Should I separate my cockerel until he is mature?

hpbabs

In the Brooder
Jul 5, 2016
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I once read somewhere that as a male chick goes through "puberty" he can be mean to the hens, and that you should separate him from them during that period and bring him back after he's fully matured. Our easter egger chicks are 4 months old, 7 girls and a boy. I've noticed him being a bit rude to the girls and pestering them, so should I separate him until he's fully grown? Nobody has been seriously hurt, but he pecks them and chases them away from food. Maybe this is just the pecking order forming?
Any advice is appreciated!
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
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Personally, I'd leave him. He's simply a bit confused (we men can get like that sometimes ;)) about how he should act. Providing no injuries are occurring, then things should sort themselves out. No harm in providing an additional feeding station though.
 

igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
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Leave him be unless he hurts someone. My guy was like that a bit as he began to establish dominance. He and one of my RIRs have finally called a truce and their tussels didn't last long.
 

aldarita

Songster
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It is very interesting how the difference of opinions go in this matter, I am a female and of course I have a tendency to separate the little guy and leave the pullets alone and in peace so they won't get too stressed. On the other hand it would be hard for the cockerel to grow up by himself with no other chickens around. The perfect situation is to throw the cockerel into a yard with mature hens that will teach him some manners but not everybody has that set up. Either way just make sure your pullets are not being harassed too much and that they have plenty of room to run away from the little bugger.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
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Nov 12, 2009
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In a multigenerational pen, I am all for leaving him unless there are several juvenile roosters. Then they go to the bachelor pad. However, sometimes when a rooster grows up with just flock mates, he gets bigger much sooner than the pullets and interested in sex much sooner than the pullets and do to his size and strength, can become quite a bully. Don't make a pet of him, cause he often times will try and dominate you too. If he is harassing the girls do give them a break. It does not have to be an all or nothing, arrangement, you can let them out together, then pull him off the roost and let them have a night and morning without him. Use your own judgement, but you might change it often for a couple of months.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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In a multigenerational pen, I am all for leaving him unless there are several juvenile roosters. Then they go to the bachelor pad. However, sometimes when a rooster grows up with just flock mates, he gets bigger much sooner than the pullets and interested in sex much sooner than the pullets and do to his size and strength, can become quite a bully. Don't make a pet of him, cause he often times will try and dominate you too. If he is harassing the girls do give them a break. It does not have to be an all or nothing, arrangement, you can let them out together, then pull him off the roost and let them have a night and morning without him. Use your own judgement, but you might change it often for a couple of months.
Ditto Dat^^^
With hatch mates(all same age) of mixed gender, the males will always become sexually mature a couple months before the females.

Even in a multi-generational flock with adult birds to school the youngsters, a young cockerel can wreak havoc on the young females and create much disharmony for the whole flock...and the keeper.

Depending on the demeanor of all the birds involved, and the setup/space of the housing, it can go pretty smooth or be a chaotic clustertangle of stress and harassment for the young females. You'll have to observe and understand the behaviors to know when to step in and when to leave it alone, that get easier with experience.....but if food/water is being denied/guarded, or blood is let, or a bird is pinned down and beaten unmercilessy, it's time to isolate the bully.

All chickeneers should have a separate enclosure or cage(s) ready to separate a problem bird(s). When things go south, it usually happens fast.
 

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