Rooster and chicks

Kel20

In the Brooder
Aug 23, 2020
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Hi
I would love some advice. A week ago i reintroduced my hen and her 4 chicks to the flock. The chicks are now almost 6 weeks old.
Everything went great and apart from some hens pecking at the chicks occasionally, it all went better than i expected.
Mama hen started laying again yesterday and today i saw the rooster mate with her.
But to my shock i also saw the rooster wanting to mate with a chick. I quickly push him aside. He is a big rooster and the chicks are still little.
Is this behavior normal?
What do people do when this happens?
I am worried the rooster could kill the chicks.
He is very good with the hens and i don't want to get rid of him.
Thanks in advance.
 

aart

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But to my shock i also saw the rooster wanting to mate with a chick. I quickly push him aside. He is a big rooster and the chicks are still little.
Is this behavior normal?
No, not good!!
Might need to isolate him.
Is the hen trying to protect the chicks?
Maybe not by 6 weeks.
Most usually put the broody and chicks in with flock within a week so she can integrate them.
Was broody and chicks in sight of flock?
 

DobieLover

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Jul 23, 2018
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Hi
I would love some advice. A week ago i reintroduced my hen and her 4 chicks to the flock. The chicks are now almost 6 weeks old.
Everything went great and apart from some hens pecking at the chicks occasionally, it all went better than i expected.
Mama hen started laying again yesterday and today i saw the rooster mate with her.
But to my shock i also saw the rooster wanting to mate with a chick. I quickly push him aside. He is a big rooster and the chicks are still little.
Is this behavior normal?
What do people do when this happens?
I am worried the rooster could kill the chicks.
He is very good with the hens and i don't want to get rid of him.
Thanks in advance.
How many hens do you have? How old are the hens and the rooster?
Is the rooster their father?
Are you certain he's trying to mate a chick and wasn't just herding it or otherwise controlling it? You wrote "wanting to mate" not "mate". What makes you think he was actually trying to mate with a chick? It would have been rather easy for him to subdue a 6 week old chick and mount it so I am leaning towards he was trying to show dominance in some way but not mate it.
If you see this behavior regularly, can you record a video of it, post it to YouTube and provide a link here?
 
Last edited:

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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I'm also interested in what "wanting to mate with a chick" looked like. That just doesn't sound right. It should not happen but with living animals you never know.

It sounds like you kept them isolated from the flock until the broody hen was ready to wean her chicks. I've had broody hens wean chicks at three weeks, I've had some go a lot longer. You just can't tell when it will happen. So the chicks probably got very little help from the broody hen as far as integration went and it still went well. The chicks will still have to handle the pecking order, that will be going on until they mature, but it sounds like you are in a good place with that. Sometimes it is that easy.

A good rooster takes care of all his flock members, at least until the boys hit puberty and become his rivals. Your chicks are not there yet. Not all roosters are good but I have had some help a broody hen take care of her chicks. I have not seen it myself but some people say they have had a rooster take over raising chicks if a predator gets a broody hen or even when she weans them. I wonder if that is what you are seeing, the rooster trying to take care of them. It's possible the chicks don't want him to, they may be so new to the flock they are scared of him.
 

Kel20

In the Brooder
Aug 23, 2020
17
14
26
No, not good!!
Might need to isolate him.
Is the hen trying to protect the chicks?
Maybe not by 6 weeks.
Most usually put the broody and chicks in with flock within a week so she can integrate them.
Was broody and chicks in sight of flock?
It's now been
No, not good!!
Might need to isolate him.
Is the hen trying to protect the chicks?
Maybe not by 6 weeks.
Most usually put the broody and chicks in with flock within a week so she can integrate them.
Was broody and chicks in sight of flock?
The hen is not longer caring for them and she chases them and pecks them. She has now gone back to her flock.
I have separated the chicks as they were getting also pecked by the other hens.
I have never had chicks with a hen before, it is sad to watch.
They are all in the same coop but just separated so the others can't hurt them
 

Kel20

In the Brooder
Aug 23, 2020
17
14
26
How many hens do you have? How old are the hens and the rooster?
Is the rooster their father?
Are you certain he's trying to mate a chick and wasn't just herding it or otherwise controlling it? You wrote "wanting to mate" not "mate". What makes you think he was actually trying to mate with a chick? It would have been rather easy for him to subdue a 6 week old chick and mount it so I am leaning towards he was trying to show dominance in some way but not mate it.
If you see this behavior regularly, can you record a video of it, post it to YouTube and provide a link here?
That's very interesting what you say maybe he was trying to control them. He jumped on top of one the same way he does when he mates with a hen, so i just assumed he wanted to mate with the chick.
The rooster and hens are just 1 year old. He is very good with them and looks after the hens so well.
This is my first time dealing with chicks and rooster so it's all new.
I have now separated the chicks as mumma is not longer looking after them and has started packing them.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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That's very interesting what you say maybe he was trying to control them. He jumped on top of one the same way he does when he mates with a hen, so i just assumed he wanted to mate with the chick.
The rooster and hens are just 1 year old. He is very good with them and looks after the hens so well.
This is my first time dealing with chicks and rooster so it's all new.
I have now separated the chicks as mumma is not longer looking after them and has started packing them.
I wouldn't separate the chicks. Mom has integrated them into the flock. It's normal for her to wean them. They are on their own now and need to figure out their place in the flock. If you remove them, they can't do that.
How large is your coop and run? Do you have enough space for the new chicks? Can you please post pictures of your setup?
 

Kel20

In the Brooder
Aug 23, 2020
17
14
26
Tha
I wouldn't separate the chicks. Mom has integrated them into the flock. It's normal for her to wean them. They are on their own now and need to figure out their place in the flock. If you remove them, they can't do that.
How large is your coop and run? Do you have enough space for the new chicks? Can you please post pictures of your setup?
Someone on another page mentioned that the roostet needs more hens and it totally makes sense. I had 7 hens and 1 rooster, unfortunately 2 died and 3 went broody. My roo now has 3 girls but still is not enough.
I have 17 chicks at the moment from different mums and only a couple of weeks apart. I will join all the little ones when mums are done mothering. I think that will be easier and it will solve the pecking problem for a while.
Thanks so much.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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Tha

Someone on another page mentioned that the roostet needs more hens and it totally makes sense. I had 7 hens and 1 rooster, unfortunately 2 died and 3 went broody. My roo now has 3 girls but still is not enough.
I have 17 chicks at the moment from different mums and only a couple of weeks apart. I will join all the little ones when mums are done mothering. I think that will be easier and it will solve the pecking problem for a while.
Thanks so much.
Roosters mounting CHICKS is abnormal. They typically ignore them. Some of the better ones assist in raising them and definitely bond with them. I've never seen a rooster, or a cockerel, attempt to mount a chick. A chick as in less than 6 weeks old. The youngest pullet I've seen that a cockerel (never a rooster) attempted to mate was 12 weeks old. That is not a chick.
 

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