Rooster tries mating pullets

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LunchboxEggs, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. LunchboxEggs

    LunchboxEggs Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been trying to intoduce my chicks to the rest of our flock for a while now. Unfortunately, when we let them loose, the rooster tries mating the pullets. I'm afraid he is going to injure them as he's already been somewhat aggressive with them and they are nowhere near big enough to put up with him. The older hens don't bother them much, but are also "over handled" by the rooster. Our easter-egger has hardly any feathers on her back and one of the others has started going bare as well. We are currently down to only 6 hens, one rooster, and 11 chicks about 9 weeks old (all are supposed to be pullets, but we'll see). Any suggestions?
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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  2. Leah567

    Leah567 Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I think you should keep them away from the big chickens until their older.
     
  3. KDMdesigns

    KDMdesigns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They need to be kept separated, from looks of pics the pullets are defenseless against that giant and hate for disaster to happen..
     
  4. Leah567

    Leah567 Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Let's talk about your rooster. His behavior with the pullets is not normal rooster behavior. For that reason, I would segregate the rooster, not allowing him anywhere near the pullets until they're full grown.

    Normally, mature roosters ignore pullets until they reach point-of-lay. A mature rooster watches for a sign from the pullet that she is ready to be mated. There's a certain way she holds herself, along with her suddenly reddening comb, that signals to the rooster that soon her eggs will be ready to be fertilized.

    With pullets that I've found to be ambiguous in their gender characteristics, I wait to see which ones the rooster is paying attention to, then I will be reassured they're not going to be cockerels that I need to rehome. But your pullets are still chicks. It's way too soon for your rooster to be picking up on any signals from them. He's obviously indiscriminate in what he mates. He shouldn't have access to them until much later or you risk having them injured or worse.
     
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  6. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Azygous is right, most adult males won't harass young pullets. Keep him separated.

    How does he behave otherwise? It looks like you have one, maybe 2 cockerels in your youngsters. The silver/black EE in the first picture and possibly the solid white. A little harder to tell on that one.
     
  7. LunchboxEggs

    LunchboxEggs Out Of The Brooder

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    That's what I was thinking Keesmom. Kind of hoping we're wrong as I really don't want to have more roosters to deal with. Not sure why this rooster feels the need to mate everthing in sight. He's also become somewhat aggressive lately so he may have to go anyway. If I do get rid of him how soon do you think I could release the chicks to be with the older hens?
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If you can jail your roo, I don't see why you can't let the chicks start to mingle with the older girls right away.

    I'd start off slow. Let them mingle for half an hour and see how they do. Next day, let them mingle for a bit longer. This is how I integrate a new adult hen into the flock. Just as things begin to appear stressful for the new kids, let them rest up from it. This will insure they won't get too intimidated and lose their nerve. After a few days of this, they should have the self confidence to handle life in the flock.

    Make sure they have high places to escape to. Also, you may need to find a safe place for their food and water so they don't need to compete with the big girls for essentials. I use an old camping table for this purpose, and the chicks fly up there to eat and rest.
     
  9. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Overrun With Chickens

    My chickens all avoid my rooster with his "activeness", So I guess that means they do not want to be broody. Too bad. I had 8 week old chicks in the coop/run, the rooster didn't jump on them only because he was a chick then too! He used to always stuff his head in a corner whenever a chicken attached him [​IMG]
     
  10. LunchboxEggs

    LunchboxEggs Out Of The Brooder

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    My husband suggested jailing the roo too. Haven't slaughtered any of ours before, but it may be time for it now.
     

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