Rooster mating question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HeritageHens, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    In another post , CMV said:

    I had a cockerel accidentally kill a pullet by pouncing on her head. He snapped or severely dislocated her neck, leaving her head hanging at a godawful angle. It wasn't immediately fatal, but she had to be culled. EEs tend to be a bit petite (at least mine are), so I could see a small hen being damaged by a full grown roo easily. I'd be putting your roo on notice. Any more damage to the hens during mating and he'd become dinner. Too many great roos out there looking for homes to put up with a brute.

    All my chickens are from an early August hatch. I have 6 pullets but two of them are small. They weren't supposed to be bantam (or a runt, can't tell with the Sussex) but they are both much smaller than LF standards for Cochin and Sussex. Out of the 9 chicks I got, 3 turned out to be roosters. [​IMG] I've already rehomed the Welsummer and will rehome the Gold Laced Wyandotte tomorrow. I still have the Easter Egger because he is such a friendly boy to me and is becoming good about watching the pullets when they are out foraging. He's also been fairly quiet about crowing having only heard him twice so far. However, he is huge compared to the Sussex and farily large compared to the Cochin.

    I was thinking about trying to keep him since many of my neighbors have roosters even though they aren't allowed. [​IMG] But CMV's comment makes me wonder if I should rehome him now before he tries to mate with these smaller hens. Two strikes would just be too many to keep him.


    edited to add link to post by CMV​
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't remember seeing that other thread and post so I may be out of context. And CMV is usually pretty good.

    A few different things can affect how a mating goes. Adolescent roosters can be worse than grown ones. They do not have their technique down, the hormones are going wild so they don't have a lot of self control, and a hen is normally more receptive to a mature rooster. Some hens will vigorously resist any rooster or a specific rooster.

    To me, the ideal mating is when the rooster dances, the hen squats, the rooster climbs on and grabs the back of her head. That head grab is her signal to raise her tail out of the way. The rooster quickly hits the target and hops off. The hen stands up, fluffs up and shakes to get the rooster's deposit in the right place. Most roosters are considerably bigger than the hens of the same breed. When the hen squats, she is actually laying on the ground so the weight is more spread out. While she is supporting his weight, it is not as bad as it seems. I'm not saying that size does not make a difference. It does. When those huge prize bulls are used to live mate a cow, they use special ramps so she is not bearing all his weight.

    There are a lot of variations off this. Sometimes the hen runs a few steps, he chases her and she squats. That is not a bad outcome. She was just seeing if he was serious.

    The rooster may not dance but just grab and jump on without warning. The hen may not squat but seriously try to get away. The rooster is bigger and stronger and can force her if he can catch her. The more she resists the more risky it is. And some roosters are just brutes. Even if the hen cooperates they are brutal. And the more size difference there is in the hen and rooster, the greater the chance of something bad happening if he is insistent and she continues to resist.

    Some people keep full sized roosters with bantam hens, they mate and don't have problems. But by the post you referenced, sometimes there are serious problems. I suspect a rooster damaging a hen's neck is fairly rare, but it can obviously happen.

    I don't know if any of this helps you or not.
  3. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I have an accidental bantam in my flock of LF brahmas. My brahma roo is huge. He hasn't hurt the bantam, Maggie, yet and he does mate her daily.

    Not saying it can't happen. I just think it's rare.
  5. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    Thank you for all your insightful comments! I'll rest easier now. Love the help on BYC! [​IMG]
  6. apmomma

    apmomma Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 3, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    That quoted post mentioned was in response to a question I had posted (I think our Roo killed one of our EE hens) Anyway, I did want to chime in on your concern and mention that our smallest hen, a cochin, actually has gotten very good at avoiding our rooster. Since they reached maturity she's been hanging out more in the coop, vs the run, or if she's in the run and he approaches her she'll scurry to the nearest perch to avoid him. I have yet to see him successfully mate with her. But, after losing one of our EE, I do definitely worry more about our cochin, and our other EE and will pick up the pace at finding a new home for Roo (who was on his way out already for being too aggressive towards are kids and me).

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