We built a beautiful coup for our little flock. There's plenty of room for them and we even let them out a bit when we are outside to keep an eye on them. I have a few hens and two roos. They were all raised together and do not have major domestic disputes or anything, but lately I have been noticing that the dominate rooster is keeping the others away from the food and water until he has his fill. I'm not sure if he actually lets them eat/drink (I'm away in college and I don't come home too often during the school year and cannot spend hours watching them). To solve this issue we put mulitple water and food supplies all over for the others... Is that "normal" for the dominate roo to do this? These are my first batch of chickens so I'm not too familiar with their behaviors. Will he eventually let them eat and drink or is he just being too aggressive? Another question I have is about another one of my chickens. I assume she's a hen (she's an EE/Silkie cross), she doesn't crow, she's much smaller, more mellow, has a softer "voice".... she's the same age as my others - 6 months... and still there's no egg from her.... is she just a slow maturer, sterile, or could I have just mistaken her being a hen? I also see the roosters clasp the back of her neck, but I'm not sure if this is a dominance issue or if they are trying to breed with her.... the dominate roo really took hold of her today and started "stepping" on her....it didn't last very long; she screamed, broke free, and ran up into the roost and that was it. Can chickens still breed before a hen ever laid an egg? Or is the first egg like "puberty"/"heat" - they can't breed until that happens first/until the first egg is laid? I'm sorry. If someone can give me some advice about what to do with my rooster and a little info about hens, I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance.