Bullying or Mateing?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ilovefarming, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chillin' With My Peeps

    134
    3
    78
    Jun 12, 2014
    Hi,
    This morning the chickens started acting really weird. Mostly the roosters. About 6am I let down the ladder and nobody came down until 7am. pretty normal, but only the four roosters and the pullets came down. They were all acting very strange. Three of the oldest hens wouldn't come down, they stayed on the roost pole until about 8. The roosters were clucking a lot.. like worry clucks or something. I picked up one of the older hens and put her on the roost outside where she could get some fresh air, it was time to clean out the coop again. She acted really really scared and would not come down. Finally the roosters started picking on all the hens so I let them out. I took Josefina off the roost outside and 2 of the roosters lit into her, on top of her pulling her neck feathers. I grabbed them off and shooed them away, picking Josie up. Then they started acting really strange, picking up pine straws and pieces of hay and tossing them to the ground making really weird clucking sounds so I moved away and they started following me making angry growling noises. They kept eying Josie, and making false charges. So I put her down on a chair and shooed them away. They jumped back when I ran at them, so I shooed them to the other side of the house. Well, at least 3 roos ACTED like they were going to go away, but as soon as Josefina hit the ground, they ran to her. She started sqauking loudly and they chased her up to the porch, pecking her like crazy. They would walk up to her, clucking and gurgling, then suddenly jump toward her. Then they went in the woods to scratch and Josie went too. They started chasing her again. So I chased them away from her. They kept walking up to her and looking at her right in the eye, clucking, and pecking randomly at leaves and things they know that they are cannot eat like straw. One chased her into the rose bush and then followed her in there to stand by her for a while, crowing at the top of his lungs. Then he would try to kick her with his spurs. (He actually does not have spurs yet, but they are developing.) Then he would try to peck her again, then finally he walked away, still crowing very loudly. I thought it might be mating, I am not sure, but the weird thing about it is, Josie became broody last summer, and all the roosters are her sons.... that is one thing that keeps me from thinking it might be mating, or does it matter in chicken world?

    Thank you,
    Ilovefarming :)
     
  2. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chillin' With My Peeps

    134
    3
    78
    Jun 12, 2014
    I also forgot to add that I have not seen them show any interest in the other hens yet, just Josie.

    Thank you!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,418
    196
    216
    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Sounds like the hormones are starting to flow. With them being young they don't have the how of mating yet. They are showing her a little aggression to get her to submit. No it doesn't matter if its their parent.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,545
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    That's mating behavior. Sounds like it's time to decide the fate of all those roosters. What are your long term plans for them?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,836
    9,342
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Get those cockerels (roosters under a year old) away from the poor hens/pullets!

    Take all but 1 cockerel/rooster and lock them in an enclosure separate from the main flock.....then decide what's for dinner. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  6. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chillin' With My Peeps

    134
    3
    78
    Jun 12, 2014
    If anybody in the Augusta, GA area wants a rooster, please let me know. They are free!! I dont care if they are loved as pets or loved wiht rosemary. lol
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by