"Piggy back rides"


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 23, 2011
So, we were out in the coop this evening selling a couple of our spring chickens when our 21 week old rooster decided to mount one of the hens - right there in front of everyone, almost at my feet! My 7 year old exclaimed, "Look, Henry's trying to get a piggy back ride!" Much to my chagrin, Henry tried to get a couple more "piggy back rides" before we could retreat to the front lawn.

Aside from the parental dilemma that this has now thrust me into (not having given this day much thought before), I do have a couple of other questions.

The hens that Henry was trying to mount are not yet laying eggs - although they are all between 19.5 and 21 weeks old.

1) Is it an indication that the hen is ready, or is my rooster like any unfettered adolescent that has the inclination to mount anything that walks or crawls?

2) Is it an indication that my rooster is ready to truly fertilize eggs, or will it take him some time to get up to speed? (This is the first time I've notice this activity - he's been running away from the girls up until now).

3) Is there any harm to be done that I should be on the lookout for? We have only had hens to this point, but "Henry" was supposed to be a pullet. When it became evident he was a rooster, we decided that we might try to keep him.
It took our roo time before the majority of the eggs were fertilized. Maybe around a month. Funny, the same piggy back ride view led - totally unintentionally - led to the sex talk and where babies come from with our 7 yo DD. I was so totally not prepared! May youndo a better job than us!!
Piggy back ride! Too funny!

Anyway the answer to question 1 is yes. To both. My hens scream and run like the little girls they are until they get close to laying, then they are more likely to let him have a piggy back ride. On the other hand, the roo is pretty much just like any other adolescent male. Just watch that he doesn't take out their feathers on their backs. If so, that's what those chicken aprons are for.
My roosters have been trying to "take piggy back rides" since they were 16 weeks old. Way before our hens were ready to lay eggs. When my rooster does that with me in the run or yard I gently kick him off so he knows I am the head roo and that that activity is not acceptable in front of me.

BTW my son thinks they are playing leap frog when they mount the hens. Can't wait to explain that one to the teacher.

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