Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by juliemarie, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. juliemarie

    juliemarie In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2014
    I have a 5 month old sebright rooster along with several LF hens also 5 months old that grew up together. He is now attacking them when I let them out in the morning. He will chase and grab onto the side of their necks. I have watched him for a while now and he is normally not aggressive. He seems to continually pick on one or two hens for several minutes and then he is quiet. When they are in the coop together they are all fine, very quiet actually. He is not aggressive towards me or my daughter. Is this normal behavior or is he becoming mean.
  2. ShockValue

    ShockValue Songster

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    He's not becoming mean, he's becoming sexually active. He's trying to mount the hens and they aren't squatting and letting it happen so he ends up just pulling on their neck feathers as they try and get away.

    It's probably amplified that he's small, they're large, and he's never been around hens that will make him be a gentleman about it.

    We were going through this, and most folks said it works itself out assuming the girls can put up with it (or lock him up for a while if not.)

    But then our rooster got mean towards my daughter and wife, and he's no longer living with us.
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 -- welcome to cockerel puberty
  4. juliemarie

    juliemarie In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2014
    Will this continue to be a problem since he will always be small? I am assuming that this is adolescent behavior but he has not tried to mount any of the girls, just attacks them.
  5. He is not attacking them. He is attempting to mate them and failing miserably.
  6. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    He should improve with age.

    When George (my cockerel) started maturing he had two moves - the "Jump on them from out of no-where" approach, and the "Call them over for food and jump on them when they bend over" approach! [​IMG]

    Now he is a little older he will do his 'sexy wing-drop' dance for them, circling them in an 'enticing' manner (apparently), then gently grab their necks and mount. They don't squawk and carry on like they used to, and no-one is missing any neck feathers, so he must be getting better at it!

    Be aware though that when they do pick a favourite hen the hen can end up with feather damage. One of my girls was so 'favoured' that she is now near naked on her back and had two big gashes from where Georgie used to hold onto her at her sides. She now wears an apron (a hen-saver) for protection. Georgie is not that rough, but he is a BIG boy and his weight is a lot for the girls to bear.

    Chin up though. Things will get better, it just takes a few months or so.

    - Krista

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