1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

My cockerel is a sissy...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FreedomFarm13, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. FreedomFarm13

    FreedomFarm13 Songster

    Mar 20, 2015
    I have a blue ameraucana cockerel named Athos. He's 22 weeks old, and he's not crowing or trying to mount ANY of my girls. I put him in with one of my blue ameraucana girls, but he was so terrified of her, he wouldn't go near her. And I never saw her being mean to him. She pecked at him a couple times, but nothing malicious or anything. I do have another older cockerel who is 9 months, and he's definitely the dominant boy, but even after separating these two, Athos wouldn't even try breeding her. Is he too young still? I've heard of much younger cockerels trying to mate, but I'm not sure if my older cockerel is making Athos take a little longer, even though they're separated. Does anyone have experience with this, and if so, how old was your more submissive cockerel when he finally decided to "go for it"? I don't know how to help him be more confident, and I could really use some help.

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    He's still pretty young. Most roosters are just starting to sexually mature at that age. Give him time, and don't put him in with hens he doesn't know or are older than him until he gets older or he could get seriously hurt.
  3. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    EE and Americauna roos are a bit slower to mature. I have two white leghorn and polish crosses that were hatched the first part of July of last year. They've been dancing and mating the hens for a good 3 to 4 months now. He'll mature eventually. Good advice from the other poster.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    How long have you had him with the pullet? I would give it a good two weeks before I got too concerned.

    My only experience with true Ameraucana roosters was, they were very docile and not assertive with the hens. Kind of like your guy. Very laid back breeders. First bird wasn't a great fertilizer, only like 75% or so. I'm used to my cockerels giving me all fertile eggs, even up to a dozen hens. Second bird did better.

    I don't have enough experience to say it's a breed thing, but it may be. He's also kind of young. I'd give him time and wait for spring to ramp up the hormones. If you're wanting him to be a breeder, set up your pens now and give it a month or so, then set eggs and see how fertility is.

    I often don't see my males breeding at all. I just set eggs and get chicks, so I know they're doing the job sometime [​IMG]
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    A 'sissy'......or 'smart'?
    He's young and not the top cockerel.

    Was the 'girl' you put him in with an adult hen or a pullet....how old?
    And, yes, how long has he been penned with her?

    You should be glad he's not over aggressive, wouldn't be a great sign in a young cockerel.
    Be patient, observe, and learn more about chicken behaviors/society.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Momof2chickens

    Momof2chickens Hatching

    Jan 7, 2017
    I have a buff orp and he is six months old. He is the only one other than my hen which is a RIR and she is four or five months if that. She is still small. My cockerel would not do anything but try to peck her feathers out. I had him with another hen who was older, she was four years old. We gave her back to her owner because she had 'scaly legs'. The scales on her legs were raised really high. He did not even try to mate with her. Is this normal behavior? My hen wont go near him when we have them in the same pen. We've had to spereate them because he gets to pecking her to hard and she is still so small that I do not want her to get hurt.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Agreed. It will take MUCH longer for a young cockerel to assume command over older hens.

  8. He sounds to be still a bit immature and is actually respectful to the Hens....Things can change daily though.....The Older Cockerel kept him in his place....Give him time....He will start to win over the Hens are his hormones get stronger....Once he tidbits and Crows the Ladies will get more interested in him....

    Best of luck....

  9. FreedomFarm13

    FreedomFarm13 Songster

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thanks for the advice, everyone!! They were together for about two weeks before I decided to put them both back in the main coop, because I was getting worried he would hurt himself. He was trying so hard to stay away from her that he was flying into the side of the run and just generally concerning me, so I decided to give him a little more time to grow up and just be a young cockerel. The plan is to try again once he's a little more mature this Spring. The pullet in question was about 9 months at the time, just fyi. All of my birds have been together since the youngest were about 4 months old and I felt like they were big enough to take care of themselves, so they already know each other. I think he was just a bit overwhelmed by being alone with her, so I decided it wasn't the right time and that he needed to grow up some more. I totally believe what you were saying about Ameraucana cockerels, @donrae. My older cockerel, 10 month old Hugo, is very sweet with the girls, and the only one he will currently mate with is the girl I tried to set Athos up with, Cora. It's because she just lets him, she's very accomodating. If Hugo tries to "hook up" with any of the other girls and they seem AT ALL uninterested, he gives up. He doesn't want to be pushy. It's actually very sweet, and I'm grateful I have such a gentleman. I do have one more question, though...I have four cockerels total, and they have all lived together since they were old enough to fend for themselves. Should I separate the boys if I want to breed? Will this help them to feel more comfortable with the girls? I have a few small pens that I plan to use for breeding, so I could separate them immediately, and have been thinking about doing so, but I'm worried after the situation with Athos and Cora. Do you think it would be better to keep them separate? When I first put them all together, I was worried there would be fighting, but everyone seems to get along and my sweet Hugo is not at all mean to the other cockerels, so I had just been letting them all stay together. Do you think I should separate them? And if so, should I go ahead and put them in with the girls I intend to breed them to, or just let them be guys by themselves for awhile? I don't want them to get lonely. Sorry for all the questions, but I'm new to having cockerels and it's occurred to me how much having them changes the dynamics of the flock so I want to make sure everyone is as happy as I can make them and that everything is as comfortable and safe for both cockerels and pullets as it can be. Anybody have suggestions for what I should do for my boys? Just so you know, there is enough space for each boy to have his own pen and harem of girls to keep him company. Thanks!

    ETA: The youngest cockerel, my SLW Percy who is only 17 weeks, would be staying in the big coop with Athos, most likely, because they seem to be friends and I know Percy isn't old enough to handle my SLW girls, who are bullies, so I definitely think he needs MUCH more time to grow up before he can be expected to do his job. But I think the other three can handle it, especially if the two youngest have each other to hang out with if they're ostracized by the ladies. What do you think?
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by