Rooster are picking on my hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Apub, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Apub

    Apub Hatching

    6
    6
    9
    Apr 23, 2019
    I have two roosters in the flock and they seem to be picking on my hens. What do I do with them? Do I really need roosters?
     
    doublecrossranch and starri33 like this.
  2. starri33

    starri33 Crowing

    849
    2,207
    317
    Feb 28, 2016
    Golden Valley AZ
    If all you are wanting are eggs, you do not need Roo's.. how many hens do you have?
     
    Trimurtisan, BlueBaby and Chicka_deee like this.
  3. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Enabler

    A hen will still lay egg's even without having a rooster there. If you are wanting to have fertile egg's that you can hatch, then yes you need a rooster. Since you said that you have 2 rooster's, how many hen's are there in with them?
     
    Trimurtisan and starri33 like this.
  4. starri33

    starri33 Crowing

    849
    2,207
    317
    Feb 28, 2016
    Golden Valley AZ
    When you say they are picking on them, what type of behavior?
     
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    4,658
    7,621
    482
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Only thing you'd need roosters for is making babies. Beyond that it's up to you if you want to keep them for other reasons.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    23,238
    9,621
    667
    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Everything else is personal preference. Some people want a rooster even if they don't want fertile eggs but others are very happy to have no males in their flock.

    There can be a big difference in intensity of actions, immature cockerels going through puberty can be a lot rougher than mature roosters, but I'm assuming what you are seeing is the males trying to establish dominance over the flock. That's the nature of chickens. What normally happens is that the boys chase the girls, grab them by the back of the head, and forcefully mate with them. That's normal natural behavior but it can be hard to watch because it is physical. Usually the girls are not hurt but since it is physical they can be.

    With two or more boys they will decide which one is boss. Sometimes that is determined pretty peacefully but often it involves some serious fighting. It's possible they can fight to the death though if you have enough room they often work things out without one getting seriously injured. But you can never tell what will happen.

    If you decide you don't want any roosters, you can eat the boys. Many of us do.

    You can build a separate coop and run for the boys only. If they don't have any girls to fight over they usually don't fight that much. If they are separated they can't bother the girls.

    You can try to sell them or give them away. I'm not sure which country you are in. If you are in the USA Craigslist can be useful but I understand many other countries have something similar where you can buy, sell, or trade online with your neighbors. Or talk to the people at your feed store, they may be able to help you. If you can find your state or country thread in the "Where am I? Where are you!" section of this forum you can chat with your neighbors. Many places have livestock auctions or chicken swaps, those are pretty good options.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Picking on or trying to mate with?
    They look really similar.:)
     
    Shadrach likes this.
  8. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    6,605
    32,418
    1,092
    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    There are lots of very good reasons for keeping a rooster that have nothing to do with fertile eggs.
    The first that springs to mind is they are so much better looking than hens.:p
    Of course, if brought up correctly they can be much easier to handle than hens. Pick up a hen and the first thing she thinks is 'oh no, he/she wants sex'.;)
    On a more serious note, a lot depends on how you keep your flock. If you keep your flock contained in a run and coop many of the duties that a mature and able rooster would carry out in a free range setting are not only unnecessary but impossible.
    Now all female communities may well be easier for the human keeper to deal with, but how do the hens feel about them. I've had all female groups here for a period of time; their roosters died protecting them.:(
    When a replacement rooster became available and was gradually introduced to the hens you could see the hens jumping around with excitement saying stuff like 'He's just so gorgeous' and 'oh wow, we've got ourselves a man at last'.
    Nature, has it organized that when chicks hatch, taken over time the sexes are equally divided 50% male and 50% female. There's probably a good reason for this and frankly I have more faith in nature than I do in Internet advisors.:rolleyes:
     
    Chickassan likes this.
  9. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Lol, iv'e seen girls get exited over the gnarliest looking roosters.
    No eye, no problem!
    Bow legs, yes please!
    They were just happy to have some semblance of a male.
    My ladies never do mind slumming even though I raised them better than that. ;)
    I look at it this way, the rooster isn't for me he is for them even with all the pomp and splendor that is chicken romance and just life in general he's their pet and as hard to belive as it is they actually enjoy having him around.:)
     
    Shadrach likes this.
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    6,780
    5,697
    476
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I am going to make some assumptions, might be totally wrong, but I see the OP joined us in April, if the OP got chicks at that time, those chicks are going into the teen age spell. If the OP does not have older or a multi-generational flock, that can cause problems

    So dear OP - if my assumptions are right, what has happened is that the roosters have grown faster, and sexually matured earlier than their flock mate pullets. They are and will bully the pullets cause they are bigger and can do so. It would be much more peaceful to separate them from your girls. You can rehome them, or cull them, or keep them in a bachelor pen.

    If you had a multi-generational flock, the older birds would thump some manners into them, but without that, most roosters in this situation would be obnoxious.

    So, no you don't need a rooster, and I think you would be best without a rooster this year. Roosters take some experience. I would recommend that if you have 2 roosters, you have about 25-30 hens.

    Good luck,
    MRs K
     
    starri33 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: