Rooster likes one hen too much?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ScotianChick, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2010
    The past few days I've been noticing that my smallest Silver Laced Wyandotte's feathers look thinner and really ruffled... like they are standing up. I've also noticed my RIR rooster Bill has been mating with her a lot lately. Today she went into the coop to lay an egg and came out and started calling the others (they were on the other side of the house). Well Bill came barreling around the corner and started chasing her and grabbing her neck. I went out, got the egg and went to the side yard to see them and he grabbed her very roughly and mated her. It seems that the others are a lot more willing and will squat when he comes over but he wants her and doesn't care if she squats. He wants one of my RIR hens too but she runs too quick for him. Plus she isn't laying yet so she won't have anything to do with him. He mates everyone else regularly but seems to be favouring my small SLW Go-Go.

    Is this normal behaviour? Will he eventually move on to a new favourite to mate with? Should I just watch out and make sure Go Go isn't bleeding or anything? I know Bill is a RIR but he is really quite a sweet rooster. He holds out food for my ladies, calls them over for treats, if I hand out treats he won't take them unless he sees that everyone else is getting them. So he's not overly aggressive.

    By the way these guys were born at the end of April so they are about 8 months old.
     
  2. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I had the same problem with my roo, Rudy. I have 11 hens, 6 Buff O's and 5 RIR's. Rudy was a RIR and he picked out one of my BO girls to harrass all the time. He would run over other hens to get to her. Finally, she had a large bare spot on her back and I had to bandage her and put a chicken saddle on top of the bandage to keep him from tearing her skin off! I finally got tired of it after separating her, then separating him, chasing him around and jerking him off of her, and nothing seemed to change the fixation he had on her...so I got my teenage son to chop his head off and he is going to be dinner tomorrow night. It was a drastic step for me, but I couldn't stand to see her running and screaming everytime he came around her. She still has a bare spot with no feathers, so I am leaving the chicken saddle on for now for warmth. I plan on getting some SQ SLW's in the spring and I intend to build a bachelor pad for whatever roo I keep for mating. I used stretchy vet wrap (will stick to itself and comes in different colors) to hold the gauze on her back. I also used paper tape to help hold the vet wrap and the chicken saddle. It has been on since before Christmas and has held up well, even when Rudy was still alive and mounting her every chance he got. I check it every day or two to make sure her skin tears are healing well and nothing is too tight or coming undone.
     
  3. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2010
    Could I have too few hens? I have five and only four will mate with him.
     
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I dont know that the number of hens you have has any bearing if he is 'fixated' on one hen. I would have thought 11 hens would have kept Rudy busy 'sharing the love' so to speak, but he really liked this one BO hen and would ignore the others and hunt her down! It was pitiful to hear her screams and see how she would run from him. I couldn't take it anymore because I couldn't protect her from him without building another coop/run, which I am not able to do for a while yet. The sad part is, there was a RIR hen that was somewhat attached to him...she would hang around close to him and pace outside the dog crate when I had him penned up...but he wanted nothing to do with her! So, I tried to give him away but no one wanted him, so he is dinner.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    A bit of a different problem here. I have a BO hen who solicits my #2 roo. She chases him whenever #1 is occupied elsewhere, squats for him, repeats if necessary til he mates her. Her back feathers are getting raggedy; fortunately, no bare spots yet. I just figured out this was going on a few days ago. I made her a saddle but she pulled and tugged at it for a few days so this AM I took it off. Will make another and try for a more comfy fit. I have another hen who got barebacked a few months ago. She is still wearing hers and her feathers have regrown,. She ignores it so I thought I'd wait til spring to remove it.

    You can order saddles on here or make one yourself, even if you don't sew:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=407575

    That said, I also put roos in the freezer if they really mistreat the ladies. Something you have to judge for yourself.
     
  6. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice. I just had a brain fart moment... I was like "She puts her roos in the freezer to discipline them...? " and my husband said "No... I think she kills them and puts them in the freezer..." Ooooohhh...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Yes, they are eaten; I raise some to eat anyway.

    Glad I'm not the only one with a brain that farts....
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My experience is similar to oldchickenlady's. We had a pretty NH roo show up and integrate himself into the flock (later found out the neighbors dumped him over our fence and had a nice talk with them about seperating new birds for health reasons). He also became fixated on two of my BO hens. I have sixteen hens and he made three roosters, all free range over an acre. No other hens suffered from overmating but those two. He would chase them down, drag them around, it was horrible. The hens started hiding under the porch and wouldn't come out, had bare backs and generally looked poorly. The other hens, well, he'd cover them, but not like those two. He actually started stalking them, getting on top of the porch and attacking them when they came out.

    He tasted great.


    I wasn't really set up to seperate a hen or the roo at that time, so I don't know if that will work or not. Will he forget about his obsession if she's out of sight for a while? You can give it a try, I just don't know. But I don't think he'll leave her alone or lose interest on his own.
     
  9. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He actually seems more intrigued with hens if they are out of sight for a while. It seems if they spend a few hours laying then come out he'll chase them or if I take one in for a day or something, he chases them around the instant they are in the yard again. It's strange. I will look into some of those saddles, it seems to only be Go Go who is getting the brunt of his "love".
     
  10. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Roos have their favorite girls too and even some girls that they will refuse![​IMG] Very funny...keep in mind that he's in his "prime time"[​IMG] right now he'll settle down as he ages a little. My one cuckoo maran hen was totally bald on her back this summer from overmating but things have settled down significantly here since the fall. All of the girls have full feathers now. I'd just be concerned if she gets wounded...then I'd opt for the saddle or vettape. I now have 3 standard size Roos and they all know their pecking order and who's girls are who's![​IMG] no problems![​IMG]
     

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