Rooster biting hens!!

BuffOrp82

In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 8, 2013
49
1
34
I have a 3 and a half month old Buff Orpington rooster, he is very sweet to me, he eats out of my hand and will sit in my lap for hours if I let him, he even follows me around the yard. But recently i have noticed him getting aggressive with my hens. He bits them! He bits the back of their necks and won't let go, this morning I had to pull him off of one of the girls. The hen he was biting was screeching and afterward seemed scared of him.

So my question is, is this normal behavior? What can/should I do? He is my only roo and is so sweet with me I just don't understand his behavior with the girls. I love him and he's definitely a favorite of mine but I don't want him to hurt the other hens ( 7 hens total )

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

BuffOrp82

In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 8, 2013
49
1
34
Geez really?? I'm new to chickens these ones are my first, but I'd have never guessed that that is what he was doing. The girls do not seem happy about it AT ALL.
 

familyfarm1

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 9, 2013
6,322
297
317
Northern Virginia
Just make sure that they aren't losing feathers on their back. They will be fine as long as he isn't to rough.







Edited for spelling
 
Last edited:

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,584
13,125
707
Southeast Louisiana
Mature chicken mating behavior: (Notice I said mature)

The rooster dances for the hen. He drops a wing and sort of circles her. This signifies his intent.

The hen squats. This gets her body on the ground so the rooster’s weight goes through her body into the ground. This protects her legs and allows a rooster that weighs a lot more than her to safely mate with her.

The rooster hops on top and grabs the back of her head. The head grab not only helps him keep his balance and gets him in the right orientation to hit the target, it is the signal to the hen to raise her tail out of the way.

The rooster touches vents and hops off. His part is done.

The hen stands up, fluffs her feathers, and shakes. This gets the sperm in the right container inside the hen.

The mating behavior is not just sexual. It is also about dominance. The one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or by force. Occasionally a rooster will go through the ritual with another rooster or a hen with another hen. That’s pure dominance.

Part of what you are seeing is that the cockerels usually mature earlier than the pullets. They are adolescents with their hormones running wild and they have no control over their behavior. It’s not just sex, it’s also the instinctive desire to dominate and be the flock master. I don’t know how old your hens are but if they are the same age as him, the pullets haven’t yet learned to do their part. If they are older, a more mature hen often expects certain behavior from a rooster. He needs to dance for them, find them food, look out for danger, and keep peace in his flock. An immature rooster often does none of these things very well so she resists. For the mating ritual to work the way it should, it takes both male and female top do their part.

A dominant rooster needs to dominate his flock. What good does it do to signal danger if no one listens to him? How can he break up fights and keep peace in his flock if they are likely to turn around and beat the crap out of him?

What you are seeing is pretty normal in a flock with a cockerel and pullets going through puberty. The pullets don’t know what is going on since they are so immature and they have not yet accepted the cockerel as a true flock master. The cockerel has hormones running wild and nothing to control them. You are likely to go through a fairly rough time until they all mature enough to do their part. If he is damaging the pullets and drawing blood, you do need to take steps, like separate them until they all mature more. But if you can get through this stage they will eventually settle down into regular flock behavior.
 

MichStep

Chirping
5 Years
May 20, 2014
422
8
63
I have a 3 and a half month old Buff Orpington rooster, he is very sweet to me, he eats out of my hand and will sit in my lap for hours if I let him, he even follows me around the yard. But recently i have noticed him getting aggressive with my hens. He bits them! He bits the back of their necks and won't let go, this morning I had to pull him off of one of the girls. The hen he was biting was screeching and afterward seemed scared of him.

So my question is, is this normal behavior? What can/should I do? He is my only roo and is so sweet with me I just don't understand his behavior with the girls. I love him and he's definitely a favorite of mine but I don't want him to hurt the other hens ( 7 hens total )

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
He Is Simply Breeding With Them Some Are Rough And The Hens Aren't Very Happy About That.
 

Buffy3

Hatching
Jul 21, 2015
1
0
6
Florida
I am having the same problem, except my roo is biting at the hens backside. They are roughly 18 weeks. The girls haven't started laying yet. Is their a time frame from when the roo starts trying to mate to the time the hens start laying? This is also our first flock of chickens (ever) so needless to say, the kids and I are very excited to start collecting eggs. Thanks in advance.
 
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