Rooster harassing new hen

VaultGirl27

Songster
Oct 22, 2019
175
157
101
I introduced 2 point of lay pullets to my flock of 10. Did the slow introductions of side by side and allowing the pecking order to work out. All of my hens have no interest in the new hens and neither does my young cockerel. My rooster however is chasing only one of them. The other hen is fully integrated, but the one is being constantly pestered by the top rooster. He tried to mate her and she kinda bucked him off. She's a Jersey giant and he's a silkie serama cross so she can easily toss him Haha. After that, he tried dancing for her and courting her, but now he's just chasing her and pulling out a feather whenever she comes out. She's mostly just hiding right now. I'm worried she won't come out to eat. How much pestering is too much? Is this likely because she isn't submitting to him or is it something else? Any suggestions or do I just leave them be?
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
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Colorado Rockies
That must be something to see. It does sound comical having such a small squirt decide this giant girl should be his for the taking. However, his compulsive behavior, fixating on this one gal, is sending up a red flag.

As you suspected, his pestering may be escalating. Roosters are capable of seriously injuring a hen that refuses to submit. They are capable of rage. You may want to nip this in the bud before she gets hurt. Let me tell you a true story.

It was a few years back that I had a hen that my younger roo was fixated on. Toots, the roo, decided Geobett the hen was going to submit to his advances or else. But Geobett, being eight years at the time, didn't want anything to do with him. She avoided him. She ran from him. But one day he had had enough and managed to chase her into her run where she lived with another hen apart from the flock.

Geobett ran into her coop and Toots cornered her there and ripped her scalp almost all the way off. When I found them, Geobett was bleeding heavily and Toots was still trying to force her to submit. I chased him out and took her away to get some extensive wound care.

I made sure that Geobett was safe from Toots from then on. She would only get to free range when Toots was confined. Most of the time Geobett was content in her run. Not so the fanatical Toots.

He would spend a lot of his time growling at her through the run fence, and he could get so worked up in his rage he would attack the fence trying to get at her. In the process, he would get shocked by the lower hot wire running around the run. This would further enrage Toots, and he would attack the hot wire that had "attacked" him. He seemed demented by his rage.

This went on for weeks until one day Geobett died in her sleep from a reproductive infection. So, this is what a rooster spurned can do. It isn't pretty. Don't wait for your half pint to inflict serious injury on your pullet before you do something.
 

VaultGirl27

Songster
Oct 22, 2019
175
157
101
That must be something to see. It does sound comical having such a small squirt decide this giant girl should be his for the taking. However, his compulsive behavior, fixating on this one gal, is sending up a red flag.

As you suspected, his pestering may be escalating. Roosters are capable of seriously injuring a hen that refuses to submit. They are capable of rage. You may want to nip this in the bud before she gets hurt. Let me tell you a true story.

It was a few years back that I had a hen that my younger roo was fixated on. Toots, the roo, decided Geobett the hen was going to submit to his advances or else. But Geobett, being eight years at the time, didn't want anything to do with him. She avoided him. She ran from him. But one day he had had enough and managed to chase her into her run where she lived with another hen apart from the flock.

Geobett ran into her coop and Toots cornered her there and ripped her scalp almost all the way off. When I found them, Geobett was bleeding heavily and Toots was still trying to force her to submit. I chased him out and took her away to get some extensive wound care.

I made sure that Geobett was safe from Toots from then on. She would only get to free range when Toots was confined. Most of the time Geobett was content in her run. Not so the fanatical Toots.

He would spend a lot of his time growling at her through the run fence, and he could get so worked up in his rage he would attack the fence trying to get at her. In the process, he would get shocked by the lower hot wire running around the run. This would further enrage Toots, and he would attack the hot wire that had "attacked" him. He seemed demented by his rage.

This went on for weeks until one day Geobett died in her sleep from a reproductive infection. So, this is what a rooster spurned can do. It isn't pretty. Don't wait for your half pint to inflict serious injury on your pullet before you do something.
Oh wow, that sounds intense! I definitely will not let it get that far. It's only been today that he's been doing this. The 2 hens went in last night full time with the flock and so they've only had today fully together. Tomorrow I'll be free ranging them and observing. Do you have recommendations for what to do if his behavior continues. I will rehome or cull him if it becomes necessary, but really would rather not if at all possible. He's been an absolute wonderful rooster thus far, so it will be unfortunate if I can't turn his behavior around. Open to any suggestions you may have. Thanks for the help!
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
20,573
26,529
992
Colorado Rockies
Roosters benefit from discipline. They appreciate boundaries being set for them the way dogs benefit from it. It gives them self confidence to know what the rules are. It's your job to set the rules.

Discipline and punishment are completely different. Punishment isn't what we do. It risks injury and it only aggravates things and confuses the rooster. How you discipline a chicken is like they discipline each other. You go up to the misbehaving roo and give him a sharp poke on the back of the head or back with your finger.

If the roo keeps after the giant gal, keep giving him a poke each time he defies you. If he continues after the second or third poke, get bodily in between him and the hen and run him off like you would an intruder. Chase him away from the hen, and if he tries to get at her, keep blocking him and chasing him away, and I mean literally running after him. This is how a head rooster trains a younger cockerel how to treat a hen properly. I've watched them. It's a hoot.
 

ILoveBabySilkies

Songster
Apr 21, 2020
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206
WPB, FL
Roosters benefit from discipline. They appreciate boundaries being set for them the way dogs benefit from it. It gives them self confidence to know what the rules are. It's your job to set the rules.

Discipline and punishment are completely different. Punishment isn't what we do. It risks injury and it only aggravates things and confuses the rooster. How you discipline a chicken is like they discipline each other. You go up to the misbehaving roo and give him a sharp poke on the back of the head or back with your finger.

If the roo keeps after the giant gal, keep giving him a poke each time he defies you. If he continues after the second or third poke, get bodily in between him and the hen and run him off like you would an intruder. Chase him away from the hen, and if he tries to get at her, keep blocking him and chasing him away, and I mean literally running after him. This is how a head rooster trains a younger cockerel how to treat a hen properly. I've watched them. It's a hoot.
Totally agree, and if he still insist on getting her after you try what you can he must go.
 

VaultGirl27

Songster
Oct 22, 2019
175
157
101
Roosters benefit from discipline. They appreciate boundaries being set for them the way dogs benefit from it. It gives them self confidence to know what the rules are. It's your job to set the rules.

Discipline and punishment are completely different. Punishment isn't what we do. It risks injury and it only aggravates things and confuses the rooster. How you discipline a chicken is like they discipline each other. You go up to the misbehaving roo and give him a sharp poke on the back of the head or back with your finger.

If the roo keeps after the giant gal, keep giving him a poke each time he defies you. If he continues after the second or third poke, get bodily in between him and the hen and run him off like you would an intruder. Chase him away from the hen, and if he tries to get at her, keep blocking him and chasing him away, and I mean literally running after him. This is how a head rooster trains a younger cockerel how to treat a hen properly. I've watched them. It's a hoot.
This is wonderful advice! I so appreciate the detail and will definitely be doing this. Thank you!
 

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