rooster issues

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickensss, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. chickensss

    chickensss Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2014
    i have a flock of 8 chickens that are about 4 or 5 moths old. and mixed in with our hens, we got a rooster. my rooster is pecking at the backs of my hen's necks and holding on, and the hens squawk quite loud! is this just rough housing? aggression? I have no idea! please help!
     
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi and welcome to BYC!!! Does he jump on their backs too or just peck? Roosters can be rough on hens.
     
  3. chickensss

    chickensss Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2014
    he tries to jump on their backs but they scurry away.. is this early signs of trying to mate? @lightchick
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I wrote this in another thread so it might read a little funny from your question, but maybe it will help. What you are seeing is the start of mating behavior and establishing dominance within the flock. Perfectly normal.

    A good chicken mating goes like this:

    The rooster drops his wing and circles a bit. That mating dance is to tell the hen he is interested.

    The hen squats on the ground. That gets her body onto the ground so the weight of the rooster goes through her entire body and not just through her legs. That protects her legs and joints from damage.

    The rooster hops on and grabs the back of her head with his beak. That head grab not only gets him in the position to hit the target and helps him to keep his balance, it is also the signal to the hen to raise her tail out of the way so the target is exposed.

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

    The hen stands up, fluffs her feathers and shakes. That shake is to get the sperm into the right container near where the egg yolk starts its journey through her internal egg making factory.

    Not all matings go this way. Some roosters just jump the hen instead of dancing. That signals he does not have that much confidence in himself and does not impress the hens.

    Sometimes the hen runs away instead of squatting. The rooster might ignore her if she runs. He might chase her. Some hens will quickly squat if he chases. She was just checking to see if he was serious. Sometimes she tries to get away. He may give up or he may keep chasing until he catches her and forces her. As long as the hen squats and he does not damage her, it is all OK, though it can be unsettling when the hen won’t submit.

    For this to work the rooster needs to impress the girls and the girls need to do their part. Some roosters remain brutes forever. Some hens will never submit and do their part. These are rare in mature chickens but pretty common in immature birds. When the hormones first start flowing the adolescents don’t know what is going in and can’t control it very well. It can get fairly nasty with chasing and forcing. But eventually the boys and girls mature enough to do their part and get the technique right.
     
  5. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    He is probably trying to mate. If he's young then that would be the reason for him being so rough. Lots of young roos are rough on hens.
     

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