Young Rooster Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HenMcGhie, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. HenMcGhie

    HenMcGhie Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is my 23 week old Rhode Island Red Rooster (pictured at 21 weeks).
    He matured much faster then my other pullets who are the same age as him. He was very aggressive with them and has tried to mount them when they just don't want anything to do with him right now. He was so bad with them that I've separated him from the girls. My girls seem much, much happier without him around.

    My thought was to keep him separated from them until the girls were older and would actually want him but I'm wondering two things:

    1. Will his behavior towards them change when they actually start accepting him?
    2. Am I just being hopeful and am actually setting myself up for problems later on?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Your picture of him looks like professional photography!! He is a gorgeous boy!

    Well, I don't worry about cockerels mounting pullets who are unwilling, unless there are several of them ganging up on one pullet. I just let them all stay together and work it out themselves.

    If he were actually harming them or aggressive to you as well, then I'd get rid of him. But it is just the cockerel thing to do, to mount. Some people do separate the cockerels until they learn manners...it is just what you want to do.

    I have found that the ladies enjoy the protection of a cockerel and aren't so willing to wander around to the "dangerous" places in the yard without them. When your pullets get ready to lay they will start squatting for him (and you as well). That may be a good time to reintroduce him if you want to go that route. There will be a readjustment of the pecking order with reintegration, and he will fight with them to show he is boss.
     
  3. HenMcGhie

    HenMcGhie Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! Photography is one of my hobbies and I was raised by a professional photographer. I don't claim that title myself but I do enjoy taking pictures.

    As for Tom (that's what we call the rooster) he was being very mean to them. It was probably no more then what is typical, but I myself was having a hard time seeing him being mean to my girls. I would really like to keep him but also want happy hens. I also may not have enough ladies for him. My ratio right now is 4:1. Everything I've read suggests that that could be a problem too.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes I kept one Wyandotte cock bird with 5 hens years ago, and they were bare-backed.

    The recommended ratio is somewhere around 1:8 to 1:10, although I have to say it depends on the breed and temperament. One silkie breeder mentioned to me that she keeps one cock in with 5 hens without problems. But she doesn't keep the cockerels with the pullets (pulls them out until older).
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  5. HenMcGhie

    HenMcGhie Out Of The Brooder

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    Definitely something for me to think about. So I should either get more hens for him or get rid of him hu? I don't want bare backed chickens even though I do know I can put those shield things on them.
     

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