Rooster aggressively jumping on and jerking pullet's head/neck

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Beka123, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Beka123

    Beka123 Out Of The Brooder

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    My one and only silkie rooster for my 4 silkies, 3 barred rocks, and 1 Cochin, is -possibly- attacking my Cochin pullet. I say "attacking" with the possibility of it not being so bc I know nothing about chicken behaviors. So here's the scoop:

    I had the silkies and Cochin for about 1 week or so then I put 3 barred rocks in the same pen, 2 of which are now laying... He let the new girls know he was boss in only about 2 days, and has been fine/unagressive since then. The Cochin and silkies came together so I assume they already knew he was boss, I've never seen him "inform" them of his rank. Now I have seen him twice jump on the cochin's back and very, very aggressively (in my own humble and inexperienced opinion) yank on her neck feathers to the point where I seriously thought he was trying to break her neck... I smacked him off of her that second time bc it looked really painful and mean... She is just a pullet I am absolutely sure bc I haven't gotten a single bantam sized egg yet, so I feel like he's not trying to breed her... What is this behavior?
     
  2. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    no, that is normal breeding behavior. The pulling on the neck feathers is his signal that he is in position and for her to raise her tail. He will start breeding them before they lay.
    If he is young, he may be a bit rough due to lack of experience. It is also possible that she wasn't responding "properly" so he pulled harder. Unless there is blood, not likely anything to worry about.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Sounds like normal breeding behavior for a young, inexperienced cockerel. If it escalates, separate him from the pullets until they mature.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    It's called sex.
    Chicken mating is not mild.
    If he's on her back he's mating.
    Young cockerels are especially unromantic.
     
  5. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that should say "young males" lol

    Sex in the animal kingdom is usually pretty rough. Rabbits can be especially brutal, believe it or not. The neck biting is found in a lot of different species, not just birds. Gentle, romantic sex/love is an exclusively human concept :)
     
  6. Beka123

    Beka123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, alright, thanks for your replies, I really did not think it was mating bc she's just a pullet but I guess my inexperience proved me wrong! This morning I ate an egg from my barred rocks that had been fertilized, I guess he's just making his rounds... I thought for sure he was picking on her! Thanks again!
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    My barred rock roo left many cuts on my hens combs trying to get the hang of the mating ritual. [​IMG] Here are some of his first attempts causing damage to the comb of my BR hen. Now he's got the hang of it, and does not grab onto the comb. He will crab just under it on the back of their head for them to raise their tail to complete the mating process. It's completely normal. Some roos are more rough than others. Almost all are rough in the beginning.
     
  8. pfields

    pfields Chillin' With My Peeps

    So, if my rooster is jumping hens that means she will start to lay soon? I have 23 chickens, two are roosters and they are all 19 weeks old. No eggs yet but have seen them check out the nests.
     
  9. ladyearth

    ladyearth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so should I interfere if the recently acquired 2 Barr ocksR is like only 3 or 4 months old and 6 month old Roo is jumping them? Baby Girl(6 month old too) was raised with Roo and she runs over and acts like she is jealousf
    So should I interfere till the younger BR are older????
    thanks yall
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    No, it just means he is nearing sexual maturity, or at least horny. Checking out nests means you may be a week or 2 away. I've had 8 week old Jaer cockerels try to mate anything that moved.

    I would let natural behavior be. They'll figure it out. They aren't teenage humans. In the jungle, there's no one to interfere and they've lived for hundreds of thousands of years.
     

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