How To Save A Hen From An Overly-Frisky Roosters

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jprice86, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. jprice86

    jprice86 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    30
    Apr 30, 2015
    Ok....so I can't think of any more polite of a way of saying it. We have 6 hens and 2 roosters (one older, established, and good for the girls and one that's a year old and waiting to go to auction). Recently 5 of our hens got broody and we got tired of trying to break them. We free-range our birds and so flushing them out of wherever they are trying to hide can be a full-time chore when they get that way. Plus we have a huge coop and not very many birds so we figured "what the heck...let them have their chicks". One consequence of this decision that neither my husband nor I thought of is that now we have 2 increasingly frisky roosters and only one hen who doesn't have a brood of chicks following her around. The poor little girl was attacked by an owl last year and lost an eye in the ordeal so she (in my opinion) already has a rough enough go of things right now without the two boys constantly trying to mount her. They don't seem to be overly aggressive with her when they do the deed but they are wearing her out and she has started losing some feathers on her wings and neck from them constantly holding her down. Any advice on this? I was wondering if maybe pinless peepers on the roosters would help to keep them at bay for a little while? Based on our previous experience with a couple of our older hens, they are getting ready to ween (I don't know if that's the right word or not) their chicks probably in a couple of weeks...maybe a month, I'd say so, hopefully, we just need a temporary fix. Has anyone had this problem before?
     
  2. Hensndoes

    Hensndoes Out Of The Brooder

    62
    21
    41
    Jun 18, 2017
    No personal experience with that but my gut tells me you can't stop a roo from doing the shag time shuffle. Can you make a bachelor pad until they have more ladies to entertain them?
     
  3. jprice86

    jprice86 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    30
    Apr 30, 2015
    I thought about doing that but we only have the coop (which I can divide into 2 sections) but I worry that if I coop the boys up away from the girls then they will fight each other. The younger one is the older one's son and dad has him pretty well in his place but I don't want to tempt fate.
     
  4. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    901
    160
    181
    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Sounds like you need a bachelor pen out of sight of the hens. If the 2 roosters cannot see the hens, they probably won't fight when confined together, but I'd recommend monitoring the situation to be sure.

    If it's large enough, the bachelor coop and pen could also function as a grow-out pen for the cockerels that were hatched out . . . although that may not be an issue if you plan to cull or sell them before their hormones kick in and they start harassing the pullets and hens.
     
  5. jprice86

    jprice86 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    30
    Apr 30, 2015
    There is a local auction here that is held every month that will take the cockerels so we are only keeping them long enough to be old enough to sell (2 roosters is more than enough lol). We may try the bachelor coop. I hate cooping them up but I guess it will only be for a little while so I'm sure they will be fine.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,118
    3,322
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You can try just separating the younger one. Without the competition the older may not be that active. Many breeders house one rooster with one or two hens throughout the breeding season without issues. It might be worth a try.
     
  7. jprice86

    jprice86 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    30
    Apr 30, 2015
    We may just need to expedite getting rid of the younger one. He behaves fairly well but that's just because he's afraid of his dad....he pushes his luck when dad's not around. I'm fairly certain that he would be a good rooster if he were the only one but having both of them around is no good (they never quit crowing at each other, for starters). Maybe the dominance game is the catalyst. We were just hoping to wait until we could take them all to auction at the same time. Might just put him up for a week or so and see if the other one starts to behave better.

    Also, has anyone tried the chicken aprons? I hadn't thought about it until I stumbled across it in another thread....maybe just protecting her back and neck and letting the boys go on might work too. She doesn't seem distressed by their attention....she's just getting feathers torn out. Do the aprons do a good job protecting the hens from the roosters or do they only work for pickers?
     
  8. Chickassan

    Chickassan Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,042
    1,415
    216
    May 23, 2017
    Berea, South Carolina
    If you can keep them on they work well. I've only used for a short time just until the hen gets in better shape because they interfere with their preening.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,736
    6,861
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Might be a good time to set up a bachelor pad.....since you gave all those broodies some eggs to hatch, there's gonna be more boys to deal with ;) .
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by