Am I having a rooster problem?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mojookie, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Mojookie

    Mojookie Out Of The Brooder

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    Good morning, I am new to the scene on having chickens. I have 11 chickens. 3 roosters and 8 hens. I got them approx 2 months ago. When I picked them up they were around 6 months old and the head rooster was 7 months old. I thought I had 10 hens, but 2 of the RIR's turned out to be roosters. Jeff the head rooster is an Americana I think. He seems to be a great rooster, protecting the flock and all. Abby one of the RIR roosters has come into his own and Jeff allows him to mate with some of the hens. There is this Buff Orffington (Peach) that he prefers to mate with and he mates with her multiple times. She seems paralyzed after he mates with her. When Jeff mates with her she just lets him and this paralysis doesn't happen. Only with Abby does it happen. I try to stay out of the chicken politics because they obviously have a lot of that going on, but sometimes have to interfere because he will trap her. She isn't the only one he tortures just the only one that is paralyzed. Any answers to what is going on?
     
  2. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you have one too many males. I would thin down a male. Take out either your least favorite or the one who is most aggressive with the ladies.
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    "Tortures?" That's a heck of a word to describe this fairly normal chicken behavior. Is he pecking her bloody? Spurring her and cutting her when he mounts? Preventing her from eating/drinking/roosting/foraging? Ripping out her feathers?

    Chickens are not humans and do not attach the same emotions and morals to their actions that humans do. In the rooster's mind, she is female and therefore he has a right to mate her if he wants to and if the alpha allows it. She may not want to be mated by a bird that's not the alpha, so she resists, but in the end he makes her mate. She may also be stopping his sperm from reaching her eggs--hens can actually choose to a certain extent which male fertilizes her eggs. I don't know why she just sits there afterwards, but it doesn't sound to me like she's being hurt and she certainly isn't being traumatized. It's just the way it is with chickens.

    You do have a large number of roosters for a small flock. You may want to reduce your number of roosters to just the one, and that may make for a more content flock. But this decision is separate from whether or not the beta rooster is doing something "wrong" to your chickens by just being a chicken and doing what chickens do.
     
  4. Mojookie

    Mojookie Out Of The Brooder

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    No, he isn't plucking her bloody. I definately don't want to let it go that far. If he was that brutal we would be having Abby and Noodles. :) My daughter who lives next door has a German Sheperd that gets on him if he bothers Peach the Buff too much. Thanks for your input. I'll stop worrying now. I don't want to get rid of any of my chickens. I try to let nature carry out its course as much as possible and like I said, I am in the learning phase.
     
  5. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I understand not wanting to get rid of them but you really need to consider getting rid of a few roosters. I've read that a flock should be 10ish hens to one rooster. Think about the happiness and health of your flock. Best of luck
     
  6. Mojookie

    Mojookie Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I think you are right. I thought that this ratio was ok, but I'm finding that it is way out of balance. Ok if I added say 4 more hens, would that make the ratio better? I'm not looking to have a huge operation going on here. Just want to provide myself and family with eggs. I'm not sure where I saw it, but I thought it was lesser than 10. Like 3 or 4 for each Rooster. To do???
     
  7. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like everything else in chicken world there is no set rule about this but I still don't believe that will be enough hens for 3 roosters. I've read that it can vary rooster to rooster so you can always try it and see. I wouldn't waste my time though, it can be very hard bring in new chickens to the flock. You'd need to quarantine them for at least 30 days, far away from the current flock and then be prepared for the pecking order to be thrown out of whack.
     
  8. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The general rule for young roosters is to have at least 5 hens minimum per rooster (10 is better). I understand that you'd like to keep your roosters, but you are responsible for the health of your hens as well. Overmating is extremely stressful to them, makes them prone to disease and injury, impacts their quality of life, and impacts egg production. They don't deserve that kind of treatment.
     
  9. Mojookie

    Mojookie Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks guys for the information. I fortunately have a good source to go to and do some trading for more hens. This is where I got my first 11 from. I won't have to worry about diseases. I'm going today to get more hens and we'll see if this remedies the problem. :)
     

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