How Long for a Young Rooster to Move Up the Pecking Order?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by billygoat162, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    I have a 7 month old cochin/easter-egger rooster that started crowing about 3 months ago, and he is still very near the bottom of the pecking order. One of my hens hatched him from an egg, and he has been with the entire flock of 7 hens since he was about a month old. As far as I can tell, there are 2 hens that are lower than him in the pecking order (the two youngest, about a month older than him), one that is tiny (maybe 3-4lbs) that is neck to neck with him, and the rest will often chase him off if he tries to eat with them. He only ever "services" the two youngest hens, and sometimes the tiny one that refuses to take orders from anyone.

    Is this normal? Will he eventually move up, or is he always going to be bullied? He's the least aggressive rooster I've ever seen, except for when his brother started crowing and I had to find him a new home. Except for beating up his brother, he's never been aggressive and keeps his distance from both me and the top few hens. He's not small, probably 10lbs, but is a giant wimp. I don't want an aggressive rooster, but I was hoping he would at least defend the flock against predators should the coop and fence ever fail to do so. I also have friends who are hoping for some fertile eggs. The hens are RIR, gold sex link, buff orpinton, red leghorn, and Welsummer, if it makes a difference.
  2. LittlePip21

    LittlePip21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2017
    Not sure if this is helpful, but when I introduced my rooster to my flock (already had his spurs, sweetest thing alive, takes really good care of the hens) he wound up at the bottom of the pecking order. But slowly he climbed the ladder and is now top chicken. how badly is he being picked? maybe when he gets his spurs he will be more confident? idk, but if your worried about him getting enough feed you could always have a few small food bowls around the run so there is less competition. hope this was helpful!
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Folks who expect roosters to actively defend against predators have to select for that. I think your game birds, etc are far more likely to do so. The most you'll be able to expect from your guy is being a good warning system, that's what most of them do. Yes, there will be folks come on saying "my hatchery breed X rooster died to defend his hens".....but for every one of those, there are dozens where the rooster gives a warning call then leads the retreat [​IMG].

    I think some of the issue with your guy is the Cochin blood. Cochins are slow to mature. He's just going to be hitting his stride the next few months. Spring coming will help, his hormones will start flowing and he'll be more interested in mating.

    Just because you don't see him mate, doesn't mean he doesn't. I rarely see my roosters mate, but have excellent fertility. If you tried incubating eggs, you might be surprised. More so if you wait until later in March, I'll bet by then he's doing the job with most of the hens.
    jodybrook and aart like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by