd worry about it. If he's just offending her, let them figure it out.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    farmin'chick :

    Well, we love 'em all. We want them to behave like whatever values we have, and want to instill those values in them....But the truth is, they're chickens. Typically, the roo is the head of the flock. Even the head hen is below him. And, when the roo grows up and becomes a GOOD roo, he looks out for his girls...alerts them to danger, gives them the best treats, etc. If it makes you feel better, you can separate him for a while; or, you can just wait a bit and let it work its way out naturally. If he was injuring the hen, I'd worry about it. If he's just offending her, let them figure it out.

    [​IMG]
    The roo's proper place is as the head of the flock. The hens learn to submit to that. It's bothering you alot more than it is the pullet, trust me. If you intend to keep a roo with your flock when they are grown, best to let them figure it out.​
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:[​IMG]
    The roo's proper place is as the head of the flock. The hens learn to submit to that. It's bothering you alot more than it is the pullet, trust me. If you intend to keep a roo with your flock when they are grown, best to let them figure it out.

    Yep, so true.
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Thank you, everybody. I guess the squawking and running and hiding just made me anxious. When Carl faces off against Matilda, she just stands up tall and looks him straight in the eye; after a moment or two, he turns and goes looking for Rebecca to harass. I hated to see Rebecca lose status, that's all. [​IMG]

    On the other hand, the interaction(s) are making my backyard flock sound much more like chickens, now! There's Bawking, buh-BAWKs, and the other chickeny sounds in addition to the little growly purr sounds, peeping (still!!), and the adolescent crowing Carl manages to produce.

    Thanks again! I love BYC.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    When my cockerels first reached maturity, way ahead of the pullets, it was like a frat house around here. All the screaming on the part of the girls and the boys chasing them everywhere. I felt bad for the pullets too.

    Now the girls are so used to the attention that I've watched them continue to eat while the rooster is mating them. Doesn't faze them one bit. [​IMG]
     

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