Roosters being mean to my new girls...HELP!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jaimepowell, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. jaimepowell

    jaimepowell Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 2 RIR roosters that are about 3-4 months old and just brought home 2 more pullets (18-22 weeks) to add to the flock. They are in separate pens (have been for about a week now) but can see each other and they all roost together in the coop separated by chicken wire. I've let them all mingle a few times and each and every time my two roosters make a bee-line for the new girls jump on thier backs and bite....is this normal and will they continue to do it? This is my first time raising chickens and I know they need to get the pecking order down but it seems so violent.....any advice?
     
  2. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have experience with integrating new pullets into a flock with roos- but my other hens jumped on and bit one of my new girls and one day the scalped her down to the bone! Really terrible, she made it- but it was pretty bad. I would say keep a very close eye on those roos- if you see them attacking go intervene, show them you are the top roo and it's not okay to jump them. Also maybe give them another week or two in separate pens, maybe with a bit more time the roosters will accept them a bit quicker. Good luck!
     
  3. wilcoxmad

    wilcoxmad Out Of The Brooder

    I too am having problems with my young roos. I have started using a squirt water bottle to stop bad behavior. It helps!
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Some people consider natural chicken mating brutal. I don't.

    There are variations and the adolescents probably have not learned the proper techniques for courting a girl and your girls are probably too young to understand anyway.

    When it goes according to plan, the rooster dances (drops a wing and sort of circles). The hen squats down. This gets her body on the ground so the weight of the rooster is spread out so she can easily carry his weight. The rooster climbs on and grabs the back of her head. When he pulls on the back of her head, this is her signal to get her tail up out of the way so he can hit the target and fertilize the eggs. He quickly hits the target and hops off. She stands up, fluffs up her feathers, and shakes. She is not telling him that he did not impress her like you might think. She is actually shaking the sperm into the correct position.

    There are many variations of this, including some running away and chasing. As long as she squats at the right time and he does not injure her with his claws or spurs, they are not going to hurt each other. Sometimes a rooster will remove enough feathers from her back that his claws or spurs can cut her. This is called barebacked hens and is not good. Her losing a few feathers is not a big deal, but when raw red spots start to show up, you need to do something.

    A lot of adolescent roosters are oversexed and can be rough. A lot of adolescent pullets resist a lot more than they should. Eventually they both mature and it goes much better. But occasionally a rooster is a brute and is too rough with his ladies. Or a hen never learns to willingly submit. To me, these both cause disruptions to the peace and tranquility of your flock and should be severely dealt with.

    When a new hen moves into a flock and the rooster accepts her, he mates with her to show his dominance and to welcome her into his flock. Occasionally a rooster does not immediately welcome a new hen to his flock. He may try to run that intruder off. But if he is jumping on her back and biting her around the head, he is welcoming her to his flock.
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    As RR said, they're mating them, not trying to be mean or bullying them. Your roos are of the age where they lack finesse in mating, so it may be rather rough. Hopefully, as your roos mature, they will begin wooing the girls and being gentler with them. Some roos stay rough/aggressive in mating, while others barely ruffle a feather (according to some BYCers at least). Do make sure that you have enough hens/pullets to support two roosters without overmating and losing back feathers.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Since the "new girls" are the most mature hens around, the roosters are breeding them. They are not being "mean". It's just the way chickens do it.
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Give a whole new meaning to "having her feathers ruffled" doesn't it:rolleyes: Or maybe I had never really understood before. hahaha
     

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