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What's the youngest age of your cockerel mating?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by beautifulpirate, May 30, 2016.

  1. beautifulpirate

    beautifulpirate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have an 11 week old Welsummer who seems to be ahead of the curve on everything. He has been crowing since 5 weeks old. A few days ago, I saw him "attack" one of our hens. Coincidentally it's the hen he seems to favor/hang out with the most. I thought it was really strange. I can't say exactly what happened but she started squawking and running after he grabbed at her neck. Then today, while watching chicken TV I noticed some strange calls from him that I hadn't noticed before. He was pacing and following the same hen and then suddenly it was a race! She was running from him like crazy, making all kinds of noises, hopping over things and such. He kept grabbing at the back of her neck with his beak and trying to leap up onto her back. After looking at YouTube videos of young cocks trying to mate hens, I now suspect that is what he was trying to do.

    Is this completely out of the realm of normality? I didn't think the cocks hormones were going to start going berserk until around 16 weeks....

    I wasn't prepared for this so am going to be making chicken aprons/saddles tonight.
     
  2. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]I have a white leghorn cockerel named Rocky and he just turned 8 weeks old on Saturday.
    He's trying to mate with my 8 week old pullets and he's crowing. It's a funny crow but a crow nonetheless.
    My little girls are having none of it and they go back into their coop when he becomes particularly annoying.
    My mature hens are in their own coop/run and that's a good thing at this point because if he started messing with them, my sassier girls might hurt him.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I wouldn't be making aprons, I would be making a separation pen for him to spend a few months in. He's too much too soon. I wouldn't leave him with the pullets. Put the pen where they can still see him and interact through the wire. Some mature faster especially on higher protein diets.
     
  4. beautifulpirate

    beautifulpirate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I can tell he isn't actually hurting her. Why would I separate him if he is doing what cocks do? He has all the makings of a great rooster already. Protective but docile around his humans. Makes sure the ladies get in on the grub, and he would make pretty babies if I ever decide to hatch his young. I'm not concerned that he is hurting the pullets. I only inquired to find out if this is a normal age for mating rituals to begin. And the aprons aren't just because of him. We have too many roosters and a couple more weeks before processing time so if one of them starts mating now, I want to be prepared in case they all start mating the hens like crazy.

    Besides, as of now, there is no space for a separation pen. There will be in a month or so once we get the coop extension built.
     
  5. beautifulpirate

    beautifulpirate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The crowing at five weeks was absolutely terrible haha. I thought a cat was dying or something.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Multiple cockerels can greatly increase the 'mating' and/or 'dominance' behaviors of 'chase and mount',
    it's really best to separate them when this becomes stressful for the much less mature pullets.
    This is my trigger to get out the killing cone and fire up the grill (after letting carcass rest in fridge for 48-72 hours).
    Making a quick day pen from a 25 foot roll of 14ga 2x4 x 6' fencing can really help....or I use wire dig crates too.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016

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