Hard decisions


9 Years
Aug 23, 2010
State of confusion
When I got my small flock of hens almost a year ago, when I went to pick them up, I fell in love with a large, stately Buff Orpington roo we named Chief, who came home with us. Since then he has been a great roo, taking care of his hens, calling them over when he finds food, will pick something up and drop it in front of one of them, breaks up fights or arguments, watches for predators and is not mean at all and very respectful. He has a beautiful crow, and I love watching him walk around and be dignified.

However, I am noticing that he is getting really rough with the hens. One hen in particular does not like him at all, he has tried to do the "pimp" dance but she walks away, and it isn't without trying on his part. Tonight he actually jumped her suddenly, scaring her and she was not amused as he tried to grab her head feathers. My little Cochin will bow down for him and on he goes, but I worry he is going to hurt her as he is a big rooster. My hens vary in size from the smaller cochin to the larger standard size Cochin hens.

Tonight, I talked to my husband about finding him a good home and keeping the young rooster that is in my pullets I have. I worry about Chief hurting one of my smaller hens and I don't like how rough he is when he does breed them. This is a really hard decision as I love my rooster but I also love my hens too. Does anyone have any ideas? Helpful hints?

I have had a Buff Orp roo and a bantam cochin hen, but not at the same time.

It wouldn't bother me, personally.


Maybe I'm just not sensitive enough?

I am subscribing to the thread to see what others think. I just wanted to weigh in on it.

Now if a roo starts causing wounds or the hens needing saddles, that's another thing.

I assume you are worried about the cochin's leg joints?
I have one hen already that he gave too much attention to and she is wearing a saddle now to protect her back and her wing tips. Two other hens are starting to show signs of him kneading a bit too much on them as well but they have their feathers still.

I shouldn't worry about it I guess. I just wonder if he isn't too big for the hens and if this is a problem for them. The only one who runs from him is the big standard size Cochin hen we call Fancy, he has never bred her and he even looks in her general direction she is gone!!
Sounds like what hes doing is NORMAL... not overly agressive. My roo does this too... he grabs their head feathers for a better..uh... hold on them..i guess...
Hes not beating them up or anything is he? Just doing the deed??
It is possible for a rooster to hurt a hen breeding her, though we have only had that happen one time in six years of owning chickens. I don't think there are too many roosters who are always gentle with the hens. Some are better than others. A certain amount of roughness and running away is pretty routine in our flock, but it doesn't seem to be a major issue. If I were you I would just wait and watch for a bit. Roosters are hard to give away. If the hen is lying down for the rooster I doubt he will hurt her in mating with her. WE have one rooster, our beta roo, who often pulls the head feathers of his favorite hens while he stands on their backs. Not exactly romantic, but they don't seem to mind too much...
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Yikes, that's tough.

Have you considered saddles for the hens? I have zero experience with them, but I've read about them.

I wish you the best figuring things out.
Yep, I agree-if he's good otherwise, he's just acting like a goofy, overzealous rooster which is par for the course.
I say keep him!

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