How much Rooster Harrassment is normal?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Carroll County, MD
I did a little post about this last night but I'm new to the chicken thing so I had another question...

We have a flock that is 13 weeks old, 2 roosters (maybe 3) and 7 (maybe 6) girls. The roosters for sure are silver laced wyandotte and austorlorp. The questionable one is a Buff Cochin as it is not crowing, is the same size as the female, but it has pronounced wattles and hasn't crowed yet. I did see it try to mate her and others last night though....

I guess the Roos have discovered the joys of mating and I know this is normal but how much harrassment is normal? And will this get better once mating is old hat? This past week they will not let the girls out of the coop into the run and the run is a nice size. It is also starting to get pretty hot out and I don't like the idea of them being stuck up on their roosts all day for fear of mating.

We have decided at least one, if not both of the known roosters are going. If the Buff Cochin is indeed a boy I figure he'll be more on the friendly side since that is their temperment. I do like the SLW and had originally planned on keeping him but if he won't let them out either well I just don't like that.

Last night I watched my Buff Coching boy/girl go to grab and mate my Buff Cochin girl. The Austrolorp didn't like that so he chased him off and got on her, then the SLW didn't like that so he did the same. She was trampled on and stood on and stepped on and at the end of the actually fast venture she was left with her head down hiding. I actually thought she was dead until I went over to check on her because she wasn't moving. Then I picked her up and took her up to where I was hanging out and she stayed there all evening.

A week ago free ranging they would all hang out so nicely outside. This week I had to shoo them out of the coop and all night long the girls just wanted to get away. Crazy boys and their hormones!
I would like that question to be answered also, as I have 2 roosters and 4 hens. There is NO WAY I am going to just get rid of my roosters, as I love them as much as I love the hens. One of my roosters is kind of aggressive, though he will sleep in my arms when I pick him up and pet him. He grabs the other rooster and all of the hens by the neck and they squawk and run...I know it must hurt. My chickens were born on March 4, so they aren't that old - I don't know how old they are before they start 'gettin' it on' but I thought they had to be 6 mos. old. I'm a novice - learning quickly, but still have a ways to go. Hannibal used to peck me very hard when I came into the pen, but he no longer does that and he does not run from me- seems to enjoy it when I pick him up...I love him lots..lots...and more lots.
Once you lower the testosterone level in your pen, you will find things calm right down. A bit of flapping and squawking is normal, but too many boys tend to cause the kind of obnoxiousness you're seeing.

One roo should be able to take care of 10-12 hens. A hen does not need to be mated every day to have consistently fertile eggs, if you are selling/hatching eggs.

Good luck!
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