Is the behavior in my coop "normal"?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by slurrywidow, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. slurrywidow

    slurrywidow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2010
    Cottage Grove, Oregon
    I am a fairly new chicken owner and I'm not sure if what is going on in my coop is "normal" or if I need to do something. Quick info: I have a 8x10 coop with an attached run that's more than twice that in size. I have 12 chickens in there all between the ages of 15-19 weeks old. 4 of them are roosters with possibly a 5th. The chickens are all different breeds including 2 silkies (one for sure roo and the other is the one that I'm not sure about).

    The problems: The 3 roosters that are crowing crow ALLLLL day long. And to make it even more fun, sometimes they are crowing in the middle of the night! I live outside of town on acreage so it's not that I worry too much about it but these guys are LOUD and CONTINUOUS! And I do have neighbors that so far have been kind enough to not say anything or throw rotten eggs at the coop. Is this amount of crowing normal?

    Also the silkie roo is all of a sudden awful! Just the meanest little thing, not with me, but the pullets. He is bitting them, chasing them to peck them and is so bad that 4 of the girls have now taken to rarely leaving the roost.
    Mixed in with that is the head roo, a cuckoo marans, who comes flying to where ever the little silkie beast happens to be bullying someone, and of course goes after the silkie. I understand and appreciate him doing that but then the marans turns on the poor pullet and bites at her too. Normal?

    The final problem is the other silkie who has today decided that he/she is going to puff up like an electrocuted cat when two certain pullets are within his/her reach and just go after them. Biting and hanging on, chasing and pecking, and drawing blood! Finally one pullet had enough and they both went after each other with their necks all puffed out and flying at each other.

    What in the world is going on in my coop? I have another very small 4x4 coop that houses 4 laying hens that I got this winter. They were my first chickens and I thought it was all so wonderful owning chickens that I decided to get more early this spring. The big girls are just so calm and gentle with each other but the young coop....not so much! Crazy!

    I'm really thinking I have too many roos and can't wait until they grow up more to decide which one to keep. Correct? Too many hormones flying around?

    Can someone give me some clues as to what is going on? Am I doing something wrong? I'd appreciate all advice or correction. I'd like this to just go back to the fun "chicken t.v." that it used to be instead of this awful horror movie.
  2. ngamtnman

    ngamtnman Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    North GA
    Yes, roosters will crow all day and at night if they are awake. It can get really annoying, I think they get into crowing contests and have to out do each other and have the last crow.

    Roosters can get very rough with hens. I got stuck with 5 roosters and 8 hens last year and I felt so sorry for the hens. The roosters would basically gang rape a hen when they finally got her down and one hen was completely bald on her back and another was completely bald on her head. I finally sent 4 of the roosters off to freezer camp as soon as it was warm enough outside to process them.

    ETA: You can either get rid of some roos or, better yet, just get more hens! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  3. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    lol. My neighbors came over when I first got my chickens and told me there was something wrong with them because they crowed early in the morning but never stopped. It is a misconception that roosters only crow at sunrise. It was a sad realization for my neighbors but amusing for me [​IMG]
  4. andalusn

    andalusn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    Yep, they can crow a lot and start very early and go all day long... [​IMG] I have a Serama rooster that crows very loud and all day long. Actually he crows until he falls asleep. Our Jersey Giant is more traditional about his crowing. He starts at about 5 am and will crow all day for different reasons it seems.
  5. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    To many roosters lol, and the age difference between birds can be a problem, maybe put the younger ones in there own area safe from the older birds, and roosters. Also if there mating a chicken does well I hear with these chicken saddles ( outer wear to protect the girls from being harmed during mating)
  6. MoriahQuilts

    MoriahQuilts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    I'm having the same trouble too, just the last few days. We have 20 17 wk old hens, and two were supposed to be hens and aren't. One was a snotty young roo, but has mellowed out finally. The other is a huge gorgeous buff orp who has been kind and mellow, likes to walk around with me. Always been a treat hog tho. Breaks up fights, calms em down. Last two days he's grabbing the smallest hens by the neck and shoving their face in the dirt. At that point they usually break away, squaking - and everybody runs. He's trying to step on them, and most are little EE's , 1/3 his size. He left bruising and cuts on three hens combs/wattles/ears this morning. So I put him in a dog kennel, not without him trying to bite me. And again when I took him out. Can you place all the roos together, if away from the hens? My chicken mentors are telling me all these romantic roo stories... At this point I'm thinking that's a bunch of chicken sh_t. We only want to feed the roos out, but will be another month. I know what he's trying to do.. but he's hurting them.

  7. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    You have a mini jr high going on in there, too much testerone, and they're in a contest for who can out manily the others. If possiable I'd split the flock into 2 groups, and split the roos between. Since you have banty and LF i'd split on size, and see if that calms things down some. (just run a chickenwire divider in the coop/pen already made, no need to build a new coop in the try-out phase). The mean silkie would find himself invited to dinner, too many behaved roos need homes, to put up with a mean one.
  8. pinkwindsong

    pinkwindsong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2011
    Laurens SC
    I was just outside 4am and the neighbors roosters were crowing.. they do every night at odd hours.. what happened to the cartoon roosters that crow at dawn to wake you up.???

  9. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Quote:I had one that was 2 times a day, dawn, dusk, maybe once a week he'd let slip one more, but he was very punctiual.
  10. stormylady

    stormylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    I would say the crowing is normal, but if you reduce the number of Roos I think that they would crow less because , Like at my house i had to many and they crowed constantly,When I thinned them out their was less compition thus less crowing. I now have 2 roos to 33 hens, but the silkie pen is 2 Roos to 7 hens it used to be 9 roos to 7 hens , boy that was a challenge I got rid of 7 Roos and everything is hunky dory now, hens are happier, I know Im happier and Im sure the neighbors are Too. LOL
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by