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Rooster has justed started mating - very agressively

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by malayka, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. malayka

    malayka Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi again!
    I have 1 rooster and three hens, they are all orpingtons and about 10 months old. I know these numbers are wrong but it was intended to be a pullet and ended up being a male :/ We are very attached to him, however, just today I saw him mating the hens for the first time and it was horrible. He was pulling hard on their feathers and trying to jump onto their backs and they were screaming and running around - it was quite upsetting. He is after one hen in particular, chasing her without stopping. We are planning to get three more hens in March and for now letting him spend only one hour with the hens and putting him into an adjacent run within sight of his hens. This will take about a week though. When I'm around and he chases them I hold him still or pick him up, is this the right thing to do?

    Is this normal behaviour for a rooster? Also, I'm worried with even three more hens he is still going to excessively mate his 'favourite', he's practically ignoring the other two!

    Also, they are not laying eggs yet.

    THanks!
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi, it's normal so don't worry too much although I know it can seem all rather brutal. You are doing the right thing by keeping him away from the girls for the most part of the day. When you get more girls it will be easier on them all and with time he may improve his technique (I'll avoid any analogies :) )

    Good luck

    Ct
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it's pretty normal with adolescent roosters and it's what makes them easier to invite to dinner, in my opinion. He is stressing the girls at a crucial time in their lives (point of lay) and that can make them vulnerable to other ailments and even injury as well as most likely feather loss. I would pen him up separate full time for the sake of your girls or freezer camp. It stands to reason that he will be all the more anxious to mate them when he is let loose with them for that short period.

    He should become less "demanding" when he gets older and that first rush of hormones has settled down but it will probably take about a year. That gives the girls time to grow up and get into an egg laying routine without his harassment.
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    First year flocks can be rough. There is no paterfamilias or matriarch to put young bucks in their place. It's a phase of life even we embarrassingly went through. With an older flock the hens keep the young cockerels down and train them. Once large enough and ready to take the flock lead they will allow him to mate. A cock bird obviously would keep him away from mating excepting the few he could sneak attack with repercussion or if the harem is large enough for him to take a few as mates.

    When starting a young flock the largest and/or most forthright bird is dominant. Invariably this means a young and dumb cockerel going through puberty with no guidance. It can be rough.
     

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