Rooster is too hard on the hens!


7 Years
May 24, 2012
We just had a big adjustment with my flock of chickens. We previously had 2 known roosters and 23 assumed hens (although I have never gotten more than 11 eggs in a day). The 2 roosters had some problems and after 1 of them became aggressive to my kids we decided he would have to go. The night before we took care of the mean rooster I had brought the nice one inside because of an injury. Overnight he started crowing, which he hadn't done before...but clearly he thought he was the top cock at that point.

So the next day we removed the mean rooster and put the nice one back in with the hens. Previously they didn't really have any problems with him, but they mostly rejected his advances and would give their loyalties to the mean rooster (who was dominant, just to be clear).

Now that he is the only one he is trying to get things going with all of the hens, and some of them still want nothing to do with him. He is usually pretty nice but he seems to be very hard on the hens, especially if they don't cooperate when he is trying to mate one.

Yesterday I am pretty sure he hurt one of the hens by ripping her comb when trying to hold her down. I have 5 white hens so I am not positive it is the same one, but I have seen him have difficulties with a white hen who squawks and shrieks and tries her best to get away. He is kind of a big rooster and he doesn't seem all that coordinated and will step all over them and push them down, etc.

Is there anything I can do to help this situation? I dont think the rooster is trying to be mean or hurt them, he is just trying to do his instinctual duties. I have seen him "dance" around them but it doesn't seem to help. I would leave them be but I am worried now that he has really hurt one of the hens. I would hate to give him up because he is the last rooster and is truly a nice one. But I dont get why they are having such issues. It has been about 1 week since the mean rooster has been gone. Is it just a matter of time for them to adjust? The chickens are all approximately 6 months right now.

Thanks for any help!
He is doing what every other rooster does. Hens combs can be torn and damaged that is just part of having a rooster. There are some more gentle roosters out there but most are what you just described now since he is 6 months old this is the time when the hormones are at there highest and during this time he will be more aggressive to the hens and humans but in about 4-6 more months he will calm down somewhat but sometimes roosters are just really aggressive and stay aggressive. I have a mixed flock of bantams and standards and they all live in the same coop, I used to have both standard and bantam rooster, now I only have bantam rooster and the reason for that is the big roos were trying to mate with the bantam hens and ripped their combs and might hurt the little hens... now those big rooster were not aggressive they were doing what they were supposed to do and if I did not have bantam hens I would still have those big roosters...but a damaged hen (torn comb, ripped feathers, bare backs) comes along with have roosters..[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]. Do what you feel is right for your hens...if I were in your situation (which I have been) I would keep the rooster you have plenty of hens for him to choose from and it should not be too much for the hens to handle..I know it can be hard to hear the hens squawk but sometimes that will happen when they get older and more mature that should stop or at least only happen occasionally....I wish you luck with you decision and your birds.[/FONT]
I pretty much let the roosters do the rooster thing with the hens. When they start thinking they are a bigger rooster than I am then their time here has ended. I've buried one and sold 4 more in the last 3 months. I have one now from my third hatch I had so I'll see how he does. All roosters here are on strict behavioral control. No exceptions are tolerated.
If he's just started crowing he'll need more time. Young adolescents are just hormone crazed. The hens are also learning to submit for mating and sometimes there's just a learning curve. Make sure you have plenty of space for everyone to move around and things to break up line of sight so a hen can get away from him for a while.

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