Will a rooster mate with a 3 month old hen? And is it normal for hens to freak out when the rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by elizabet253, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. elizabet253

    elizabet253 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2014
    I have 2 hens and 1 rooster who are almost 5 months old and 4 hens and 1 rooster who are 4 and 1/2 months old. None of them are laying yet (at least I don't think, they rarely sleep inside their chicken coop). The oldest rooster has been crockadoodaling for awhile and the younger one never has. The oldest one also grabbed onto one of the hens that is almost 5 months old, she was freaking out so I yelled at him. He then tried to mount my favorite chicken who is 4 and 1/2 months, she was so scared she ran to me and I had to push the rooster off her. I do have 6 other chickens though who are of laying age, but they weren't my chickens to begin with so I am quarantine them, but I'm about to throw him in there with them. He's been trying to harass them anyways. Is a total of 12 hens enough for 2 roosters or should I butcher the oldest one? My other rooster also seems like he's inlove with my favorite chicken, they literally always sleep together, and hangout together alone quite often!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    First, this is something I wrote up for another thread but it might help you.

    Typical mating behavior between mature consenting adults.

    The rooster dances for a specific hen. He lowers one wing and sort of circles her. This signals his intent.

    The hen squats. This gets her body onto the ground so the rooster’s weight goes into the ground through her entire body and not just her legs. That way she can support a much heavier rooster without hurting her legs.

    The rooster hops on and grabs the back of her head. The head grab helps him get in the right position to hit the target and helps him to keep his balance, but its major purpose is to tell the hen to raise her tail out of the way to expose the target. A mating will not be successful if she does not raise her tail and expose the target. The head grab is necessary.

    The rooster touches vents and hops off. This may be over in the blink of an eye or it may take a few seconds. But when this is over the rooster’s part is done.

    The hen then stands up, fluffs up, and shakes. This fluffy shake gets the sperm into a special container inside the hen near where the egg starts its internal journey through her internal egg making factory.

    With five month olds or younger you are not dealing with consenting adults. You are dealing with adolescents that have no control over their hormones. The cockerels normally mature earlier than the pullets and are being driven mad by their hormones. The pullets have no idea what is going on so they certainly are not going to cooperate.

    At that age most of this is not about sex either. The mating ritual is about dominance. The one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or by force. It’s not about pecking order either, but total flock dominance. The cockerel’s hormones are screaming at it to dominate the pullets but the pullets are not ready for that. It takes both to do their part, pullets as well as cockerel.

    To do his job as flock master, the cockerel has to be the dominant chicken. How can he keep peace in his flock if he can’t break up a fight without the others beating the crap out of him? What good does it do to warn of danger if no one listens? How can he fertilize the eggs if they don’t cooperate? A cockerel is usually bigger and stronger than the pullets. If they don’t cooperate willingly he is going to force them. That’s part of his job, to be the dominant chicken.

    What you are describing is not unusual at all. That cockerel is starting to mature and his hormones are running wild, telling him to dominate the flock and establish himself as flock master. The immature pullets don’t know what is going on so they resist. Once they all mature, pullets as well as cockerel, things should settle down and you should have a peaceful flock. But this is the stage where a lot of immature adolescent cockerels literally lose their heads. It usually gets pretty wild at this stage.

    When your younger cockerel matures some more he is going to be hit with the same hormones. The two cockerels will decide between themselves which will be dominant. Sometimes this goes so smoothly you don’t even notice. Sometimes it is a fight to the death. Both of those situations are pretty rare. What normally happens is that they fight some, one decides he is better off running away than fighting, and they reach an accommodation. It is important at this stage that the loser has enough room to run away. When they don’t have enough room is when it really becomes dangerous.

    When you put that cockerel with the older hens, a few different things might happen. They may almost immediately accept his dominance (which he will establish buy mating them) or they may beat the crap out of him. While some hens will squat for practically anything in spurs, many require a male to be a responsible flock master and provide them food, dance, keep peace in the flock, watch out for danger, and do all the things that a good responsible flock master should do. Otherwise he is not worthy to be the father of their children. He also needs to impress them with his magnificence and self-confidence. An immature cockerel often can’t do these things so the hens don’t willingly squat for him. What normally happens is that some of the hens will squat for him once he reaches a certain stage of maturity but the more dominant hens resist either by running away or chasing him.

    There is no magic number of how many females you need for each male. The personality of the chickens, how much room you have, and many other things have an effect so each of us are unique. You can have the same problems if you have a very high rooster-hen ratio as you can with a very low ratio. If you have more than one rooster space becomes extremely important. In addition to the loser needing room to run away, once they reach an accommodation the two roosters will probably each have their own harem and keep them separate during the day. They can co-exist and even roost together and sometime forage as one flock, but the majority of the time the two flocks will be separate to reduce potential conflict points during the day.

