My rooster is undressing my hens...

Paully3

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 11, 2013
92
1
41
The Thumb of Michigan
We are new to having roosters with our girls and I just don't know what's normal or what to expect. A good number of our hens now have no feathers on their backs and they are bald. Mating seems more like raping, and not so much a hen submitting and allowing the rooster to mount. he grabs the back of their head and they try to get away and he wrestles them down to the ground and does his thing. They seem to hide from him all the time. This doesn't feel like normal to me. Is this normal? Is it possible to have a rooster and not have half naked hens running around?

BTW, we had 23 hens and two roosters. One of our roos was showing signs of human aggression so we had to get rid of him. So now we have just one rooster.
 
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azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
50
193
S.E. AZ
They do get some abuse, but having hens actually hide from the rooster, means an immature rooster, that is not the best for the flock. I just locked up a couple of said roosters, for butchering next weekend. I had a couple of old timers confined, that are returning back to the flock, as they turned out to be a better fit and less abusive. Even when immature, the older roosters were never as rough as the youngsters headed to the freezer. Maybe, the next batch of chicks will provide better replacements.
 

Paully3

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 11, 2013
92
1
41
The Thumb of Michigan
We were wondering, because it just doesn't seem right. I hear stories about these wonderful roosters that protect their hens and show them where to find food and how much better the flock is for having a guardian. I'm just not seeing it...So how old should a cockerel be before he gets his flock? Should they be kept separate until they mature? Or do some roos just behave better than others. We want roosters because we love the crowing, and we have dreams of the appropriate relationship with the hens that we hope can happen.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
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Southern Oregon
How old are your birds? If the rooster's over say 7-9 months, I'd cull him. If he's younger than that, you can give him some more time to perfect his technique. Make sure the hens have lots of space to get away from him and places to hide. If you just culled a rooster, you should be seeing feathers growing back pretty soon.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
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Southern Oregon
At that age, what you see is pretty much what you get. He's not a keeper by any means. He should be courting the ladies, calling them for treats, dropping a wing to trigger them to squat for him to mount.....doesn't sound like he's doing any of those things. If they're the same age and still hiding from him, it's time for him to go.

This is a great time of year to get a cockerel. Folks are buying chicks and finding out they have a rooster they don't want to keep. Get one of those young guys, grow him out until he's 3-4 months and put him in with the hens. At that point, your mature hens will be very confident and have no problem teaching him some manners. He'll not be sexually mature and won't be aggressive to the ladies. He'll grow up needing to prove himself to them, and as a rule that makes roosters way nicer to hens.
 
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