Mating and Dominant Hen behavior question.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AllCoop'dUp, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. AllCoop'dUp

    AllCoop'dUp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2010
    Creswell, Oregon
    I have 6 -18 wk old hens and a rooster in with 4 -13 wk old hens and rooster, so obviously the 18 wk olds are the dominate. The 18wk old rooster keeps trying to mate with one particular 13 wk old hen. This might be a stupid question, but is the 18 wk old rooster hurting her? I haven't seen her submit to him or the 13 wk old rooster. But the poor thing is missing a lot of head/neck feather now. The other part of this question is WHY when the rooster is trying to mate with her and she is desperately trying to get away do the older hens come and peck at her? Two or three of the older ones do this. Are they all trying to get her to submit? They don't do this to any of the other 13 wk olds. Just this girl and wouldn't you know it, she's my favorite. Maybe when I put the next group in with them, they will find someone else to pick on.
     
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    First off, they aren`t hens, they`re pullets and will not submit to roosters until they get to laying age. Cockerals start itching before pullets and act like teenage boys until they mature a little. It`s a natural instinct in chickens to attack weaklings and in her desperation to escape, she becomes a target. Things will smooth out as the flock matures. Just make sure they don`t draw blood. If you see blood, seperate that bird until she heals. they are not above killing and eating her. Good luck.......Pop
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    You could always remove both cockerels until the pullets mature. Even when they mature, 2 roosters with 10 hens may be one rooster too many.
     
  4. AllCoop'dUp

    AllCoop'dUp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2010
    Creswell, Oregon
    Quote:I have 20 more pullets that I'll be putting in with the group this weekend. They are 8 weeks old. So my Rooster to hen ratio should be OK.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    The problem lies in the age of the pullets rather than the number at the present time. They are not ready for breeding, but he is. Even if you add 20 more pullets, he will keep tormenting the one thirteen week old hen. Yes, if he is considerably larger than her he can hurt her. Look at some threads about damage done to hens by overzealous roosters. Their toenails can rip the hen's sides open causing resultant infection and possible maggot infestation.
     

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