Rooster Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CCFarms9559, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. CCFarms9559

    CCFarms9559 Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Jeffersontown, Ky
    I have 14 hens. They are 17 weeks old. I have one Rooster. My hens are not laying yet. I just got their outside run completed. They spend the entire day up on the roost. The rooster is on the ground waiting for them... and noone wants to get down. They don't want to go outside - because then they are on the ground and he can get to them. I put down cracked corn the other day - hens on the roost, rooster on the ground waiting. The hens would not even come down for cracked corn. I have three BO's who are his "favorites". If he is outside and I put them out, they can't wait to get back in away from him.

    My question is - is this normal? Should I wait it out and see if they adjust? Or should I try to rehome him? He is not friendly - doesn't want to be touched, but is not mean. He is really pretty. Just a little rough on the girls right now.

    This is my first time raising chickens.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio

    Did you get the rooster and raise him with the hens, or is he a newby? This seems strange because if they're always on the roost, when do they eat and drink and do all the things chickens like to do? If he is so rough that he is tearing up the backs of your hens, or pulling out their feathers, then you might want to get rid of him......

    Or maybe you just need to take that roost down so they can kind of get used to eachother cold-turkey. The reason I say this is because that many hens is a nice number for one rooster, and he may be feeling frustrated if they stay away from him. Maybe he will settle down and be more gentle once he has a chance to mate with more than just his 3 favs.

    I would say, get rid of him if he is too rough though......
  3. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    How long ago did you finish the run? Maybe they just need some time to adjust to going outside. When my younger birds were first allowed into the run, they didn't know quite what to make of it, and kept scurrying back inside and onto their perches. Eventually, they realized it was pretty nice digs out there, and now they don't want to come in till dark, unless they're hungry.

    Have you tried plucking one or two off the perch and taking them into the run, offering them a little treat and sitting with them? If the rooster bothers them there, you could shoo him away from them. They might feel safer without him lying in wait for them - I know I would! It really helped when I rigged up a couple of perches outside, too, at different heights. They love hanging out there, off the ground. My older hens really like them, too. The rooster doesn't ever go on them, come to think of it! Maybe that's why the girls like it... [​IMG]
  4. CCFarms9559

    CCFarms9559 Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Jeffersontown, Ky
    He was raised with them. He was supposed to be a hen too... They don't have any bald spots or anything. He just grabs them by the neck and hangs on. They squawk and fuss and a few minutes later he is after someone else. I think they are all young. He is a teenager and needs to settle down - and maybe once they start laying they will accept him better. It's just kind of hard to watch right now. I finished the run just a few days ago. I am adding some branches now for them to perch on. Food is going down - so they must eat at some time.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Someone (gritsar, if I recall) once said weeks are like years to chickens; a 16 week old rooster is like a 16 year old boy - raging hormones. All they can think about is sex, sex, sex. Girls. Girls. Grabbing girls, mounting them, treading them. That's it. And they don't have any finesse at all.

    That takes some time.

    It IS hard to watch - it makes me cringe. (Except when one of the Sebright banty roos mounts Matilda the Black Austalorp; her back is too long for him to get his business end into position. She walks, fluffs her feathers, he falls off, she keeps walking.)

    Two of my hens, the Lakenvelders Millicent and Minerva are Carl's favorite hussies. He will court Rebecca, Matilda, Lacey, and now Ellen, before he tries to mount them. Rebecca can refuse, no problem. He doesn't court Millicent or Minerva.

    Rooster behavior is just... primitive and instinctual.
  6. QuinnP

    QuinnP Songster

    Mar 26, 2010
    Quote:the hens are probably saying ewwwwww cooties! Like I did whenever my brother tried to ,kiss me
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I really do think it helps to have things in the run. An extra box, a couple of branches, a outside roost, and shelter to get out the wind. This seems to allow my clucks to get away from each other a bit, I don't have a huge run, and I don't have pecking issues. Mrs.K
  8. CCFarms9559

    CCFarms9559 Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Jeffersontown, Ky
    Thanks for all the help. I just wanted to make sure it is somewhat normal. I didn't plan on having a roo, but I like him and want them all to be happy. I'm going to add branches,boxes, whatnot to the run to at least make it more of a challenge for him to trap them. Thanks again. It makes me feel better to get input from people who actually know what they are doing.
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    You could remove him until the hens are more mature and then reintroduce him once they start laying. At that point they should be more willing to accept his advances. The "cooling off" period may do him some good too.

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