Typical roosters, or do they need to go?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JenniferK, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. JenniferK

    JenniferK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We now have two roosters out of some eggs we let a broody hen hatch in May. They don't seem particularly aggressive, although they peck at me when I reach for them, but I can pick them up and they're fairly docile. I noticed a few days ago that our oldest hen (she's three) didn't want to leave the nesting box. I was worried that she was sick, then maybe broody, but she looked OK except for a tiny bit of blood on her comb. This morning I decided to let her spend the day out of the coop by herself, and when I went to shut all of the chickens, including her, into the hen house for the night, the two boys just jumped on her. It was brutal, and she was trying to bury herself in a corner, and when I tried to get them off, she jumped on my head to get away and her comb was bloody again. Is this normal mating behavior in chickens? I've heard having a rooster is good for the flock, but I just can't watch this hen be treated this way. We have 10 other hens and I've only noticed one other being mounted and although she tried to get away, it didn't seem nearly as vicious. My husband suggested giving the hen away, but she's actually my favorite, so if anyone needs to go it's the roosters in my opinion...
     
  2. coltssuperbowl83

    coltssuperbowl83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many hens do you have? If the roos are both trying to get to her and you only have a couple of hens then yeah they might be a little more violent as if "claiming" their hen, but if you have a bunch of hens then i would say they are a little aggressive. Did you just introduce them to each other? My hens get rough with other hens once in a while and i've seen a hen make a hens comb bleed but i haven't a rooster. Good luck! I would probably just give them some time.
     
  3. coltssuperbowl83

    coltssuperbowl83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh. I usually try to keep one roo for every 8-12 ladies.
     
  4. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It will take the roosters several weeks to calm down and figure things out. If you want to keep them, I would separate them for awhile until they can mature - maybe rotate them? They can really hurt a hen, or even kill one. I've had to rescue hens that got jammed into small spaces, trying to escape.
     
  5. JenniferK

    JenniferK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 11 hens and the two roos. Maybe that's one too many? I think they are just maturing so maybe they will work it out, but I don't want it to be at the expense of my sweet laying hen.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    They are just trying to figure the whole mating thing out, but that doesn't make it any easier on the hens. If you get rid of one of the roosters, the remaining one may become less aggressive. I agree that your hens shouldn't have to put up with this.
     
  7. peacockfarmer1

    peacockfarmer1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    alot of times a rooster when he is young will be picked on and beaten up by older hens like this one. then when they become fully mature (like 6-8 months depending on the breed) they will have a domanance battle same as if they were fighting another rooster just that they will eventually beat the hen and they need to too be able to breed the whole flock and be head of the peaking order.

    yeah for ten hens one rooster is plenty

    did you say that they were fighting her or they were trying to mate with her??
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  8. JenniferK

    JenniferK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I *think* they were trying to mate by the way they jumped on her, but they chased her down and there was so much pecking and squawking and she was just cowering -- she's never been one of the dominant hens. Like I said, she's spent about the last three days in the nesting boxes and now I'm reasonably sure it's just because of the roosters. There's another hen, also a small one, who looks pretty battered with feathers rubbed off from bigger hens trying to dominate her originally, but I've never seen such violent-looking behavior with her.
     
  9. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    most of my hens will let the roo know in no uncertain terms when they dont want to be mated. if she is submissive maybe thats why she is the "target" of the roos. If you cant separate the roos I would agree that one has to go. They may work it out in time but by then your hen could be dead.
     
  10. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sounds absolutely normal to me; particularly if she is not laying right now or has never been tread before.

    Contrary to the other post, the young fellows KNOW what they are doing. It is the HEN that needs to learn.

    Nothing violent about it. Applying 'violent' to fowl is nothing more or less than projecting human ethics onto animals.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010

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