Overzealous rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Pineywoods Peepers, May 30, 2011.

  1. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    I have a Welsummer roo (well technically he's still a cockerel @ only 8 months old) with my 15 hens of various breeds, and all but one or two of the girls are showing signs of wear and tear from his amorous tendencies. I have hen savers on about half the flock, and at this point it looks like I need to buy a few more. Will adding more hens to the flock help spread the love?? I have some younger pullets who will be added to the flock over the next few months.

    Will he mellow out as he gets older or get worse? Other than being too interested in the ladies, he's a pretty good boy. He's a wonderful protector of the flock. He keeps a watchful eye over the girls, yet he's well tempered with my nieces and nephews and any other children/adults who come to our home.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Will adding more hens help this when you already have 15? I very seriously doubt it. I find the ratio of hens to roosters has very little to do with barebacked hens. My worst problems have been when I had the best ratios. That 10 to 1 ratio you keep reading about has nothing to do with barebacked hens or roosters fighting. It is only about fertility.

    He is still an adolescent. The situation might get better when he gets older and it might not. There are a few things that could affect that.

    Are your hens also adolescents? The rooster has a strong instinct to make sure all the eggs are fertile. If the hens are also adolescents, they may not cooperate as they should when he shows an interest. His instincts say go, they do not cooperate, so he gets more physical than would be good.

    Often older hens will not accept an immature rooster. He has to WOW! them with his brilliance, dominanting personality, finding them food, guarding the flock, and doing all the things a good rooster should. Adolescents often have not mautured to the point that the hens accept his dominance, so they resist. He is bigger and stronger than them and his hormones are really pushing him to fertilize eggs.

    As he matures, he may become better at keeping his hormones under control and get better at being a proper rooster.

    He may be a brute all his life and never learn.

    I can't tell you what will happen with yours as he matures. The situation may improve when your young pullets join the flock, but that would be because he has matured, not because you added more hens.
     
  3. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    Thanks for the feedback, Ridgerunner. Most of my hens (technically pullets) will be a year old in July, and I have two that are the same age as the roo. There are a couple of girls that bow up to him when he tries to get flirty, but most of them are pretty accepting. I guess I'll just keep an eye on the situation, and if he doesn't mellow out here in the next few months, I may need to replace him. I don't really want to, but I'm tired of having naked backed hens (and they're probably tired of it too!) Their backs weren't this bare when I had two EE roos with them!
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    My roo is 10 months old. About 3 months ago, he matured, and was jumping every hen, all the time. Whew! I have yet to open an egg that is not fertilized, which is good, cause right now I have 9 under a broody. But lately, he has slowed down a bit, I am still getting fertilized eggs, but I have not 'caught' him in a couple of weeks.

    My 7 hens are a little bare backed, but I am hoping that this will settle down. He is a good roo, showing all the gentlemanly traits. Other than the barebacks, he is great. He is an EE.

    Mrs>K
     

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