Overly aggressive rooster or maturing?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 7girlsandaroo, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. 7girlsandaroo

    7girlsandaroo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2012
    Kennebunk, ME
    My latest flock is 4-months old. 5-pullets and 1-roo (mistake). The roo is an easter-egger. They are free range, 8X10 coop, just weening them from grower ration to layer. They have access to both. Water has ACV w/mother's included. Red light in coop. The roo has been doing a pretty good job tending to his ladies and they follow his lead. I have tried to keep him friendly by giving him lot's of attention. He allows me to pick him up and he will jump up on my knee from time to time when I am visiting with them when securing them for the night. However, he is becoming quite aggressive with 2 of the pullets. He hasn't started mating, but he grabs them behind their heads or back as if attacking them. He will chase them trying to grab them and pull out their feathers. I would very much like to keep him, but if this behavior is bullying and being overly aggressive and not part of the learning how to mate process he will have to move on. When he is not doing this, the pullets stay with him, follow him around and otherwise depend on him. But they sure scream out when he's being mean.

    I would appreciate some advice or comforting thoughts in this matter.
     
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    It is normal. As the pullets approach POL they will begin squatting for him to mate without the "raping" as I called it. This behavior will last for around a month or so. Unless he is drawing blood, it is all normal. Just try and check the girls every night on the roost to see if he is drawing blood.
     
  3. 7girlsandaroo

    7girlsandaroo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2012
    Kennebunk, ME
    Thanks, I just hope he and the girls figure this out soon as I don't really need a rooster, but it appears they like his guidance and protection. He has also plucked several tail feathers from one of the girls, which just seems mean behavior.
     
  4. This is completely normal. He's just being a hormonal teenager. When he does figure out how to mate he'll grab the hens by the neck to get his balance while he does his business, but now he's still trying to figure everything out (and the hens are probably not too eager to accept his attention either, which doesn't really help......).

    He'll be weird and chase the hens and crow to no end for a month or so, then everything will eventually even out and go back to normal. 7 of my cockerels just got out of this phase, and I swear toward the end of it I was about to go out and butcher them right there so I didn't have to hear all the crowing at 2 am (no joke). But about a week ago all of a sudden they stopped chasing hens and crowing and fighting and pulling out feathers and are now normal, happy roos (but I'll bet the hens and I are happier).

    Like Travis said, there's nothing really wrong unless he is really hurting the hens and drawing blood. But besides a few missing feathers I doubt you'll really see anything too bad.

    ~~Ms.B :)
     
  5. 7girlsandaroo

    7girlsandaroo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2012
    Kennebunk, ME
    Thank you for your assurance. When I got home tonight I checked in on them (they had been out all day) and they were all on their roost calm and peaceful. I sat with them a bit and they jumped down to eat and return my chicken chatter. Winnie, (the roo) started crowing (it's 6 p.m.) and grabbing the girls by the neck. When trying to break free (and screaming) he pulled out feathers. I picked him up and lightly scolded him, more for me than any hope he would actually listen. LOL
     

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