My poor little pullets...it's getting rough...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jeffross1968, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    So, we have 2 roosters who have matured at the same time, one at 21 weeks, another at 17ish. They both crowed for the first time yesterday, and tonight, I'm guessing the hormones have kicked in, and they have no idea what to do with them. Both have begun running up behind only the girls of the same age, not laying yet, but not knowing what to do after that, beyond grabbing a hold of them and getting dragged around. The pullets don't know what is going on either (we had to cull our last roo a couple months ago).

    How long (days, weeks) before everyone figures out what they should be doing. They have so far totally ignored the older, laying hens (9 of them) and only focusing on the non laying ones (5 or 6). With both beating up those few...getting a little worried. No blood yet, but feathers are being ripped out.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It's nature. A young rooster is a pain. Not much to do except live through it. He won't likely be sensible for at least another few months, sadly.

    If it gets out of hand, to your taste, I'd yank 'em out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  3. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you need two roosters? If not, I would say to cull one of the roosters.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If they were mine, I would separate the roosters - probably eliminate one eventually and then reintroduce the remaining rooster when the pullets are more mature.
     
  5. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Need? I guess not. However, we'll have around 30 hens by mid summer, and would like enough roos to keep them all fertilized. We have a total of 4 at differing ages, and would like some time to choose between them for the best 2, maybe 3.

    I know they'll be very active mating, and once they get around to all the girls, it will take the pressure off the few younger ones. I guess I'm wondering how long it might be before they actually figure out how to mate, and when they'll start broadening their horizons, and mating the older ones?
     
  6. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains

    Unfortunately, I just don't have the real estate and extra coop to separate them. They free range from morning till dark, and it seems it's only the last hour or so of day light when chaos ensues...
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    They won't be mating the older hens. Those older gals are not going to accept a young punk until he demonstrates, through maturity, that he has earned his place at the head of the flock. They're not impressed with those young guns right now. Not a bit.
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Amen on not mating the older hens. Until the cockerels mature the old hens will kick their butts. If you can't separate, just tolerate. If it gets to the point where their attempts at gang breeding cause physical damage eliminate one of the cockerels. Torn combs, necks, and spur and toenail damaged backs are frequently caused by gang breeding.
     
  9. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Give em a few weeks. If it gets bloody, then you will know which has to go. But for now, they are all learning, feather will fly... Its normal. You will know by the girls if its getting out of hand.
     
  10. AHDCST

    AHDCST Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]Best bet is to just tolerate the nonsense. They do outgrow it, I promise! The hens will let you know when they have had enough. If the feathers are getting ragged looking on the hens backs you might try a saddle to protect their backs. I was told to hold off until the hens got a little thicker skin. You will want a rooster for every 15 hens but as mentioned before the rooster has to earn his place within the flock. Right now they are at the bottom of the pecking order. I have a Barred Rock hen that still won't allow the rooster to even get a good hold on her head! If you have a more mature rooster I would cull one of the cockerels. Just my opinion for what it is worth!
     

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