Teen boys after one girl..

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NinjiChicki, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. NinjiChicki

    NinjiChicki Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 26, 2014
    Ocean Springs, MS
    We have a flock of 29, this includes 2 boys who just started crowing and attempting to mate only a month ago. Everything was going fine until a few days ago. The boys started to go after 1 of our 3 older girls -Who's name is Cricket-! Now the problem here is that when she was younger she hurt her leg and never fully recovered. She gets around fine, eats and drinks and even lays eggs nearly everyday of the week...

    Now here's where it gets bad.. Since they go after her she can't hold them up.. This is resulting in feather pulling and now a good bit of bald on her head. They even peck at her since she can't support them.. She's scared when they are around, doesn't come out of the coop or stays in a corner when they can't see her.. We feel so bad for her!

    For the time being she's been brought inside but we feel terrible about keeping her locked up..

    Currently there are 7 laying and 14 total dancing, my question is, will the boys eventually calm down and leave her be?
    Are they after her because she was at the top of the pecking order? Or is it just because they can't properly mate with her? Or maybe it's because they are still working out their hormones?

    The boys are never aggressive with anyone else including each other.

    They have access to food and water 24/7 and are only kept in a coop at night. All other times of the day they are free to the backyard.

    Boys are 23 weeks old - Black Australorp and Easter Egger.
    The girl they chase is over year old Dark Cornish.

    We've thought about keeping her inside until most of the others are laying, but she hates being locked up all the time.. She doesn't like it at all when we try to put a diaper on her.. Otherwise she would be let out to roam as she wishes.. The diapers also leave her walking wonky since she's learned to balance herself with her wings and body weight.

    - Things we considered

    Locking the boys in a large kennel during the day in a place where Cricket could see them and they her.
    Removing the boys from sight all together for a week, or just the one at the top of the pecking order.
    Bachelor pen.. This however is the hardest due to money issues.
    Try to let them work it out.. Hard to do with 2 children who are constantly watching, 'Chicken tv'
    Looking for a sweater/saddle that would cover the places she's currently bald. -- Any ideas on where to get one that would hold up on nearly the top of her head?
    Culling - Though this is very last on the list.

    As I've said, the boys are sweet to everyone else, it's just Cricket they do this to.

    Suggestions please!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    They are after her because she is an easy target and can't get away from them. I worry that two roosters gang breeding her might result in further physical injury. Other than separation of either her or one or both of the cockerels from the flock, I don't have a solution.
  3. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Yes, they pick her solely because they can catch her. No other reason, there is no tact in this whatsoever. I have rooster problems as well and just today mostly finished up a rooster pen. If they are standing in lineā€¦ remove one or the other every day to a dog crate or other 'chicken jail.' As they get older, they will start to try the other hens, you have enough birds to support two roosters so in the long run it will work itself out. But until that day occurs, you are wise to intervene on the slow hens behalf. Punish the aggressors, they won't learn from it, those teenage hormones are too strong to 'learn.' But it does serve cosmic justice. Sorry for your trouble.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My chicken jail/rooster pen as of today. On the morrow it will have residents and or inmates.

    Best to you and your birds,

  4. NinjiChicki

    NinjiChicki Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 26, 2014
    Ocean Springs, MS
    Just wanted to update!!

    Cricket is all healed up and has because part inside/outside girl and she loves it!

    During the day we open her crate and let her follow us through the front yard and into our other fenced in area. At night we open the gate and follows us back to the crate. Nearly everyone else is laying at this point so no one else is a target anymore.

    Thank you all so much for the advice!
  5. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    It is always nice to have good news. I am glad this situation worked out ok for you and your birds.


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