Roosters are bullying hens!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by acarter26, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. acarter26

    acarter26 In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    I'm new to raising chickens. My BF and I have 22 chickens, and possibly 8 of them are roosters. We hatched them ourselves and they are 11 weeks old now. The more dominant of them, a barred rock, is bullying our smallest RIR hen, Peanut. We mostly see it in the a.m. when we open the door to the coop to let them out. I noticed today when I let them out that Peanut, who normally goes right out in the morning seemed to stay inside the coop. I coaxed her out and as soon as she got outside, the rock went right for her. He has bit her before but I stopped him today before he could do anything to her. What should we do? Other roosters have picked on her before but not as consistantly as the rock. Also, is it possible that they could be trying to mate because i have seen them do this to other hens as well?

  2. kemclaughlin

    kemclaughlin Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    Garden City, ID
    Quote:I asked this same question this morning about my 14 week old EE. He was chasing one of the girls and trying to grab the feathers at the base of her neck. I was assured that he could be trying to mate.
  3. acarter26

    acarter26 In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    Thanks for the reply. Hopefully thats the case.
  4. mrsp523

    mrsp523 Songster

    Apr 23, 2010
    Western Mass
    Thats a lot of roosters! Not sure you will be able to house that many together. We have 1 adult bantam roo, and 2 additional that are 8 and 12 weeks. We have 12 hens and 9 pullets. I was told a ratio of 1 roo to 10-15 girls. Unfortunatly we will have to get rid of the 2 young roos, our 12 week old is already bigger than our adult roo. I cant afford to lose Oreo (our adult), he has proven to be great to his girls and tolerates us. My young boys are already showing their male traits, chasing the others, pecking more than the others do ~ general bossy attitude.
    When you let them out of coop are they free ranging? I have been told that if they have there space during the day that they get along much better. Right now they get out a lot but we have long winters where I'm at, and the can go days having to stay in coop. I would be afraid they would fight to death in our case.
    I have one little pullet who is a bantam and I notice she gets picked on the most by the boys, and the other girls a bit. She acts the same way as yours. When they are in coop I have the smaller group seperated from the big ones. I just try and watch her close for wounds that would cause a chicken riot. Someones gotta be at the bottom of the pecking order [​IMG]
    Sorry I dont have great words of wisdom...
  5. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    One rooster per ten hens,thats the ratio I've been told. I ended up with 4 roosters for ten hens,the girls were beat up bad.Now I am down to 1,the girls feathers are growing back and the can easily outrun him vs trying to outrun 4.Life is good. [​IMG]

    I would keep no more than 2 and thats if they free range if I were you. Thinking they are probably to young to think about mating,but not to young to establish dominance. At 5-6 months are when the boys start feeling their oats,if you know what I mean.Right around the time they girls start laying.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  6. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    My chicks that I hatched are around the same age....maybe a little older. We just removed three to a rabbit hutch that is divided to get the most aggressive out. We kept watching and it was the same ones always being 'mean'.....I plan to grow out my roosters and put in freezer camp but am not going to let them be bullys. There is room for more in the hutch.

    To the OP....there will be continued aggression and fighting the older they get. Personally I would start deciding which rooster you want to keep and remove the others and let there be peace in the flock. It is really stressful to all once it starts.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Most likely he's 'experimenting' with the mating thing. It will probably be a while before they actually knows to mount though. And I agree that you need to be weeding out your cockerels - because if you have 8 of them in with 14 pullets, your pullets will be terrorized within the next few weeks. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011

  8. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    That many roosters can kill the hens - I had to pull one out from under a pile of cockerels! She had to be isolated for several days to recover. The excess boys went to the freezer...
  9. Here's what I have always gone by and it works rather well:
    IF you want to hatch eggs, for most breeds it's 1 rooster per 10 hens (I THINK for Marans it's 1 rooster per 8 hens) so if you have purebreds you may have to adjust the ratio a bit.

    We tried 1 rooster for 15 hens and it seemed the fertility for eggs dropped off a bit too much for my liking (i prefer 100% hatch
    If you're not trying to hatch eggs then the ratio can be more.. like 1 roo for 20 hens or even 0 roos.. although over the years I have noticed that our hens have always laid better when we had roosters in with them.
  10. gavinandallison

    gavinandallison Songster

    Jul 25, 2010
    Matthews, NC.
    Definetly too many roosters, you only need about 2 for the number of hens you have...........

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