Behavior Question- Hens challenging Roo

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Artemis Moon, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Artemis Moon

    Artemis Moon Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2016
    Maryland
    Hello,

    This is my first flock of chickens and they're all a couple weeks apart but were all raised together and are about 3 months old now. I have them out in a coop with an extension. I have a dust bath, grass clippings w/ treats in the them to scratch through, and a couple perches for them to sit on. So I feel like I have things to keep them busy, But i just noticed recently that two of my hens and my Bantam Roo (that I'm looking to rehome) have been "challenging" the other (Hens vs Roo).

    The hens are heavy breeds (Plymoth Rock and E.E.) and my Roo is a Bantam (unsure of breed since he was picked from an assorted breed group at the local feed store). I saw the Roo, as what it looked like to me, bite the EE (Edna) neck and I heard her scream and he eventually let go. And then I saw my Plymoth Rock (Agnes) and Roo standing up to each other like they were squaring off and since the Roo is a Bantam he's like half her height. She had her mouth half open and making noises every now and then. She eventually charged but the Roo stood as tall as he could and jumped on/over her then they were done.

    Then shortly after that, I saw Edna run at him and hold her wings out a bit then put them down, with her mouth half open making noises as well and the Roo did the same thing. Stand tall and jumped on her. I feel like they are becoming annoying with him? or maybe establishing a pecking order? I have 6 total, 4 heavy and 2 bantams (including the Roo)

    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. TIA!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    They are just working out the pecking order which happens repeatedly when they are young. It keeps them from fighting as adults. Your young rooster is getting hormonal. That's why he's grabbing hens by the neck feathers, it's the beginning which eventually leads to mating. Roosters sexually mature faster than pullets so the roosters will try mating long before the pullets are interested so there's always a lot of trouble and screaming from the pullets. That's one of the reasons I pen my young roosters up for a while where they can be seen but can't cause trouble. Eventually your pullets will want a rooster but not for a few months.
     
  3. Artemis Moon

    Artemis Moon Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2016
    Maryland
    Ah ok, so it looks like I may need to do the same thing with my roo. Thanks so much!!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Love your avatar...did you paint that?
     
  5. Artemis Moon

    Artemis Moon Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2016
    Maryland
    Oh I wish I was that artistic. I found this when I was looking for fox tattoo ideas. Thanks though. ^_^
     

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