I'm hoping that when the bigger hens are ready to mate that my rooster will leave my little silkie alone. Can I know that they're ready when they lay their first egg, or are they ready before they begin laying? I have three hens and one rooster (all siblings) that are 23 weeks old. The rooster never tries to mate with any of them; evidently he can tell that they're not ready. Last week I started letting my little silkie hen and her chick go out to free range. He attacks her repeatedly in spite of his being six times bigger than what she is. I really don't think they're really mating because the body parts don't seem to be connecting correctly. She's terrified of him, but she has no place to hide when he finds her. I'm afraid that his weight can cause her permanent physical harm. Does that ever happen to small hens that get mated by very large roosters?