Young roo is mating pullets that haven't started laying yet

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lcarlson, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. lcarlson

    lcarlson New Egg

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    I have a 5 month old rooster that is mating some of my pullets who haven't started laying yet. They are a couple weeks older than him but they all pretty much grew up together. All of the hens stay away from him, young and older. The older ones put him in his place but he retaliates. He's not showing aggression otherwise but the older rooster verbally disapproves of his behavior but hasn't done more than run at him so far. Last week I was crouched toward the ground to feed them an apple and he hopped on my shoulder but I just brushed him off. I noticed that no one wants to roost by him tonight. Is his behavior normal?
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes that is a rooster being a VERY BAD BAD BOY. Puberty kicking in HIGH and EARLY.

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  3. AuntNomi

    AuntNomi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds kinda normal for the age. Its a pain. Mine is 7 months, he will be getting a new home this weekend. He was sold to me as a pullet but turned out not so.
     
  4. lcarlson

    lcarlson New Egg

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    Ok, dang. Love my older rooster, he was already 2 when I got him, such a gentleman compared to this randy little dude. Guess I will need to figure out how to give them a break from him at times?. How long does this stage last (afraid to ask).
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd be thinking about....why do you need 2 cock/erels?

    Could get better soon, or could get worse.

    The fact that your older male is not putting the young one in his place would concern me.
    I had this situation, things were chaotic and egg production dropped precipitously until I secluded the cockerel away from the flock.
    Things improved immediately and he was delicious.

    I'd get rid of the younger one, things will be much more peaceful for all birds and people concerned.
     
  6. AshlyMommaWard

    AshlyMommaWard Chillin' With My Peeps

    A young cockerel just beginning to feel all those hormones can become a problem depending on different variables.
    With the hens/pullets:
    Dinamics in a flock containing more than one cockerel/rooster can vary depending on the temperament or preference of the adult rooster. So far you've seen him run at the youngster, but no butt kicking yet. If your rooster chooses to allow the cockerel to continue to mate & doesn't put a hurt on him then you need to determine if you have enough girls for the both of them. There's no magic ratio like some people quote, but with at least 10 pullets/hens per cock bird you're less likely to have them run ragged from over mating. Some birds just have poor feather quality & would be bare backed with a rooster & 20 more hens, it happens. The stress of being over mated runs deeper than bare backs, its stressful, decreasing egg production and can create an inviroment that is unhappy for the girls.
    With humans:
    Jumping on your sholder = Big No No!
    If you've raised this bird it is likely he has gotten as much attention as your pullets until his gender was obvious at least. I would highly advise that that stops! You obtained your adult rooster at an older age, he probably already had manners (I assume). A cockerel should be taught a healthy fear of humans. For the mutual safety of all. Jumping on your shoulder now only warrants a push off, but a grown bird with 2 inch spurs could've taken an eye out, or hey, that super important huge artery in your neck, the jugular, obviously that is a bit much... But you dont want a rooster on your shoulder! I have used Bekissed's method, can't paste it but she's commented it on many a "bad rooster" thread. It doesn't hurt the bird, but it'll teach him. End result: a good rooster that NEVER considers messing with people.
    Conclusion: if you've got enough hens & pullets that will begin laying soon & you believe that # will satisfy both boys, I'd give him a lesson in never walking up behind you, much less hopping on your shoulder. The excessively hormonal time can very in length, but from my experience the cockerel relaxed as soon as a pullet or two came ito lay and began accepting his mating. He then quit harassing the other pullets who weren't ready yet. I'm more worried about how his behavior twords you could escalate.
    Good luck, and keep us posted.
    :D
    Edited to add: agree with a art, I would not hesitate to remove & stew the offender in my flock unless I wanted/ needed the cockerel for some reason. I had went by the tone of the post that the OP wanted to keep the cockerel. Which is why I felt inclined to go into detail of how to (try to) obtain that objective.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  7. Zackman23434

    Zackman23434 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My boys ramped up at probably 15 weeks old and will now be 23 weeks on Friday. The RIR was the first to get his balls and has since calmed down a bit with the exception of the morning where he is freaking crazy. The golden laced Wyandotte really didn't get the juices flowing until almost 3 weeks ago. It has really changed the flock dynamic between the two boys. In the morning it is clear that the RIR is the dominant cockerel but the rest of the day is actually very confusing on who is dominant. I even have a ladder roost and I swear every night a different cockerel is on the top rail.

