Help please...is this normal rooster behavior??????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chicken Heaven, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Chicken Heaven

    Chicken Heaven Out Of The Brooder

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    I got a group of egg layers chicks and a rooster chick all together at the end of summer. They are 18 1/2 weeks now. I was up at the coop for awhile today and noticed this behavior. The rooster crows like crazy then struts around looking at all the hens...he will grab one by the neck feathers and mount her but she makes a horrible protesting noise. He did this numerous times while I was there. When I go in by them a lot of the hens run behind me and hide. I knew this was starting to happen because I could hear a commotion now and then, but I didn't realize how often this occurred . I am concerned about the health of my hens and I worry he may be more of an aggressive rooster. I also picked up a hen and she squawked and he came towards me making a bunch of noise, I worry about my son going in by him. Any thoughts?? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is that age, sometimes come a little earlier. Rooster when they go from chicks to cockerels, become very agitated with hormones. Unfortunately they seem to sexually mature and want to mate much earlier than the counterpart pullets. Every year when I raise chicks I dread that time. This is what I did that worked in the first year. I bought an adult hen and integrated her into my flock, that took the attention of the rooster from the pullets to the fully grown hen. Now since I raise chicks every year, I have the prior years hen to serve as a protection for the young pullets. You can always put him in a pen for a couple of weeks, when the pullets may be ready and accepting on him. For now if you leave them together with no buffering, it will be very stressful for the pullets to deal with him. It is natural, but not necessarily nice.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    It's also better to not let the cockrel mount the pullets right in front of you; make him BACK OFF, and get out of your way. Just walk through him without actually chasing. There's lots of good information here about raising up roosters if you search. Some are wonderful, and some grow up to be jerks headed for the crock pot. Mary
     
  4. Chicken Heaven

    Chicken Heaven Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a group of 6 older hens, should I put him in with them? I did search and could not find my particular problem...will I know if he is a keeper? He is getting to be a very pretty rooster (black australorps) I hate to have to get rid of him but my hens health and happiness is more important to me.
     
  5. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, cockerels mature faster hormonally than the pullets. It might be in your (and their) best interest to put him with the mature hens until your pullets have some time to mature. I've had a little experience with this and have seen maturity through age with cockerels growing into "roosterhood" It's amazing and I'm so glad I gave the guy his chance.

    From what I understand, a cockerel isn't fully mature for quite a while, 2 years or so. I wouldn't make any solid decision about keeping or getting rid of him until that time if you like him. Hormones and immaturity can't be relied upon to tell you whether he's a keeper or not. I know some won't agree with this, but it's my opinion. Lol!
     
  6. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In regards to the cockerel making noise when you picked up a pullet, that's totally normal. If the girls make noise, the boys are on alert. If he didn't try to attack you or anything, he was just doing what is expected of a roo, looking out for his girls.
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, cockerels that are raised with the pullets of the same age are sometimes more aggressive for a couple theories:

    * They don't have older roosters or hens to teach them some "manners"
    * They don't have fully sexually mature hens to mate with (like others have suggested)

    In the first case, if a cockerel grows up around full grown hens or even roosters, he won't as likely get too cocky and play king of the mountain. The adults will peck at him, helping him learn his place. This has seemed to work well in our flock, for the most part. Some cockerels are just plain mean and not worth the wait of 2 years to see if they mellow out, IMO.

    It might be worth it to try putting him in with your 6 mature hens (integrate him slowly as you would with any bird), to give your pullets a break and perhaps he can learn something from the hens.
     
  8. Chicken Heaven

    Chicken Heaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the good advice...I have him separated now to give the pullets a break. I think I will introduce him to the mature hens the one that rules the roost may teach him a thing or two :)
     
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  9. Chicken Heaven

    Chicken Heaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Well an update....I did introduce him to the older girls. It was really funny...he walked around waiting to be noticed and they walked around like he didn't even exist! A little humble pie for him. ;) I did as suggested and walked through him like he wasn't there and went about my business. Now he rushes to get out of my way. I just left them be and things seem to be going just fine. The pullets are much better, they are all so calm and walk around scratching and interact with me instead of trying to hide behind me. Thanks for the help!
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Good work! Mary
     

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