Rooster behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by beverley7, May 9, 2012.

  1. beverley7

    beverley7 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2010
    My plymouth rooster is attaching my minorca hen by grabbing her comb. It is starting to bleed and change shape. What should I do? The Rooster is younger and came after the minorca who had been with us for 2 years before he arrived
    . She doesn't allow him to mate and has never let him near her. Why is this? Many thanks.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    It's not unusual for mature hens to not allow a young rooster to mate. Some hens, especially young pullets, will squat for practically anything in spurs, but mature hens often expect a rooster to dance for them, bring them treats, be a guard, and maintain order in a flock. The rooster also has to WOW! her with his brilliance and personality. Many young roosters can't impress a mature hen enough to win her approval.

    Another thing is that the mating act is an act of dominance. If the rooster can't dominate her with his personality, she is having nothing to do with him. I've seen hens go through the mating act with other hens when there is no dominant rooster in the flock so she can show she is the dominant flock member.

    What is probably happening is that the rooster is big enough to try to force her, but not mature enough for her to cooperate or for him to dominate her spirit. She still wants to be top dog. It's probably an adolescent phase he is going through where his hormones are raging but he has not yet matured enough for the job. This stage can last months. He will probably outgrow it and learn to be dominate in his flock, but it is possible he could damage her in the meantime.

    I don't know your set-up as to your options. Maybe you could separate them while she heals or maybe for a few months while he matures. You could get rid if either of them, but that is pretty drastic. You could let it go and watch for real serious damage, but if her comb is torn and such, that sounds serious enough to me. It is possible, not an absolute guarantee but a real possibility, that the other chickens will start pecking at the blood and injure or kill her.

    This type of behavior is not unusual in a flock with mature hens and immature roosters, but I usually don't see physical damage. Usually the hen just whips his butt when he tries with them or maybe runs away, but the pullets cooperate.
     
  3. beverley7

    beverley7 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2010
    Thank you for your response.

    I'm thinking I may have to separate her for a bit. She is one of my originals and would hate to see her damaged any further. She also did just lose her friend, our Dorkin, that we had from the start also. Could this be part of the problem too? Would getting another of her kind (Minorca) or another Dorkin be an idea?
    She is very pretty and petite and quiet and Mr. Rooster is quite large and bold and aggressive when mating. Their temperaments quite different within the breeds really. I think she just doesn't like him and why not I guess.

    Many thanks for any info.

    Beverley
     

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