We have a couple of large white "meat birds" given to us by a neighbor, who are approximately 6-8 months old. Earl has just started crowing within the last month...and he's also recently started to mate with Lucille, every chance he gets. There are just the two of them in a small 12' x 12' pen, so he gets a lot of chances. Lucille doesn't seem to mind. She likes hanging around with Earl, and she'll even squat for him on occasion, but she's kind of taking a beating. I don't mind that he's getting her pretty white back all dirty, but he's been yanking out a lot of feathers. Yesterday I noticed a couple of large bare spots above her wings, and she wasn't bleeding, but clearly the skin has been broken. Do I need to protect poor Lucille from Earl's frequent advances, or is this OK? If I do need to protect her, the easiest thing I can think of is separating them. We are working on a new coop for the babies (we have 17 5-wk-old chicks still in a brooder) and a large 130' x 70' fenced run. We could conceivably put one bird in the big run during the day to semi-free-range - the existing fence would easily keep in chickens of their size, although it needs some beefing up before we move the chicks out there. If I move one of them to the large run during the day, which one should it be? I'd rather move Lucille because she's more likely to tolerate the chicks when we're ready to move them in, but I don't want her to feel like she's been kicked out of her home. On the other hand, Earl might be a better candidate because he'd likely kick any potential predator's a$$. Thoughts?