    When the golden laced Wyandotte mounts a hen the RIR will come charging to the scene. But aside from a few head pecks and some scratching on the ground, maybe a wing dance, he really doesn't do much to stop the action. Just the opposite can be said about the GLW. When he sees the RIR mount a hen, he charges, and flogs the RIR repeatedly with his blunt spur nubs. In other words he is extremely mad. He always runs away in the end though which is not a dominant ROO act. He does not wing dance to the RIR or challenge him throughout the day. The RIR does not hesitate to wing dance often to the GLW though. And the GLW always runs away. So again, it's very confusing figuring out who rules the roost as of now. It was always the RIR before and I suspect it will eventually become evident. The problem for the RIR is that the GLW who was much later maturing, is now closing the gap on the size advantage that the RIR has always had. And it was large because the RIR is huge. I suspect this has added to the shake up in dynamics as the GLW has always been the clear cut lowest rooster before a few weeks ago.

    Another interesting observation is that my hens must be very shallow. The GLW cockerel has always been a little jerk to them. Biting for no reason, grabbing toes of the hens just because, and guarding the food. Only recently had he stopped much of that and becomes solely focused on breeding. The RIR has always been gentle with the girls comparatively. He attempts mating way less, makes countless attempts to impress the girls, typically won't force them to Mate if they don't drop for him, and actually calls them for Real treats most of the time. He is almost never sneaks up behind the girls like the GLW does. He is usually more on guard. The GLW was like my Deleware in that if a girls bottom is facing him he is going for it, or he is always trying to position himself for a sneak attack. And he calls hens to nothing just to try and get them close for a mount. The RIR was never doing these things even when he was first starting his maturity. The conclusion to all this with the original point about my girls being shallow is that I see them submit much more often to the GLW since they recently started laying compared to the RIR who has always been the total gentlemen. He is a looker but the GLW of course is brilliantly colored and very pretty. Makes no sense to me that they submit to him more often other then they like his looks and don't give a darn about personality. Lolol

    I know this didn't have a ton to do with the posters question but I figured describing some of my own cockerel observations can't hurt.
    PS. I have 11 pullets as of now to the 2 cockerels. I got rid of my third the Deleware.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  8. Zackman23434

    Zackman23434 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The two from my description a couple weeks ago. Elvis(GLW) has probably gained at least 1lb since then.

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  9. JennieRD

    JennieRD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your gold laced is beautiful! I found all my Wyandotte's, BLRW and GLW, are not timid, but run from a fight letting the others take over. My BLRW was picked on for months, run off from the food, the roost, the hens. Now at a year and a half, he is a true member. Everyone leaves him alone. I would rank the Wyandotte's up there with my Orpington and Rock roosters. They are no where near as aggressive as RIR, Marans, or Cermani's. They are great roosters with no aggression tendencies, at least that is in my flock. He is beautiful, mine are not predator aware as the other breeds and are more susceptible to being taken by predators. I have to rely on my Marans to protect the flock, my other breeds are not very good guard dogs. I had to add a few guinea fowl to help keep a eye out for hawks and owls, ect.


    As a note of the GLW Breeding habits, I think that is part of the characteristics. My Wyandotte prefer their own breed, and my GLD is rough too with the hens. No mating ritual what so ever.

    I several different types, but always find the GLW together, they run from the other roosters straight back to my Wyandotte Rooster, I think they sometimes pick a mate and stay with them. I have one hen who has attached herself to one rooster and absolutely refuses to breed with any other. I literally have to move the two together where ever I put them, they pace the fence line looking at each other for days. I finally give in and put them back together.

    Thanks for sharing the pics....their beautiful!
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  10. Zackman23434

    Zackman23434 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! He is actually pretty stand offish we me. He likes to puff up and make noises at me. But he so far hasn't dared to act on those emotions where the RIR does not show aggression with me except he out of nowhere tried to charge my boot today from the side while I was walking. I now know that he shows me much more subtle signs and has been all along. He will stand sideways to me and peck at the ground, eyes on me, and dropping everything he pecks at. I quickly figured out that when he is doing this if I begin to walk he will start to run after my boot from the side. I'm going to have to begin working on his behavior I guess. Elvis the GLW just thinks he is bad to the bone. I know that sounds bad but it's hard to explain that I feel very comfortable that he is harmless to me. It's the quiet RIR that actually acted on his hidden emotions that makes me more nervous. Elvis outwardly test me every day with a lot of show but all I have to do is give him a stern eye and a you better not and he turns around and makes angry noises and that's the end. The RIR never tested me which again is what makes me more nervous about it. From 0 to 180

    I ofcourse started a good trot at the RIR after witnessing his big mistake. He was actually surprisingly stubborn about moving much initially. Waiting until the very last moment to move but keeping his head on me as if he was thinking about turning back around. But eventually his feathers tightened and he started running before I got within 10 feet every time I started a walk at him again. Not sure what I'm going to do about this new behavior.

    Oh I did snap a few photos today

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