Roosters ganging up on the hens.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bearz, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. bearz

    bearz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    We have 46 chickens...6 roos, 40 hens. 2 of them are a mix of white silkie/brown leghorn, the other 4 are big brown leghorn roos. The two "boys" as I call them (because they look like they have punk hairdoos) are ganging up and doubleteaming several of the hens. They are wearing the feathers off their backs and one hen had a cut from where they got too aggressive. Is this normal or do I have to lock these guys up?

    I have a ton of different kinds of hens and only want to breed a few leghorn pullets in the spring so as soon as it gets warmer I'll be moving all the boys to a separate house with the leghorn hens and they will be allowed to free range during the day, but for now I keep them all together to stay warm. Is this doing the hens any harm?
  2. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    You only need one Roo for every 10 to 12 chickens -- so you probably have at least 2 too many roos!! If you are going to separate some of the chickens for breeding, you should also have 1 Roo per 10 to 12 chickens. If the "Boys" are harming your chickens, I would put them in a separate pen.

    Good Luck!!
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    It very stressful for the hens to be constantly chased and gang-raped, so yes, it's bad for them. You have too many roos.
    #1California Chick is right, one roo per dozen hens, more or less.

    If you have the space and pens to do it, you could give each roo his own harem until they get a little older, and calm down a bit.

    It's been my experience that the young roos in the first hormonal storms of youth, are the worst offenders. Sometimes, with the young guys, even 3 roos with forty hens would be one roo too many. They'll all go after the same hens all the time, because they're competing to get their genes out there. The result is a handful of hens getting run ragged by these idiots.

    I eat my extra roos. They're tasty.

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