    I always suggest you keep as few roosters as you can to meet your goals. Many people keep multiple roosters successfully, even with fairly low hen-rooster ratios, but the more roosters you have the more likely you are to have problems. If room is tight that is even more critical unless you always keep them in separate pens. I don’t know your goals or how much room you have, but from reading your post you might want to settle on one male.

    If you do keep the younger one, eventually his hormones will kick in. He will them be the one “harassing” the pullets and hens until he and they mature enough to act like responsible adults.

    Good luck!
  3. elizabet253

    elizabet253 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2014
    Thank you for your information. I have noticed already for some time that the chickens have their own groups. My younger rooster has his groupies of two hens, one hen is almost ALWAYS with him, and the older rooster is with everyone else while I also have two hens who are grouped up together too. They free-range so there should be more than enough room. I'm already thinking the older rooster will be the "flock master" I've seen the younger one back away from him at times, but I've never seen them fight or anytime. They sleep together, eat together, and drink water together. I also read that some roosters don't even seem interested in mating. He's an americana and he is the size of the other rooster, he grew FAST.
  4. Soot the silkie

    Soot the silkie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2014
    Humboldt, California
    I had a problem similar to this. I had a tiny black silkie pullet (dead at this point in time) who was three weeks old and not laying when my four month old rooster tried to mate with her. The thing was she was lame from Marek's so she couldn't do anything about it. I tried to get him off her but by then they'd finished and my little pullet was traumatized. The rooster also tried to mate with my five month barred rock pullet who was twice his size and wouldn't squat for him, so he could barely grab her neck feathers before she bolted. She was ran away every time he got within five feet of her afterwards. And like you, my rooster was in love with my other barred rock and they always hung out together and dust bathed and rooster next to each other and clucked sweet nothings. But then, since I live in town, I had to give him away when he started crowing. I think a lot of people have roosters that try to mate with young pullets and its pretty normal.
    norxgirl likes this.
  5. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 31, 2014
    North Dakota
    I think my roosters should mate with a rock if I set one in their run! What a bunch of hornballs! I have a lot of roosters and someone is always mating with someone. No o e seems to mind terribly bad. It's like the hens just say 'just get it over with!'. I love having roosters- I have black breasted red Phoenix , lakenvelders , old English game, polish, silkie, Belgian de'uccle, and golden seabright. My youngest are about 5 months. I think we all go through some mating concerns.
    norxgirl and overthelimit like this.
  6. Soot the silkie

    Soot the silkie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2014
    Humboldt, California
    I love roosters too. But I live in town and it's illegal! [​IMG] When I had to give away mine I was so unhappy. Roos really liven up the coop and I personally think it's cute when bantam roosters try to attack you because they're so tiny and don't get they don't have a chance against a person...
    norxgirl likes this.
  7. overthelimit

    overthelimit Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 23, 2016
    Thank you for this. My 7-month-old rooster has been trying to mount the matron hen, but she resists. Her luitenent will often run to her and chase the rooster off. I thought it might be about dominance, but it's good to have the verification!
    norxgirl likes this.
  8. nikkcb

    nikkcb Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2016
    mission b.c Canada
    I have 8 girls about 2 half months old, just introduced out new rooster who is four months.He has just started calling and as well mounting my little girls! They freak out running and screaming until he gets his way! Can he damage them inside if they arnt ready
    norxgirl likes this.
  9. RollerDerbyLexi

    RollerDerbyLexi Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 17, 2013
    [​IMG]I'm having a problem with my 10 month old Rooster trying to mount my 13 week old girls that I just put in the coop. The girls are not happy about it and run from him. [​IMG] Is this normal chicken Behavior? The chicks have lots of room to get away from him, but in the coop they have to make a mad dash for the chicken door to get out. Luckly he's a Welsummer, so he's not too big and I don't think he's crushing the girls.


    Sad in Santa Fe, TX
  10. Katerwoods

    Katerwoods New Egg

    Jul 2, 2017
    I am having some similar problems. I have 2 roosters, 1 is a Cooper Maran (Copper) who is about 5 months old and has been crowing for awhile and another that is a Blue Favacauna (Sam) that is about 4 months old with no crowing yet but trying to mate. All my girls (35 of them) are all about 4 months but both Roos seem to prefer 1 pretty EE hen who will submit pretty easily, (we call her Delilah) but none of my hens lay any eggs yet. I was under the impression that Roos only try to mate with hens that are laying or about to lay. Also although Copper has succeeded at mating, poor Sam hasn't quite accomplished anything yet. Is it pretty normal for a Roo to mate with a young pullet that isn't laying yet? And has anyone had a rooster that doesn't crow or is he just a little late maturing up? Thought he was a she until he started chasing the girls and trying to grab their feathers on their neck. Lol! Poor boy has no finesse yet!

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