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Rooster hurting hens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mahtowagal, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Mahtowagal

    Mahtowagal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2014
    Hi, This is our first year with chickens and all has been going great so far. Ive had the 10 hens and 1 rooster, Cochins, since they were a few days old. They are around 8 months now. Made it thru the winter here in MN fine.. The only thing I have been questioning is if our rooster is hurting the hens physically. I have seen alot of chickens mate and this guy stays on top of the girls alot longer. Like let's say...most take about 5-7 seconds, he is on for maybe 15-30. So today, he was on a girl for what seemed like forever.....and when he got off of her, she just laid there. I thought he actually had maybe killed her....accidentally. After maybe 10 seconds, she popped up....but she was walking like she was drunk....best way I can describe it. So then, when they all got in the coop and started hopping up on their branch for the night, i watched her and she fell off.. She was having difficulty balancing. She once again appeared to be having trouble walking straight...but still couldnt tell if it was a body injury or head thing. She got up and fell off a second time...on to hay on the floor. I had JUST cleaned the coop and had fresh hay down so it wasnt as thick as it gets.... I had intended on putting more in tomorrow. So then we were going to put her in a dog crate in their for the night because she was just walking around under the branch but I figured she couldnt/shouldnt get up again. When we got the crate out there, she was up with the others on the branch and because 6 of my girls are white, I couldnt tell which one she was sitting on the branch. So they are up for the night now. This brings me to thinking about getting rid of our rooster. He is sooooo sweet....and no aggressive behavior ....but this mounting issue worries me.
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! I have not noticed a prolonged mounting like that! Just thinking out loud here; He is young and inexperienced. So are the hens. She was less than interested, not submissive yet. He is trying to work his way to the top of the pecking order and be dominant. He felt the need to make his desire known to her in no uncertain terms. He wants to cover all ten hens, a lot of work for him and some are more cooperative than others. If things don't settle soon, you could pen him separately and only allow him an hour or two with the hens during the day. He should get better with age and the hens will learn that it is easier to submit than be overpowered. There should be at least one hen who ranks high enough that he does not bother.
    Just yesterday, I spent five hours out watching my flock. The second rooster is surpassing the first. I watched him mount a normally unmolested hen and push her right down into the deep mud puddle she happened to be standing in. WTH, I'll be keeping an eye on him!
     
  3. Mahtowagal

    Mahtowagal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So if I penned him out in the turnout separately, wouldnt he be mounting like crazy when in the coop at night with them? I mean even if I alowed him a couple hours with them during the day? Just wondering if cutting back on his playtime would make him even more assertive at night and in the morning befoe we open the coop. I cant really coop him alone. There are times during the day where they are just out hunting and pecking..... it's not like it's just CONSTANT mounting. I just have no idea what's normal :) I would have no way of knowing if he's picking on a hen...because my 6 whites look exactly alike :) I am concerned about summer coming because right now, living in Minnesota and having snow....I have had to put hay out all winter so they'd come outside. So their area is now a deep bed of hay. So the hens dont get squished on hard ground Once summer rolls around,t he hay will be gone.....
     
  4. Mahtowagal

    Mahtowagal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    and the egg production with him out there has been fabulous!! For the past month, we've enjoyed 6-8 eggs a day...even mid winter! Only 10 hens!
     
  5. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, if egg production during winter is that good w/o supplemental lighting, he can't be upsetting the girls too much! If he was really stressing them it might make the count lower. If you roost him not too long before dark, he won't have much time for fooling around, maybe a few girls. By the time you let them out, he should have bothered a few more. He can relax some where else for the day. But, so far, it doesn't sound like he needs separating, he's just starting to get the girls under control. See if you can spend a few hours one day observing his behavior, there may not really be anything wrong at all. Chicken mating is rough and the roo needs to learn some manners, he will, in time. The hens will not put up with clumsy, overpowering advances for too long. [​IMG]
     

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