Is this ok?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by KennytheRancher, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. KennytheRancher

    KennytheRancher New Egg

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    Aug 9, 2016
    I started raising chickens for 8 weeks now is it ok for my 8 week old chicks to start mating for that is what i am seeing my rooster doing to one of my 3 hens as he grabs her neck and gets on top of her Is that normal behavior or do I need to do something (1 new hamp red rooster,1 new hamp red hen,1 golden comet hen,and1 Dominique hen) my rooster does this to my golden comet or that is the only one I see him doing that too
     
  2. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello, and welcome to BYC! Since they are only 8 weeks old, your male is just trying to gain dominance over the hens at this point.
     
  3. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    I agree, pecking order is being established.
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Females may do the same - they want to show they are alpha.
     
  5. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    You are right. My pullets were throwing out their chests and trying to bump them to the cockerel when they were smaller.
     
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Hello from Kansas and :welcome. Great to have you in our community. :weee
     
  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  8. KennytheRancher

    KennytheRancher New Egg

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    Aug 9, 2016
    My chickens are about 16 weeks now and I have them to a attached run but I want to know what age can I free range them without watching them during the day time can they protect themselves from Hawks or other predators at this age I have 4 1 rooster the rest hens
     
  9. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

    Rarely will a cockerel start mating so young. It's likely a dominance display. He may turn out to be a pest as he matures though, the quicker maturing cockerels have a tendency to be jerks once they're grown.

    Free ranging can begin once they are fully grown. They should reach physical maturity anywhere between 16-20 weeks. Keep in mind that they are still vulnerable to predators at any age, just a bit less so when it comes to small predators (hawks, cats). Free ranging is accepting eventual loss of some birds and acknowledging that since the predators are not being excluded from the area, you will remove them when they cause issues.
     
  10. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Hello there and welcome to Backyard chickens. You have gotten great advice, so I'll just say Hi! :frow and good luck.
     

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